Often in home furnishing, it’s the items least expected to be hard to purchase that turn out to be the most difficult, and the humble kitchen stool is one of these elusive furniture items. Choosing the right kitchen stool can be tricky - you want to strike the balance between aesthetics and functionality. You want something on-trend yet timeless, and you need something hard-wearing but statement-making. It's quite the list for something that's as simple as a stool. We've got the insider tips that will help you find those perfect stools for your kitchen.
1. MEASURE UP
Calculating the height and depth of any kitchen stool in relation to bench height is critical. Consider how the stools will sit under the bench when not in use and how much space you would like to have around each stool. Do the legs pose a trip hazard when sticking out from under the counter? What is the footprint of the stool in comparison to the space you have? Being sure of these measurements and considerations will help you to narrow down the search on what size stool you are ideally looking for.
2. THE RIGHT HEIGHT
The average Australian bench height is 900mm so as a general rule of thumb, stool height should ideally sit between 620-690mm high to allow room for someone's legs to fit spaciously under the bench. A stool of this height is perfect for adults whose feet can usually rest on the floor when perched meaning an easy transition on and off the stool. You don’t want to use stools much higher than this, as no one wants to climb to their breakfast seat!
3. CONSIDER FABRIC PROTECTION AND UPHOLSTERY
Just like when selecting dining chairs this consideration causes the ultimate conundrum for so many. If you have a young family and the stools are likely to be used by small children for years to come, it is best to avoid fabric upholstery and cane styles, and instead look for something durable and easy to clean such as moulded polypropylene, metal or wood. If you can't resist fabric-covered stools then always coat them with some scotch guard to help with cleaning down the track. Leather stools are always popular and if you choose to go down this path it is wise to wipe your stools over with leather conditioner at least once a month to ensure they remain supple and stain free.
4. THE NOISE FACTOR
It has to be one of the most notorious noises, stool legs scraping on wooden floorboards or concrete or tiled floors. It's horrible, not to mention incredibly damaging to your flooring. Sometimes you will find that even stools with protective rubber feet can make this noise and cause just as much chaos to your flooring, so be aware of this when selecting your stools and give them a test run to determine if you will have to add felt stripping to the bottom of them. It may sound like a minor detail but it is one that is important as the noise and damage is enough to drive you crazy.
5. FEATURE PIECE
If you have a more minimally designed kitchen then your bar stools can be a fabulous way to add some texture, colour and personality into the space. Materials like stone, timber, wicker and leather can add warmth and a natural element to an otherwise stark kitchen and can complement other natural finishes in the home for added continuity and cohesiveness. Likewise, if you have a more classic wooden style kitchen, try juxtaposing this look with metal, polypropylene or combination style stools to add interest and contrast to your space.
6. MIX AND MATCH
If matchy-matchy isn’t your thing why not experiment with a few different styles of stool! The key to this look is to keep one element similar in all of the stools. For instance, you could use all wooden stools in varied styles and tones, perhaps you could use all the same stool in an array of different colours or you could use same coloured stools in an array of different styles and finishes. As long as you keep cohesion within your mix match collection then the results should always be gorgeous.