Bar Furniture Buying Guide
by Stephanie Petersen
Published April 28, 2010 | Updated February 18, 2015
You may love to invite friends for martinis, or you may be having over the guys for the big game. You might need kitchen stools, so you can use a counter as a breakfast bar. Or you may be adding a dining area to a part of your house you didn't think was going to be usable before. If you love to entertain, you know you need a home bar. How far you take it is up to you. The home bar furniture you choose should reflect your style and show your guests that they are welcome in your home. Here are tips to help you buy the right home bar furniture for you.
How to Choose Bar Stools
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- Consider the height of the table or counter where they will be used.
To know for sure what height you need, find barstools that would allow for about 9 to 12 inches between the top of the seat and the counter or table top.
- Bar Stool Heights
Bar stools that are 18 inches are used at a vanity or dressing table. This is also the height at slot machines, in case you decide to add one of those to your home bar.
Counter height stools are 24 to 26 inches tall. Use these at kitchen counters which are 36 to 39 inches high.
Bar height stools have seats that are about 26 to 31 inches tall. These will fit at bars, counters, and bar tables that are 40 to 45 inches tall.
Taller stools can be up to about 36 inches high, but these are usually custom stools, so you probably won't see many of these available.
- Determine how many you will need.
If you are unsure how many stools you should have around your bar table or at your counter, measure the total length. You'll want 21 to 24 inches per stool, depending on how wide each one is. Most pub tables fit four people, one person on each side, but you may be able to fit a bigger crowd at a counter.
- Consider the comfort level you want.
If you plan on hanging out in your home bar for a while, you may want something upholstered, such as leather bar stools. Swivel bar stools can be easy to get in and out of in smaller spaces. Also, a stool with a higher back may make the time spent in your home bar more enjoyable.
- Add your style.
If you'll just be using the stools for a few drinks and a little conversation, comfort isn't as big of a factor, so you can focus on style. Most of the time, you'll see the back of your bar stools, so choose something that has a rear view you like. Retro bar stools in brightly colored vinyl will give your home bar a whimsical feel -- like a burger joint or an ice cream parlor. Wood bar stools can feel traditional or casual, depending on the type of wood and whether or not the seat is upholstered. Sleek metal bar stools with low backs can turn your home bar into a swanky hangout.
How to Choose Bar Tables
- The main difference between a bar table and a dining table is the size.
When it comes to height, the average bar table height is about 42 inches tall, whereas dining tables are about 30 inches. Typically, bar tables have a smaller width than dining tables. Otherwise, you can shop for a bar table the same way you shop for a dining table. Read our dining table buying guide to learn more.
- Keep it simple and shop for a bar set.
If you are starting from scratch and want to ensure that your bar stools and table will be the right height for each other, shop for pub sets. The size and the style will already be coordinated, and all you'll have to do is set them up and invite over your friends.