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.
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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Bar stools are not only a great way to get extra seating without taking up too much space but they can also serve as unique accent pieces in your kitchen. Bar stools are great for high counters, kitchen islands or tall bistro style tables and can work with pretty much any style of décor. Here's some tips on the type of bar stool you might want to match with certain decorating styles. Contemporary. A contemporary style calls for sleek modern lines. You can get interesting stools in chrome or steel that will go great with chrome appliances. If your kitchen has the dark mysterious look, try adding bar stools with a black finish. To add some zip you can use bar stools that have a funky design, or if you aren't that adventurous, try some with a half back or V shaped legs.
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.
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.