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Last updated on May 9th, 2023 at 08:05 am
What To Look For In A Kitchen Island Chair
Wondering how to pick a chair for your kitchen island? Well, look no further because I have your answer!
When choosing a kitchen island stool, look for a stool with a back and footrest that swivels and complements the design theme of your kitchen. Choose a material that is easy to clean and comfortable to sit in for long periods of time.
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s break into the details further so you can easily choose a barstool for your kitchen island.
Let’s dive in!
Quick Navigation: How To Pick Kitchen Island Stools
- Choose The Features Of The Stool
- Choose The Material Of The Stool
- Choose The Color Of The Stool
- Choose The Height Of The Stool
- Choose The Number Of Stools
- Other FAQs About Kitchen Island Barstools
- Final Thoughts
- Related Kitchen Island Articles
Step One: Choose The Features Of The Stool
The first step to choosing a barstool for a kitchen island is to determine what features you want the stool to have.
Some of the most common features you can choose from on a barstool are:
- Has a back
- Can be adjusted up and down
- Has a footrest
There are some pros and cons to each feature. For example:
|Backrest||Stools that have backs are the most comfortable to sit in for long periods of time because your back can rest against them||The backs can sit above the top of the island and cut off some of the views across from them|
|Swivels||Stools that swivel are much easier to sit down in and stand up from||The swiveling feature adds more to the cost of the chair|
|Can be adjusted up and down (with lever)||Stools that have a lever that lets you adjust them up and down can make the chair the perfect height for each individual that sits in it (Plus you don’t have to worry about whether your island is bar height or counter height because the chair can adjust to either)||If the chair is of cheaper quality, this feature is one of the first things to break and render the chair useless (because it will be too tall or too low). And this feature usually makes the barstool more expensive|
|Footrest||Stools that have a footrest are also the most comfortable to sit in for long periods of time because your feet naturally want to rest on something a little higher than the ground||Most stools come with a footrest, so there aren’t any cons to this feature|
If the chairs are going to be sat in regularly for meal times or when guests come over, then I highly recommend spending the money on a barstool that at least has a back and a footrest.
Those two features in a barstool are going to be the most comfortable to use and will still give you options for more budget-friendly chairs.
(And if it’s doable, opt for a swiveling one as well because that is a really nice feature to get in and out of the chair. Some chairs will have this feature too and still, be relatively low-priced compared to others.)
Step Two: Choose The Material
The next step to choosing a barstool for a kitchen island is to decide the material of the chair you like the looks of best.
Some of the types of materials your barstool can be made out of are:
- A combination of any of the above
First, look at the design theme currently in your kitchen (or if you are remodeling, look at the theme you are changing to). Then choose a barstool that complements that design theme.
For example, if your kitchen design theme is:
- Farmhouse style – opt for wood or steel barstools
- Industrial style – opt for steel or faux-leather barstools
- Boho style – opt for wood or wicker/rattan barstools
- Modern/Contemporary style – opt for wood or faux-leather barstools
- Traditional style – opt for upholstered or faux-leather barstools
If you aren’t sure what style your kitchen is, then stick to the modern/contemporary or traditional styles for your barstools.
Related Kitchen Island Articles
- How To Choose Pendant Lights For A Kitchen Island (Picture Guide!)
- What To Put On A Kitchen Island For Decoration (30 Items To Choose From)
- The Best Cabinet Hardware Colors For Every Color Cabinet (White, Gray, Honey Oak, Cherry, & More) [COMING SOON]
Step Three: Choose The Color Of The Stool
The next step in choosing a barstool for a kitchen island is to decide on a color.
To choose a barstool color, you’ve got two options. Choose a color that is:
- Contrasting to your kitchen island cabinets
- Complementing or blending into your kitchen island cabinets
Choosing a Kitchen Island Chair Color That Is Contrasting To The Cabinets
If you want your barstools to stand out and be a statement piece, then choose a color that is opposite the island cabinets.
This color selection can be a great option if your kitchen is mostly one color (such as all-white) and you are looking for something to add a little color and pizzazz to the room.
For kitchen cabinets that are:
- White – choose black, gray, wood-colored, any color that is on the darker side
- Black – choose white, gray, light-wood-colored, tan/beige, any color that is on the lighter side
- Gray – choose white, black, any wood color
- Honey oak – choose black
- Cherry – choose white
- Brown – choose beige or white
- A dark color – choose a light color or white
- A light color – choose a dark color or black
Also, choosing barstools that have a funky design to them or bold textures (such as wicker/rattan or upholstered) can help them stand out against your kitchen island.
Choosing a Kitchen Island Chair Color That Is Complementing Or Blending Into The Cabinets
If you want your barstools to blend in with your island because you already have a statement piece (such as a bold backsplash or range hood) behind it, then choose a color that is close to the island cabinets.
