Everyone has different tastes and preferences which is why most internet and store retailers make sure to keep a large selection of bar stools available in order to meet most needs. If you are apprehensive about purchasing a full set of bar stools for your home, start out by purchasing one and if it is the right fit you can always purchase the rest at a later point in time. Do not be afraid to ask questions, that is what furniture sales people are for and it is always better to feel absolutely comfortable with your purchase instead of regretting it later.
Cafe stools. For a cafe it is always best to have metal stools or chairs as opposed to plastic. Plastic has a cheap look and feel to it whereas metal lends to both modern and traditional eating environments. They come in many different styles and designs and can produce a real European flavour to any dining area. In addition metal stools or chairs can be used both inside and in an outside seated area. I have been in expensive coffee houses where the exterior eating area has mirrored the inside and this allows you to enjoy the feel of the inside environment while enjoying the sun.
Alternatively, you may prefer to buy stools with detachable bar stool that tie-on to the seatbacks. This gives you the advantage of being able to change the covers for cleaning or if you fancy a change of look, and can be useful if your stools get lots of use. When deciding which bar stools to buy, remember to take accurate measurements of the space available, to ensure a comfortable fit. Bar stools should be just the right height, so they are comfortable to sit in, with adequate legroom, but close enough to the counter top for convenience. As a rough guide, aim for a gap of around 9 or 10 inches between the seat and the counter. Think about the positioning of your bar stools and leave enough space between each one for people to be able to move freely. Commercial style swivel bar stools can work well in home settings too, and are great for saving space.
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.
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.
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