Round saddle bar stool. Some western style counter stools have a round ”saddle” instead of rectangular. They are still termed western counter stools for their other qualities, such as wood as the material for both their legs and the seat. They will typically have four legs, and the neighboring legs will be connected with cross bars at different heights on neighboring sides, and same heights on opposite sides, for stability and sturdiness of construction. Sometimes the legs will be made of natural branches, with their natural curvatures, giving a seat a rustic, unique look. Later, with the development of wood carving machines, the legs would become straight and of the same shape, and would feature simple circular ornaments.
Small stools. As well as the standard 36” bar stool, which is the average height for an average bar counter, all bars from local taverns to up-market cocktail lounges have additional seating areas. Obviously, the standard size of bar stool would be inappropriate for such a bar table or lounge area. Therefore proprietors should always have a stock of smaller stools for the lounge and seated area in the public bar. Usually, in most cases, only a 20” stool would be required to meet the comfortable table height. A good rule-rule-thumb for a table stool would be to give approximately 6” between the seat and table surface.
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.
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.
Price – The most common misconception about bar stools is that because of their large size they will be expensive, however this preconceived notion is more fiction than fact. There are plenty available that are both affordable and durable, if you know what to look for in advance. Many home furniture stores will mark up their prices on bar stools knowing that once they have you in their door they have a better chance of selling to you on the spot then you having to go through the trouble of driving to other home furniture stores to compare pricing.
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