This color selection can be a great option if your kitchen has two bold colors (such as a black-and-white kitchen) and you already have a lot of contrast in the room.
For kitchen cabinets that are:
- White – choose white, gray, light-wood-colored, tan/beige, any color that is on the lighter side
- Black – choose black, dark-gray, dark-wood-colored, any color that is on the darker side
- Gray – choose gray or a gray-toned-wood color
- Honey oak – choose honey oak, white or a light color
- Cherry – choose cherry, black, or a dark color
- Brown – choose brown or black
- A dark color – choose a dark color or black
- A light color – choose a light color or white
Also, choosing barstools that have a simple design to them can help them to blend in with your kitchen island.
If you haven’t yet, this step is where I recommend pulling up Pinterest or Google and looking for photo inspiration. While you are looking at pictures, try to find kitchens that are a similar color scheme so you can see the colors of the barstools they are using.
Step Four: Choose The Height Of The Stool
The next step to choosing a barstool for a kitchen island is to determine the height of the stool.
There are three stool height options to choose from:
- Bar height
- Countertop height
- Adjustable height with a lever
As a general rule of thumb, if your kitchen island is counter height (36 inches tall), then choose counter height barstools. And if your kitchen island is bar height (42 inches tall), then choose bar height barstools.
If you have an island height that is some other random height, then choose the adjustable height barstool so you don’t have to worry about it.
I have an article on whether kitchen islands should be counter height or bar height (if you are in the process of building a new kitchen island) that you can check out here.
Step Five: Choose The Number Of Stools
The final step to choosing a barstool for a kitchen island is to decide on the number of stools you need.
The general rule of thumb for the number of barstools at a kitchen island is to use as many barstools as you can fit at your island that still allows for 24 inches of space per seat.
Here are some examples for various kitchen island sizes:
|Island Size||Number Of Stools|
|144 inches long (12 ft)||6 stools (or 7 stools if six are on the back and one is on the end)|
|120 inches long (10 ft)||5 stools (or 6 stools if five are on the back and one is on the end)|
|96 inches long (8 ft)||4 stools (or 5 stools if four are on the back and one is on the end)|
|72 inches long (6 ft)||3 stools (or 4 stools if three are on the back and one is on the end)|
|48 inches long (4 ft)||2 stools (or 3 stools if two are on the back and one is on the end)|
Other FAQs About Kitchen Island Barstools
Here are some other frequently asked questions about barstools to help you choose the best one for your kitchen island!
How Many Stools Should You Have At A Kitchen Island?
Kitchen islands should have as many barstools as you can fit and still have 24 inches of space between each seat. It is common to fit 3-4 stools at a kitchen island that is 6 feet wide (3 chairs on the back and one on the end).
What Is The Best Height Stool For A Kitchen Island?
Most kitchen islands are counter height (36 inches) so a chair that is 24 inches tall (from seat to floor) is best to provide ample leg room. But if the kitchen island is bar height (42 inches) then a 30 inch tall chair (from seat to floor) is best.
What Style Of Barstool Is More Comfortable?
A barstool with a back and a footrest is most comfortable to sit at for long periods of time. A barstool that can swivel is also more comfortable to get into and out of.
Final Thoughts On Kitchen Island Barstools
There you have it!
If you filter your searches based on the choices you made above, you should be able to narrow down your selection to 3-4 barstool choices that would work best in your kitchen.
If you are still struggling to decide, then find a photo on Pinterest or Google that speaks to you and try to emulate that into your kitchen. No point in reinventing the wheel when someone else has already figured it out!
Hopefully, this guide gives you some insight on what features, colors, and styles you might want in a barstool.
Catch you in my next post!
The Best Kitchen Tools & Products I’ve Reviewed
Ravinte Cabinet Handle Installation Template (For Doors & Drawers)
This is my all-time favorite handle installation template because it has two templates (one for drawers and one for doors) with multiple pull sizes & knob placements! These templates make installing cabinet handles a breeze because you always know your handles will be installed in the same spot on all of your drawers and doors. The kit also comes with a drill bit so you can guarantee you’re using the correct size. I used this template on my entire kitchen and both bathrooms to cut the installation time in half. You can find this hardware template here on Amazon.
Franklin Brass 5-1/16 Inch (128mm) Center Bar Pull (Stainless Steel)
If you want to immediately modernize your kitchen island, then these cabinet pulls are a must. They are heavy-duty feeling, durable, easy to install, and are a large size for a great price. We put these pulls on all of our kitchen and island doors and drawers along with our bathroom doors and drawers. You can find these gorgeous cabinet pulls here on Amazon.
P.S. Use the hardware installation template I mentioned above to install these new pulls in record time!
Related Kitchen Island Articles
How To Choose Stools For A Kitchen Island (5 Things To Consider)
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