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The Complete Guide to Bar and Counter Height Stools

Whether you’ve moved into a home with an eat-in kitchen or you’ve built a bar into a family room, finding the right bar or counter stools is absolutely essential when creating your dining room checklist. In a small space, a counter may be your only formal eating space. For others, it may simply be a more casual dining location. But either way, it’s important to find the right seating for this area to make it function at its best!

Feel a little lost when it comes to picking out bar or counter-height stools for your space? Keep reading for our complete bar stool guide. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about bar-height and counter stools to make sure you end up with the perfect seating at your counter!

bar stools guide

Bar vs. Counter-Height Stools

When looking at bar and counter seating options, you first want to consider the height of your bar or counter. And it’s important to note that bar-height and counter-height stools are seats of two different sizes—not two names for the same thing.

Counter-height seating is made for a traditional counter-height surface that’s about 35-37 inches high. The seat height of counter-height stools ranges from 23-27 inches high.

Meanwhile, bar stools are a bit taller. Bar-height counters sit at 41-43 inches high, so bar stool heights range from 28-33 inches high, from floor to seat. Bar-height counters in kitchens also tend to have a raised section, so there are two different counter heights. So, make sure to measure from the higher section, where you’ll put seating, and not from the prep and serving area!

To double-check that the stools are the right height, measure from where the top of the seat will be, up to the bottom of the counter. There should be at least 10 inches of clearance between the two surfaces, but no more than 15 inches, in order to create a comfortable amount of legroom. If you don’t have enough space between the two, your legs may not be able to fit underneath the counter. Too much space, and you’ll feel like a child trying to sit at the grown-up table, with the counter hitting your chest height rather than mid-torso!

Key Features of Bar and Counter Stools

Once all your measurements have been made and you know what height of stool you need, you can start thinking about style. When choosing bar stools and counter stools, there are a few key features to consider. What you choose depends completely on your personal preferences in terms of look, style, and comfort.

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Backless

Bar and counter stools either have a back (like a regular dining chair) or are backless. Backless stools are great if you have a smaller space since they can tuck fully underneath the counter and won’t take up extra floor space when not in use. However, they are less comfortable to sit on for longer periods of time. So, if a counter is your only dining space, a backless stool might not provide the posture support you need. Stools with backs come in a few shapes and styles. Some have lower backs, only offering lumbar support, while others have full, high backs similar to dining chairs.

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Arm Rests

Like dining chairs, stools come with and without armrests—and whatever option you choose is really just a matter of personal preference. As you might guess, armrests are only available on stools with backs. Armrests tend to give a more formal vibe to your space and will provide additional comfort when you’re sitting for long periods of time. However, they do make sliding on and off your stool a bit more difficult—so stools with armrests are not great for tight spaces!

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Swivel

Swiveling seats are a very common bar stool feature! A swivel simply means that the seat twists all the way around—but the stool legs remain stationary. Swivel bar stools are great if you have an open kitchen/dining/living space, as it allows people to turn and face other parts of the room, interacting with people at the dining table or on the sofa. This lets your space become a bit more dynamic, as you can have more seats while entertaining but people can easily socialize from different seating areas.

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Foot Rests

Don’t like when your feet dangle? Consider a stool with a built-in footrest. Some stools even have multiple bars to accommodate people of different heights, which is a great feature if you have a variety of different people using them. Other stools that don’t have “official” footrests do have a horizontal bar that can certainly be used as a footrest. Having this feature will keep you more comfortable, especially when sitting for a longer period of time.

Stackable

Though not as common, some stools are stackable, so they easily nestle into each other. This is a great option if you don’t use your stools year-round and want to make them easy to store away at the end of the season—a great consideration for outdoor bar areas!

Read Next: Our dining table guide will walk you through all the shapes, sizes, and materials to consider for your dining room table.

Styles + Materials

Once you land on the features that are important to you, consider the style and material of your stools, since this will help drive home the overall design style of your space. While it’s not a one-to-one guide, since bar stools and counter stools have some different styles than regular dining chairs, you can check out our guide to the different types of dining chairs to get a feel for the different styles out there.

But you don’t just want to pick a material that goes with your design style—you also want to consider your lifestyle needs and what materials are most conducive to it. Overall, it’s important to think about comfort, cleanability, durability, and overall style when choosing the right material for your space. For example, upholstered stools will be more comfortable but can be more prone to stains. Metal is less comfortable to sit on for long periods of time but is super durable and easy to clean!

To help you find the right material for your stools, we’ve rounded up some of the most common materials below!

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Metal

As we just mentioned, metal may not be your most comfortable bar stool option, but this is a very easy-to-clean and durable material—making it a great choice for households with kids! Stylistically, metal stools can suit industrial and Modern Farmhouse spaces.

