Choosing the right bar stools for your kitchen

Wooden breakfast bar with rustic wood bar stools

Here we have a look at what to watch out for when buying new bar stools for your kitchen. There are three main things to consider – stool height, usage and style/ colour.

Wooden kitchen island with three wooden bar stools

Getting the dimensions right

The height obviously depends on the height of what you are going to sit at. But – an important reminder – bar chairs are generally a little taller than countertop stools. So if your kitchen island surface is the same height as your kitchen worksurface (90-95cm) you will be looking for a seat height between 60-75cm. If you have a high bar-style breakfast bar (101-106cm) then you will be wanting a seat height of 75cm and above. The Oakley brown leather barstool is a great choice as the height is adjustable – great for in the kitchen – but also won’t look out of place at a reclaimed wood dining table if you need to add an extra seat when entertaining.

White wooden bar stool under white kitchen island with brown marble top

Ideally, you want a minimum of 15 cm space in between the bar stools, this should give you plenty of space to eat, drink and turn without disrupting others sitting with you. You also should consider how much legroom will be needed and if you have the space for the stools if they do not tuck under the surface fully.


This depends on how you will be using this new seating area, if you are adding a place to spend time at – for evening meals and for people to sit for a longer time then bar stools with backs will be way more comfortable. I would also opt for a back if smaller children may be sitting on them so they can’t topple backwards. If however, it will be a spot for a quick breakfast or the occasional snack then you should not really need back on them.

A white wooden bar stool and brown faux leather industrial bar stoolPhoto features from left: Dorset Reclaimed Wood Breakfast Bar Stool and Lansdowne Industrial Faux Leather Bar Stool

Style and colour

With so many styles to choose from this could be a bit of a minefield. Just because you have a light wood kitchen does not mean you have to have light wooden bar stools – you can go for a bold colour to add a modern contrast, use the opportunity to introduce an industrial element or opt for the classic leather bar stools. To bring in a luxurious look then you can opt for a classic velvet button back.

Cut outs of a dark blue velvet bar stool and black velvet stool

Photo features from left: Standford Blue Velvet Bar Stool and Chelsea Black Velvet Bar Stool

Adding a bar table

If you love the idea of a kitchen island, but lack the space then the Standford industrial reclaimed wood bar table is a great choice. Available in large for four stools and small for two stools, this can be styled with a whole array of faux leather barstools that will match or add contrast to your kitchen.

Industrial bar table in reclaimed wood with blue faux leather bar stools