Don’t Pass the Bar

Helpwanted

With a few more steps completed in our renovation, my mind has turned to decorating.


Our new, rounded countertop offers ample eating area. At its deepest point, it measures 18″. Since we opted for sturdy but invisible supports, there is plenty of knee-room, too. We already enjoyed perching at the bar in our old kitchen and this has already become a favorite stopping spot and breakfast area. The problem? We’ve been enjoying the charms of this 36″ tall surface from our folding chairs. I feel like a child desperately in need of a booster seat. I’m a good cook, but I prefer not to interface with my food at eye level.

I’m also eagerly eyeing my options because this signals a shift (ever so slight though it is) toward decorating choices, as opposed to renovation drudgery. So, if it seems like I have gone over the top debating kitchen seating, consider it a sign of my exuberance at the light being visible at the end of our long remodel tunnel.

At our old, “bar-height” counter, we used two metal industrial-style stools. They were meant to be a stop-gap from Overstock.com but in the end, we never ended up purchasing anything else. I liked them but they never quite meshed with the old kitchen. They’ll probably find a home in a craft room someday.

Our former bar stools - the Tabouret 30" bar stools from Overstock.com. A bargain at $99.99 for the pair.

Our former bar stools – the Tabouret 30″ bar stools from Overstock.com. A bargain at $99.99 for the pair.

For our new, lower eat-in kitchen counter spot, I’m considering a few choices:

1.) Simple,  dark wood stools.

Wood adds warmth and is a practical option for a messy household. Whether something simple, like these low saddle-stools or something that coordinates with our dining table, it’s hard to go wrong with an option in wood. The dark color would stand out against the white bar, counter, and column while also seeming to float on our wood floor.

Contemporary Kitchen by Austin Photographer Bryant Hill Media

Wood Counter Stool Options:

Wood counter stools. Clockwise from left. Target Saddle Seat Walnut $49.99. Crate and Barrel Basque Counter Stool $259. Restoration Hardware Oak Counter Stool $99. Target Walnut Scoop Stools $129/pair. Pottery Barn Tibetan Bar Stool $99.

Wood counter stools. Clockwise from left. Target Saddle Seat Walnut $49.99. Crate and Barrel Basque Counter Stool $259. Restoration Hardware Oak Counter Stool $99. Target Walnut Scoop Stools $129/pair. Pottery Barn Tibetan Bar Stool $99.

2. Textured, coastal-style stools.

I love the textured layers of coastal-inspired dwellings. We will have seagrass or jute rugs in the dining room and living room and have a few other touches of this woven texture throughout the space. Is adding more overkill?

Traditional Kitchen by San Diego Interior Designer Savvy Interiors

Traditional Kitchen by Atlanta Interior Designer sherry hart

Natural Fiber Counter Stool Options:

Natural fiber counter stools. Clockwise from top left. Pottery Barn Wingate Rattan $299. Target Andres Counter Stool $159.99. Target Andres Saddle Stool $79.99. Pottery Barn Seagrass Barstool $129. Pottery Barn Seagrass Bucket Swivel Stool $279. Pottery Barn Seagrass Backless Barstool $129.

Natural fiber counter stools. Clockwise from top left. Pottery Barn Wingate Rattan $299. Target Andres Counter Stool $159.99. Target Andres Saddle Stool $79.99. Pottery Barn Seagrass Barstool $129. Pottery Barn Seagrass Bucket Swivel Stool $279. Pottery Barn Seagrass Backless Barstool $129.

3.) Upholstered chairs. 

The option to add more textiles via the counter stools is appealing. Something grey might be interesting, or even leather, like the first and third photos below. Or, I might want to coordinate the stools with the dining chairs – which currently have linen slipcovers like the last image. I’ve toyed with the idea of print, but in such a small but very open space I am unsure. If I went with a simple style, I could make slipcovers. I really like the Gray Hayden Barstools from World Market, but unfortunately they don’t come in counter height. Ikea also has a good option in the Henriksdal stool – available in grey or linen-look fabric.

Upholstered Counter Stool Options:

Upholstered Counter Stools. Clockwise from top left: Home Decorators Parsons Slipcover Counterstool $169. Grandin Road Julien Leather Bar Stool $149. Target Burke Bonded Leather Counter Stool $114.99. Target Ellis Stool $94.99. Home Decorators Curved Nailhead Counter Stool $139. Ikea Henriksdal Stool $99.99. Room and Board Ansel $449. Home Decorators Custom Straightback Counter Stool $249.

Upholstered Counter Stools. Clockwise from top left: Home Decorators Parsons Slipcover Counterstool $169. Grandin Road Julien Leather Bar Stool $149. Target Burke Bonded Leather Counter Stool $114.99. Target Ellis Stool $94.99. Home Decorators Curved Nailhead Counter Stool $139. Ikea Henriksdal Stool $99.99. Room and Board Ansel $449. Home Decorators Custom Straightback Counter Stool $249.

4. Something metal.

No matter which way you look at it, there are a lot of options for counter stools or bar stools these days. And that’s just “off the rack” – start customizing and your choices are infinite. Metal or wood could be painted. Custom upholstery opens a world of possibilities. Patterns, prints, textures?! How will I ever choose? I’m moving slowly on this decision since whatever I choose will be visible throughout our living and dining rooms. It will be something you see when you walk in the front door — or something you glimpse through the french doors to the back yard. What would you choose if you were in my shoes?

Anne

0 Comments

  1. I see you doing wood or metal. I don’t think textural or upholstered goes with what your general overall feel is. I think you would get tired of them relatively quickly. I also think that you would potentially get tired of something with a back on it… as it will also make it feel like it’s taking up more space than it is by blocking the look off visually. Just a thought. I see backless stools in wood or metal to keep it simple and clean.

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