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Wood

A very durable material, wood one of the most popular choices for bar stools. And, depending on the stain or finish, they can really range in style based. A lighter, more natural finish suits a coastal, rustic, or Scandinavian-style space, while a white wood stool might feel more cottage-inspired, and a dark stain will take on a more traditional vibe. Wooden stools are crafted in so many different shapes and styles, too, which has a huge impact on the style of space in which they can work. Since this is a harder material, some people opt to add a cushion to wooden bar stools for added comfort.

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Rattan

A bar stool made of rattan can give a coastal, bohemian, or Parisian chic vibe to your space. Lightweight but sturdy, this material holds up well over time when properly taken care of. It can also be used outdoors when weather-treated, so this is a good material for outdoor dining sets.

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Upholstered

An upholstered bar stool will have a more formal vibe and give your counter a pulled-together look. And, with a bit of cushioning, they’re one of the more comfortable materials for a bar stool! Often upholstered stools will have backs as well, further adding to the comfort factor. However, this material is prone to stains and is more difficult to clean, so it’s not ideal for households with children or large pets! Upholstered stools perfectly suit paces with classic and transitional styles.

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Acrylic

If you have a small, tight space, acrylic bar stools are worth considering. This clear material doesn’t add any visual clutter to your counter area, and it’s also very easy to clean! However, it’s not the most comfortable material to sit on for long periods of time. This material is perfect for glam and modern spaces.

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Leather

Leather bar stools can add some great style to your dining space. Whether you opt for lighter or dark leather, this material adds a touch of sophistication while also feeling very down-to-earth. Typically, leather stools will have metal legs, giving them a sleeker, more minimal look. And, while leather isn’t the easiest material to clean, it ages well—transforming scratches, scuffs, and minor spills into a beautiful patina! This material can suit mid-century, industrial, and rustic spaces.

Want a little more info on each of these stool materials? Check out our guide to dining chair materials to learn more about the pros and cons of each of these materials.

Once everything is measured, and you’ve considered what materials and features you’d like your bar stools to have, you’ll also want to consider spacing. Similar to how you’d space chairs around a dining room table, you want to give the stools ample breathing room so that people aren’t knocking elbows while eating or drinking. Leaving 12-18 inches between stools will give everyone enough space to comfortably sit, eat, and drink. Knowing spacing will also help you know how many bar stools to purchase! After that? All that’s left to do is pull up your stool and enjoy some delicious food and drinks!

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Not Sure What To Do With the Space Above Your Bed? No Problem.

bedroom wall decor

When it comes to affordable and stylish ideas for bedrooms, you can’t beat the colorful and instant impact of some thoughtfully curated wall art. We like to think of art, whether it’s above your bed frame or alongside it, as jewelry for the bedroom. It’s the decorative accessory that can truly brighten up your sleep space and add a pop of personality.

The big question with art, as with all home decor, is what should you hang in your bedroom? Are there art options other than paintings and photos that can work in the bedroom? And what’s the best way to fill an empty wall space?

To help you answer all those questions, we’ve rounded up 10 inspiring bedroom wall decor ideas that are stylish, budget-friendly, and easy to pull off. We’ve also included some quick tips for how to make wall art work in your space. Find it all below!

bedroom wall decor1. Hang A Statement Mirror

Among bedroom wall decor ideas, hanging an oversized mirror above your bed is guaranteed to add major bold appeal. It creates a dazzling focal point and it reflects light and will open up your space to make it feel larger and airier, no matter the style or size of your room.

We’re fans of this master bedroom that captures our idea of livable elegance, with its pops of pink and blue and it’s clean and cozy vibe. Try this light, pastel approach at home by keeping to a soft color palette and offsetting it with crisp whites.

Combine it all with a uniquely shaped mirror that’s visually interesting and has a bit of sculptural flair. It will serve as an eye-catching, functional piece of wall art that works nicely with the soft hues.

bedroom wall decor2. Show Off Your Collections

In small bedrooms where floor space is limited, think vertical. The wall area above and around your bed is the perfect spot for hanging art and a shelf that showcases your favorite objects, whether it’s a set of art prints or photographs and memorabilia from your travels.

Take a cue from this rustic-industrial modern bedroom, where wall shelving and matching mini gallery wall add function and warmth to the bed corner. It’s probably one of the coziest bedroom wall decor ideas we’ve seen. (Fair warning: It’s probably best for those of you who don’t live in earthquake zones!) It all goes perfectly with the room’s clean-lined yet earthy mid-century vibe.

If you’re looking to bring this look home, make sure to choose a streamlined shelving piece and keep to neutral art and warm wood tones that are in line with the modern look.

bedroom wall decor3. Get Bold With Color

Take an out-the-box approach to your bedroom wall decor by painting your walls a bold color to stand in as your main visual focus. Use negative space and captivating wall color to add impact and create a backdrop that lets your furniture pieces shine.

