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Pull Up a Seat! Counter Stools 101

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Selecting the perfect stools for your kitchen bar or counter space can be a lot trickier than you imagine. So many questions... Round or square? Swivel or stationary? Back or backless? So, I decided to put together a few things I've learned to consider when finding the right stools for your space. Plus, here are some of my favorites!


The very first thing you need to consider is the height of your countertop. Do you need a bar height stool or counter height stool? The distance from seat to countertop is important, I usually aim for about 10-11 inches. If your counter is 36 inches high, you will need a counter height stool that's seat is about 25 inches high. For a 42-inch high counter, you'll need a bar height stool, with a seat at about 31 inches tall.

I love these white metal stools from Target we just got for our kitchen counter!

The next important thing to consider is spacing. You should aim for about 28 inches from the middle of one stool to the middle of the next. Measure the length of your counter and then divide that by 28 and that will give you the correct number of stools to order for your space. If you have a tighter space round stools take up a little less space than square ones.

Next Questions… Back or backless? Footrest or not? A backless stool may look sleeker and less bulky, but if you're going to use the stools regularly you'll probably be happier with a backrest. The grey mid century style counter stools I used for my client in La Jolla are one of my favorites from EuroStyle and I love the low back which allows support but you can still see through to the dining space. A footrest is another thing to consider for comfort, if you plan to use your stools for longer periods of time or for eating a footrest would be a good idea.


Lastly, think about everyone in the family. If you have children, you might want to get adjustable-height stools so they can reach the counter to eat and do their homework. It may mean their feet don't reach the footrest, but kids are used to dangling, so it doesn't bother them. It's more important that the seat is close enough to the counter top. Also consider the material. We choose these plastic counter stools by CB2 for my client with 3 kids so they could easily be wiped down and not get stained! 

XO, Dani

Originally posted on Jun 3 2019

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