The classic bar stool is more functional than stylish but a wide selection of wooden and metal stools are highly functional as well as stylish. Many of today's wooden bar stools and metal bar stools are stylish pieces of furniture in their own right that also fulfill the function of the classic stool. The swivel seat is an excellent feature on many stools, especially if they will be used in a tight space, but be careful as the swivels on some stools tend to break and are not as durable as getting a non-swivel stool. Seat backs are also a good feature to consider as they are more comfortable. When trying to choose a style for your bar look to the rest of the dining area for inspiration. Many manufacturers offer the same style of furniture in both a bar stool and chair version.
Restaurant furniture can be a large investment, taking proper care of wood stools can significantly expand their life, be sure to read the manufacturer's care instructions. Clean spills immediately, this can be difficult in a busy bar environment but an upholstered bar stool can quickly become ruined if liquor or other items stain the seat area. The faster the spill is cleaned up, the less time the spill has to soak into the fabric. Try and avoid positioning bar stools too close to walls as they will rub on the wall and damage both the wall and the stool. Try and encourage customers to not lean back on two legs, not only can this lead to an injury claim if the customer falls, it also puts a large strain on the back legs and the back of the seat which can cause either area to fracture under the tension. Wooden stools shouldn't be placed in a setting where they are exposed to extreme dry or humid conditions. Wooden bar stools will dispel or attract moisture depending on the environment conditions. As the wood furniture absorbs moisture from the air around it in a humid environment it will swell just as it will contract when exposed to an extremely dry environment. There is a natural cycle for all wood furniture but when taken to extremes it can cause the wood to crack, weaken, or split over time.
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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.
Themed. If you are going with an ethnic, earthy sort of kitchen like a Tuscan or Mexican style you might look at wrought iron bar stools. They come with designs on the backs, arms and legs that range from really scrolly to just slightly. With upholstered seats, these can be covered to match the colors in your kitchen. Traditional.If you have a more formal or traditional kitchen, there are many bar stools that will go perfectly. I like a heavier stool with this look so you might try an oak or cherry stool that is solid and with arms. If you want an upscale pub look, try wood and leather bar stools that add class and elegance to any room.
Cowhide seat western saddle bar stool. Cowhide is a natural cow leather that has been minimally processed, not bleached or colored. It may have been soaked in salt after the cow was skinned, and in the tannery, it might have been tanned to remove the odors and prevent shedding of hair. Wooden western bar stools would then be upholstered with that cowhide leather, using metal round top tacks, which would provide a look of a western bar stool strongly resembling a horse saddle. Sometimes, a saddle horn would be added to one side of the bar seat to complete such horse saddle bar stool.