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.
The Height. Getting bar stools of the right height is a crucial factor. It will assure you the most convenient and comfortable sitting experience because you will have the optimal leg space between the counter and the stools. To achieve that, first measure the height from the bottom of the counter to the floor. Then deduct 10” to 12” from this number. This will give you the height the stools should have. So, for example, if your counter is 36” in height (which is a standard counter height), you should go for 24”- 26” stools. If you have a counter with a raised eating area, measure the distance from the bottom of the eating surface to the floor and then deduct the 10”- 12” to get the right height for your stools.
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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.
The last feature that you may want your bar stools to have is a back rest. Back support is ideal for homes with children to ensure they have proper support and do not accidentally fall off when seated. A stool with a back rest may also feel more comfortable and natural for most as the majority of people are already accustomed to sitting in chairs with back support. Contrarily, backless bar stools are more traditional in appearance and the staple for typical bar seating that you might find at a restaurant or a pub. They also encourage correct posture by forcing you to sit up right while aligning your spine. The option for a back ultimately comes down to comfort and what you are most familiar with.
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.