In this minimal-industrial master bedroom, the monochromatic blue walls give the room a bold and clean look. The color also helps set off the dark-metal canopy bed and sculptural light fixture, making them showpieces.

To reimagine this look in your own space, consider bold yet soothing wall colors, such as shades of green or neutrals, and pull in furnishings with strong lines that contrast with your walls. It’s a simple way to recreate this cool yet industrial look while still maintaining a cozy and comfy vibe.

bedroom wall decor4. Play Up A Decorative Headboard

Another way to work wall art into your bedroom without going the traditional route? Opt for a large, intricately designed headboard. It’s one of our favorite functional decor ideas for any bedrooms that have high ceilings and not that many wide empty walls for art. It’s also perfect if you want to make a statement without relying on tons of art and wall decor that could look visually cluttered in narrow wall spaces.

When it comes to bedroom ideas that involve headboards, you can go wrong with a decorative boho glam design. There are endless options, from carved styles to ones upholstered with bright global patterns. But all are guaranteed to add artful color and flair to any bedroom.

If you love this glam, boho look above, start by looking for a stylish headboard that has a global aesthetic to it and pair it with a similar palette of light blues, pinks, greens, and reds. Finish with some pretty art and textiles in the same palette, and you’re all set.

bedroom wall decor5. Build Up Bedside Art Moments

If you’re more of a contemporary minimalist but not one that’s all about spare, empty spaces, this one’s for you. Instead of going for big moments above your bed or painting your walls, turn your bedside tables into artful displays. Within our endless bedroom wall decor ideas list, this one is the most practical and affordable for any bedroom, as it makes the most of a space you’ll interact with on a daily basis.

Try hanging abstract art on both sides of your bed to create a symmetrical look and install matching wall lights to add further balance. Sconces can also relieve you from needing table lamps if you want more space on your nightstand to display art or use it to hold books, your phone, jewelry, and other small objects.

We love the clean-lined contemporary look of this bedroom, which is easy to translate into your own home. Just start with neutral pieces that have simple lines but are big on comfort, like a white tufted headboard or a black dresser with gold hardware. Then just layer on your bedside with art and accents that have aspects of those designs and details.

bedroom wall decor6. Make It Easy With a Decorative Tapestry

Among our designers’ favorite wall decor ideas for the bedroom is hanging a distinct textile hanging piece above the bed. This is an easy alternative to bedroom wall art that instantly gives a space a modern boho vibe.

Look for one with a geometric design and minimal colors if you’re going for a more casual but cozy feel, or take it all the way eclectic with a bright tapestry piece that adds impact with color. The idea here is to let your wall hanging be the main focus amid your other furnishings, so try to keep to neutral pieces and light wood tones.

Stylist tip: This is a great hack if your bed frame doesn’t have a headboard. Hanging an oversized tapestry in its place can help visually define the area and give your room a pop of personality!

bedroom wall decor7. Set A Scenic Backdrop

Wallpaper is, without a doubt, the most statement-making approach to wall art in the bedroom. It’s also one of those bedroom wall decor ideas that never goes out of style. If you’re ready to take a bold leap in the wallpaper direction, try starting with a nature-themed covering and using it on the wall behind your bed to create an accent wall that tells a visual story. We especially love it as a dramatic focal point in a small bedroom.

The key to making wallpaper work is lean into its style roots by going for a more eclectic and glam look with your furnishings. Think natural materials, like wood, brass, and marble, along with pieces that have bold dramatic silhouettes and details to them. Finish it all off with plants and greenery that tie back to your nature-themed wallpaper.

bedroom wall decor8. Frame Your Windows

If you have large windows in your bedroom, you might not even need wall art. Instead, place your bed in front of your windows and hang curtains behind to create an illuminated focal point. When it comes to unconventional bedroom wall decor ideas, this is by far our favorite since it’s simple but feels incredibly sophisticated and elevated.

With this layout, you’ll want to keep to a modern classic approach with furnishings, which means tried-and-true pieces that have clean lines and are which are functional, comfortable, and easy to mix-and-match. To really set off your windows, surround it with dark neutrals and earth tones, be it through curtains, an upholstered headboard, a pair of black nightstands, or a mix of dark and light-hued pillows.

9. Consider A Piece of Sculpture

For art that adds depth and shape to your bedroom, hang a big sculpture piece above your bed to make a true statement. It’s one of those bedroom wall decor ideas that’s often overlooked since many people tend to gravitate toward paintings and photographs by default. But an oversized sculpture is great if you’re looking to bring in an unexpected touch.

