The Right Height: How to Choose the Best Bar Stool Height For Your Kitchen
Season after season, bar stools are some of Gabby’s bestselling seats. There’s no mistaking these purchasing trends; counter stools and bar stools have become an interior design and kitchen island essential. But choosing the right bar stool height, material, and model isn’t always easy. Use this helpful guide to decide which bar stool height is right for your style and space.
A Better Bar Stool: 3 Elements to Consider
Most modern families gather on the go. With quality time on the line, it’s important that the kitchen feels warm and welcoming without effort. Always consider these three factors before selecting counterside seats.
1. Dimensions: Take precise measurements, and follow the guidelines for spacing and sizing.
2. Style: Specialty seating should complement your decor. Search for materials and styles that mirror existing finishes and enhance the overall design.
3. Function: Consider weight, composition, and important design elements like swivels, arms, and back support.
Standard Seat Measurements
Barstool vs. Counter Stool.
Standard Counter Height: 36” Standard Bar Height: 42”
Standard Counter Stool Height: 24”-26” Standard Barstool Height: 30”-32”
Surface length will dictate how many stools can comfortably sit side-by-side. Each bar stool should have 21”-24” of space. To calculate the ideal number of stools, measure the total length of your counter or kitchen island, then divide this number by the amount of space you would like to reserve for each seat.
Expert Tip: Don’t forget about legroom! Surface height should be 10”-12” higher than your seating.
Professional Opinion: Bar Stool Styling Advice from An Interior Designer
Dominique DeLaney, interior designer and lifestyle blogger behind Comfy Cozy Couture, offers her guidance for selecting counter stools and bar stools perfect for your space.
Gabby: What is the most important element(s) of a well-designed barstool?
DD: This all depends on the client. I always ask my clients how they intend to use the space and
what is most important to them. If it’s comfort, I would choose an upholstered bar stool with a broader
back and deep seating. If it is durability then a wood/metal bar stool or one with an indoor/outdoor
fabric that can be wiped down easily would be best. If we are trying to keep the stools discreet or
we are tight on space then I would choose a backless bar stool that can be pushed in and hidden
away under the island.
Gabby: Choosing stools can be tricky…How do you select the right bar stool height?
DD: When measuring, be sure the stools fall around 9-12″ below the bottom of the countertop.
“Counter height” stools are made to fit a standard 36″ counter height and “bar height” stools are
made for a raised 42″ high bar area. Also, every bar stool should have a minimum of 21-24″ of
space dedicated to it, and for even more comfort you can allow up to 28″. This ensures that you
or your guests won’t be bumping elbows while you are eating and drinking!
Gabby: What is your favorite style in the Gabby barstool collection? Why does this piece
appeal to you?
DD: My current favorite is the Flynn counter stool. The antique gold “X” design juxtaposed with
the lucite is the perfect detail that is subtle yet still giving that open, airy feel. The upholstered
leather seat cushion makes these kid friendly as you can easily clean up any messes or spills!
Gabby’s Most Popular Bar Stools
The Clear Choice: Glittering gold and bright lucite are always a winning combo for bar stools. Gabby’s King, Johnson and Angela bar stools’ standout feature are the sculpted metal legs, and a clear acrylic body that facilitates the flow of natural light. Available in gold, antique silver & bronze.
Backless Beauty: Easy to tuck out of sight, the Vivian counter and bar height stool from Gabby was designed with comfort and durability in mind. Topped with Sunbrella Linen Dove fabric and finished with a cerused oak base, creating a vintage-inspired appearance.
Tailored & Traditional: The Winston bar stool offers timeless style and sturdy support. The upholstered
body features gently sloping arms and classic nailhead trim.