Bar stools are having a major moment, with designers focusing on the variety of styles that can be achieved. Details as simple as picking the right height stool for purpose and exploring the many diverse styles that increase comfort, versatility, and practicality, can often be overlooked. Below, we unpick the variations of the bar stool.
Bar height vs Counter height
Stools are not always made equally...
As standard, many stools are available in two heights; counter height, and bar height. Often, stools used in kitchen spaces along breakfast bars are lower (counter height) with a seat height of 580-710mm high, whereas those used in hospitality spaces such as bars and restaurants are usually higher with a seat height of 750-850mm. Many of our stools are available in either or. (See dimensions).
Take the new Blaine stool as an example: it is available in bar height at H750 and counter height at H650mm.
The Mani collection pictured showcases the many possible variations of bar stool bases. The options are endless: the most common is the 4 legs, however even then you are faced with a variety of material choices and thicknesses; wood... metal... slender... thick...
But if you are after something a little bit different you can opt for a sled base, which means that the feet at the bottom are connected in a trapezium shape. This can make it easier to slide in and out as there is no chance of the feet getting caught or scratching the floors.
A column base offers a singular pole from seat to floor with a circular base upon the floor. These often work best fixed, as they are less movable, but can provide a classy aesthetic that is opted for in many high-end hotels.
A gas lift can be an option on some column base stools; this is normally in the form of a lever just underneath the seat and enables the user to adjust the height. It provides a very versatile option that can be practical in venues that want to move their furniture around and fit it beneath different levels, but also provides guests with the ability to take ownership of their seat and change the height to their preference.
Some stools are available with a swivelling base if they are on a column, whether that be 360 degrees or a more constrained spin. This works really well for some spaces where guests might want to turn to continue their conversations with ease, rather than get up and move their stool. It also makes the stool easier to get in and out of.
Pictured, is the Sada bar stool at a recent project, Villa Copenhagen, which proves that the swivel is no gimmick; it can provide an extremely stylish form. Often they have a circling footrest too.
Back vs Backless
Most stools in bars and restaurants have backrests to provide guests with the ultimate comfort and the possibility to sit back and relax. A backrest can also offer the possibility for an extra design feature, as seen here in the Frisée stool.
However, it is also possible, and more common with counters, to get stools without a back. This can be a more practical space-saving option and also much easier to get on and off as you do not need to pull it out from the bar/counter.
Bar stools without backs can be equally as stylish and should not be overlooked. They can even offer the opportunity for more architectural and abstract designs with shape experimentation (see Momenta bar stool.)
The possibility for bars to have, or not have, armrests is also an option, and is most clearly showcased in the vast Mani collection.
Interior vs Exterior
We must not forget the vast collection of exterior bar stools that we have to offer. With outdoor locations becoming more popular our outdoor stools could not be more appropriate.
Many of them come with weather-resistant finishes and drainage features as well as being available in a huge array of bright and neutral colours to suit any venue. They are often lightweight and stackable though can also come in feature designs that are more abstract.