Look for a large sculptural piece with a captivating design that has bold lines, which will play up the organic modernist look we’ve been seeing all over and loving. But really there are no rules when it comes to picking a wall sculpture for your room, except that it should be big and eye-catching. The idea is that with one big sculptural piece, there’s no need to hang lots of other smaller art pieces.

bedroom wall decor10. Try a Simple Pair of Pendant Art Pieces

Simple and chic, you can’t beat the curated look of a set of art prints from one series. Hang a pair (or a trio or an entire collection of six or eight) over your bed to create a gallery wall focal point that draws attention no matter where you are in the room.

Among our favorite picks are a series of squiggly line drawings or abstract shapes in straightforward primary colors. They’re sure to add a mod and fresh look that’s impactful without overwhelming your space. Be sure you opt for matching frames for your pieces from the same art series. Simple black or wood frames will help continue the understated look. If you’re at a loss for bedroom wall decor ideas, this is one of the easiest ways to work art that looks stylish and purposeful into your space.

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7 Ways to Incorporate Seating Into Your Bedroom

More than just a place to sleep, your bedroom should be a space where you can escape and relax at the end of the day. One great way to make that happen? Incorporating a comfortable place to sit.

But where is the best place to put seating in a bedroom and what kind of seating should you look for?

Every bedroom is different, so we rounded up seven of our favorite ways to incorporate seating in your bedroom. Read on to see which one works for you.

 

Bedroom Seating For the Foot of Your Bed

The foot of your bed is a great place to have a seat. There are several options you can try here, depending on how much space you have to work with.

bedroom seating

Try a Bench

Place a bench at the foot of your bed to create an instant and easy spot to rest.

These make for a convenient perch to put on and take off your shoes and are a perfect catchall for holding bags, clothes, extra pillows and shams from your bed and even stacks of books.

Stylist Tip: Choose a bench that is the same width as your bed or slightly smaller so that it feels like an extension of your bed rather than a piece that overtakes the room.

 

bedroom seating

Try a Pair of Ottomans

If you’re looking for bedroom pieces that feel like less of a spatial commitment, a pair of matching ottomans are a great solution.

Smaller than a bench, ottomans work well in tighter spaces. They are also easy to move around, and can be pulled into other rooms if you need extra seating in a pinch.

Stylist Tip: If you have a small bedroom, look for ottomans with open bases to keep your space looking light and open. Or, if you’re in need of extra storage, try a pair of storage ottomans instead.

 

bedroom seating

Try a Comfy Chair

Bring the comforts of your living room into your bedroom by creating a mini lounge area at the foot of your bed.

Pairing a deep, comfy club chair with a small side table instantly gives your bedroom an intimate and cozy atmosphere. If your space allows for it, opt for matching chairs to create a conversation area for two.

 

Bedroom Seating For a Vanity

Make getting dressed more comfortable. Here’s a few ways to add seating to create a cozy vanity area in your bedroom.

bedroom seating

Tuck an Armchair by Your Mirror

If you have a spacious bedroom, consider placing a plush armchair next to a floor mirror, to create a comfy corner dressing area.

This is a great way to fill out an empty corner and add a warmth to your bedroom, all while creating a spot to that makes get ready every day fun.

Stylist Tip: Consider an armchair with a high back and slope arms that gives you room to comfortably slip on shoes or simply pile on clothes and other accessories while you get ready.

bedroom seatingTry Snuggling in a Side Chair

If you’re tight on space, try placing a side chair next to your dresser or vanity.

This can be a great spot to put on your shoes before dashing out, or can be a simple spot to hang your bag or jacket right as you enter your bedroom.

Stylist Tip: Consider a one-off vintage chair or look for a pair of dining chairs, which you can use separately in different spaces. A distinctive chair will truly shine in this scenario and add unexpected style to your space.

 

Bedroom Seating For a Reading Nook

Create a designated space for reading by tucking seating away in corners or under windows.

bedroom seating

Try a Chair by Your Nightstand

Place a sumptuous armchair next to your bed to give yourself a private reading nook where you can take full advantage of being near your nightstand.

Aim for a chair with a wide seat and big, comfy cushions. Because the chair alone will occupy an entire corner beside your bed, a larger scale armchair that feels substantial will help fill out the space while also providing a comfy seat where you can spend hours with a book.

Stylist Tip: Go with an armchair that contrasts with the rest of your room for a piece that stands out and adds a little unexpected punch.

 

bedroom seating

Try a Settee

In a generously sized master bedroom, try placing a settee or lounge below a window.

By creating a seating area like this one, you’ll also turn your bedroom into a space you’ll enjoy spending time in as opposed to one where you simply just rest.

Stylist Tip: Rather than a sofa, opt for a settee that seats two or three, which slightly more compact in size so it fits nicely in a bedroom. This provides you with space to also bring in other furnishings to round out the seating area, like a cocktail table and a bookcase.

 

Try Adding Seating in Your 3D Home

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