In the swinging 60s, a few people were incorporating bars into their homes and accordingly these stools began to make a small appearance in residential settings. The old wooden stools from pubs were popular but at this point we were seeing the emergence of metal and chrome stools. The wooden bar stools were found in basement or recreation room bars while the chrome and padded bar stools were most often found in living rooms and poolside. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, most bar stool, be they commercial or residential, were 30 inches high. During the late 1980s we began to see the advent of the 24 inch bar stool. This smaller bar stool is now the most popular type of residential bar stool. The 24 inch bar stool is very popular in families with children. The shorter stool is much more accessible and also safer for the little ones. The shorter stool is also better for adults that might have mobility problems. Being 6 inches closer to the ground makes a big difference for those you suffer from chronic hip or knee pain.
Retro. Retro is in these days and what better way to accent your retro style kitchen than with stools that borrow design elements from the good old days. You can buy brand new stools that are chrome and vinyl in a myriad of styles. Unlike actual vintage stools you won't have to worry about rusting metal or ripped upholstery with new stools. You can get great stools with or without backs in a retro 50's look, a vinyl retro lounge look with a full back and arms, and even backless counter stools just like you would see in the soda shop.
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What all these stools have in common is that they are made of wood. Back in the times of wild west, metal was not as prevalent as it is today, and the cowboys had to make do with the materials that were more readily accessible, in particular wood. So the cowboys had to master the art of woodworking to create these stools. The other materials the cowboys had available were natural leathers, either coming from caught wild animals, but more commonly from the cows that were slaughtered for their meat. Another thing these western saddle bar or counter stools have in common is that, just like the horse saddles, they never feature a back rest, or the arm rests.
Kitchen stools. Whether its a modern breakfast bar you have or a traditional pine table, kitchen stools can be ideal for your seating requirements. Traditional chairs or bar stools like those pictured below can give that warm feeling that you had whenever you where in your mama's kitchen. Alternatively a metal, chrome or aluminum look can add sleek and sophistication to any modern kitchen. As with the pub stools the height of the counter should be considered prior to purchasing any stools or chairs. The standard breakfast bar is usually 36” which would suggest that you use a 30” stool. When considering a breakfast bar the rule-of-thumb is to have a 6-10” gap between the counter and the seat to derive maximum comfort. However, if you have traditional seating arrangements around a table leave a 6” gap.
Upholstery – There are a number of upholstery options and styles available for bar stools with the main choices being wood, plastic/acrylic, fabric, leather, and vinyl. When trying to figure out which upholstery will work best for your home the best place to start looking is your kitchen or bar area to determine which will go best. If your kitchen or bar area already has a pre-existing modern vibe opt for something a little more edgy such as modern plastic/acrylic stools that are often available in a variety of fun modern colors to choose from. If you take pride in your kitchen's wood workmanship you can easily accentuate this with wood bar stools that come in a number of different finishes to match your cabinets or counters. We all love kids, but know that they are prone to spills and stains on our furniture. If you have kids in your house stick with a material that can be easily cleaned such as vinyl. If you are opting more for comfort and will be using your stools for extended seating fabric upholstery is always a safe bet for a comfortable sitting experience.