top of page

Shopping for Family Friendly Bar Stools

Barstools are almost always a part of every kitchen design project. There's just something about sitting around the kitchen island with family and friends. I dare say it's the most popular spot in the house! To begin the process, you first need to know what height stool you need, counter height or bar height? If you have a 36'" single height island or countertop you need counter height and if you have a raised bar usually 42" you need bar height. That's the easy part! Here a few more decisions to think about:

Do you have young children?

If you are shopping for stools and have young children, you will want to take into account safety, durability and ease of use. And you may want to consider these aspects no matter what age your family members are. You need stools that everyone can manage and that are easily cleanable.

Do you prefer stools with or without arms?

Some people only want stools with arms because they find them more comfortable. They can be tricky to squeeze in and out of however unless they swivel. Some stools have a cut back or lower arm to help with this. If you have young kids, you might prefer arms to keep them from climbing into the stools and/or from accidentally falling out while sitting in them.

Joss & Main Bungalo Bar Stool

Do you want stationary or swivel?

That is a loaded question and the answers run the gamete! It's a unique blend of style vs function for most mamas. For me it all depends on the design! Here is a swivel stool that I love from Ballard Designs with a custom Sunbrella performance fabric. I like the fact there is low back support and when putting 3 or 4 together they won't take over the room. Also comes with a brass kick plate for foot rest durability.

Ballard Designs Millie Barstool in Lucinda Lynx Teal Fabric

Do you like fabric, leather or synthetic?

Ease of cleaning and comfort are both big factors when it comes to selecting family friendly bar stools. If fabric is your choice, look for stain resistance or be sure to treat with Scotchguard and consider removable slipcovers. Polypropelene or indoor outdoor materials are always a great choice for easy cleaning but may not feel as comfortable as fabric or leather. Leather is going to be cost more but will last longer and spills are a cinch to wipe off. Love this stool to the right!

Crate and Barrel Leather Stool

Lastly, how about backs?

That is the question, right?! Most hubbies prefer them and I get it. The key is to select stools that are in proportion to your kitchen. Also consider how many stools you will be using. These woven bamboo stool knock offs from a higher end company (which I love btw!) don't feel too heavy and weighted which I like.

Joss and Main Alstead Bar & Counter Stool

Who knew there was so much to think about when buying bar stools! Hope these questions get some lively conversations going in your household and you can find one that checks most of the boxes between style and function :) We'll be talking bar stools this week in my FB group so head on over and check it out.

If you haven't heard my new FB group Kitchen, Baths and Mudrooms by Design is growing! Each week I solve one member's design challenge on a FB live for the whole group to see. Click the link to join today and submit your questions!

If you are working on designing your own kitchen grab my Free Guide while it's available! Happy weekend :)


Recent Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page