Counter stools for every kitchen and home bar

If you're lucky enough to have a kitchen island counter or breakfast bar, you probably already know how fun and functional the space can be! But in order to get the best use from your counter, make sure you choose the best kitchen counter bar stools.

Appearance Is Everything

The most noticeable aspect of your kitchen counter stools is their appearance, so pick your material and fabric wisely.

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Wood is traditional and functional and generally blends into the rest of the kitchen environment. Metal is more modern, but can seem cold and sterile.

Whichever material you choose, keep the frame simple so that it will stand the test of time (and redecorating). For a splash of color, top the frame with a bold cushion; it will add warmth and comfort, and you can easily switch out the cushions when you get sick of the hue or pattern.

Swivel Stools: To Spin or Not to Spin?

Swivel stools are convenient, especially if your kitchen flows into another open area. People can turn to face other people or watch TV without having to reposition their chairs, which not only makes life easier for them but also saves wear and tear on your floor.

Most stool designs are available in a swivel model, though it may be slightly more expensive.

Back It Up – or Not

If you'd like your stools to be a little less obvious and a little more out-of-the-way, consider backless stools. Backless stools are perfect if you only use your kitchen island counter for quick tasks, such as grabbing a snack or opening your mail. They provide a spot to rest but can be tucked under the counter lip when not needed. However, these stools won't be comfortable for longer periods of time, so if you want a place for guests to hang out or you plan to use your counter bar for full meals, opt for stools with backs.

Armed and Ready

As with backs, whether or not your stools need arms is best determined by how often and for how long you intend them to be used. Kitchen stools with arms are more comfortable and secure than those without, but arms are rather awkward and bulky, and they can make getting onto the stool difficult for children or older people.