Kitchen counter stools come in a selection of materials and styles. Here are some key features you might see in our selection.
The two most common materials for wooden bar stools are oak and pine. So, what’s the difference between these two popular woods?
- Pine is a cheaper wood that comes in a wide range of finishes, from its natural yellow colour, brought out by a clear lacquer, to darker stains and painted finishes. Pine also weighs less, making pine bar stools easier to move and lift. Don’t let its price or its weight fool you, however: it’s an extremely resilient material.
- Oak bar stools are heavier than pine stools but have a gorgeous woodgrain, as you can see from our Winchester stool. Oiled, hand waxed and clear finishes are the best way to showcase this remarkable feature.
Seats are available with a wooden or upholstered seat, but can also come fully upholstered.
Wooden seats are generally slightly cheaper than upholstered seats. In spite of having no padding, they can still be deceptively comfortable, and work best for rustic style kitchens.
Kitchen stools with upholstered seats provide extra comfort and can add a touch of colour or interest to your dining room, depending on the material you choose.
Full upholstered stools
Fully upholstered bar stool chairs have a padded back and seat, making them very comfortable. In general, they look more formal than other styles.
Kitchen stools can be upholstered in a variety of materials. Each of these materials brings its own benefits to the table.
- Fabric seats are a cheaper type of seat which suit casual style kitchens perfectly, providing a comfy, homely feel. Since fabrics come in a variety of colours, and are available plain or patterned, you can style them to match the rest of your colour scheme. Fabric requires a little extra maintenance when spills occur, however, so bear this in mind when making your selection.
- Though leather is a pricier option, its sleek and classy appearance makes it worth the extra expense. Plus it’s easy to clean: wipe up crumbs and spills without breaking a sweat.
- Polyurethane (PU) or leather look counter stools are popular for a reason. They’re as smart and low maintenance as leather but with the price tag of fabric – the best of both worlds! Our Winchester stool comes with a brown or black leather look seat.
We’ve all tried to lean back on a bar stool, only to discover they’re nothing there to support us! That’s why bar stools with backs are a safer choice than those without. Not to mention, they’re a great opportunity to add more style to your kitchen.
There are plenty of back styles available, but here are some of the most common.
- Solid backs feature a solid piece of wood which can be shaped to achieve different looks. These backs are more commonly seen on modern style kitchen stools, with modern retro styles favouring oval back designs.
- A ladder back is a simple, classic style. True to its name, the back resembles a ladder, with several pieces of wood running horizontally like ladder rungs. This style dates all the way back to the Middle Ages and remains extremely popular, suiting contemporary and rustic settings with ease.
- Slat backs like the Durham include vertical slats which run from the top to the bottom of the back rest. A timeless classic, it’s a versatile design that works brilliantly for casual style dining.
- Cross backs have an X style back which brings charm and contemporary appeal to any room. In particular, they are a fitting addition to a farmhouse style kitchen.
- Splat backs are another traditional style back which can feel more formal than ladder or slat backs. The centrepiece, the splat, is a vertical piece of wood that runs down the middle of the backrest. Splat designs range from simple to highly decorative, but all add a splash of sophistication to your furnishings.
Stretchers are pieces of wood near the bottom of counter stools that connect one leg to another. Stretchers are not just a decorative feature, however. They’re also very practical for several reasons.
- They give the bar stool additional strength – always a good thing when you’re further from the ground!
- They’re a good place to rest your feet.
- They’re a useful foothold for climbing up onto or down from the stool.
A little feature, but an important one nonetheless!
Shop bar stools
Now you know the details, browse our selection of breakfast bar stools and choose the best option for your kitchen.