A Buyer’s Guide to Barstools

By Holly Rennels · April 29, 2015

A Buyer’s Guide to Barstools

How to Purchase Stools for Kitchen Counter, Bar, or Bistro Table

Counter height chairs are not all that different from regular dining chairs. To learn more about the anatomy of the chair, check out A Buyer's Guide to Dining Chairs. In most cases, we utilize the following terms interchangeably: barstool, counter stool, bar chair, bistro chair, and pub chair. We are adding specator chairs to our high top table companions, but the distinctions in that term are addressed later in this article. The most critical element after you have selected the style of your barstool, is to confirm the height you require. For bars and tables at a 42" height, you will need a 30" (floor to seat) stool. For traditional counters and pub tables that are 36" tall, your stool should be 24".

Arts and Crafts Pub Chairs

True to the style, our Watkins Glen Bar Stool works in any Arts and Crafts or Craftsman motif. In your home, choose the 24" version of this kitchen counter stool for your Contemporary or eclectic breakfast nook or eat in kitchen. If you prefer the 42" gathering table, you will want to choose this bar stool in the 30" height. Likewise, in your eating establishment, high top tables require the taller pub stool while your wet bar may be better suited to the 24" floor to seat proportion. Whatever you choose, any bistro stool from Countryside will be handmade by Amish furniture building experts with mortise and tenon joinery and reinforced attachments.

Traditional Barstools

Shown here with a leather upholstered seat, our Cresthaven Counter Stool is typically what is meant by the term "bar stool". For a casual dining or bar environment, this backless counter stool works quite well. These stools also come in a variety of heights and feature the same structural integrity as any of Countryside's fine dining furniture. Glides under the feet of this Traditional pub stool provide protection for your flooring and ease of maneuvering.

Mission Spectator Chair

True to Mission style, our Noah Spectator Chair is a slight variation on the traditional pub or bar stool. Intended for use around your billiards table or in a bar with billiards or other games, this chair has a few distinctions. First, the lower rail is amply reinforced to be more than a foot rest. Most barstools and pub chairs are not intended to be "climbed". Lower rails and stretchers are designed merely as a foot rest in traditional stools. Spectator chairs, however, are typically quite tall and have a step as opposed to a stretcher. Also, you will note the presence of cup holders. Whether in your home for the remote or in a bar for your adult beverage, this feature is unique to the spectator chair. 

Shaker Counter Stool

The simplicity of Shaker style allows our Aragon Fanback Bar Stool to work well with almost any decor. Shown in two tones and two woods, this beautiful bar chair is exquisite in practically any wood species and stain. Perfect for a formal bistro setting at home or in your restaurant, this chair features all the structural highlights of our fine dining furniture. Whatever stain you choose over any of our furniture, a commercial grade catalyzed conversion varnish will be used as a top coat to resist water and wear. Countryside's bistro stools will last a lifetime in your home or restaurant.

Queen Anne Bistro Chairs

When considering barstools, Queen Anne style may not come to mind. In an elegant pub or in your entertaining space at home, however, our formal, Queen Anne Bar Chair may add just the right refined touch. Shown in solid Cherry with an upholstered seat, this type of bistro stool is more versatile than you might imagine. 

Contemporary Counter Height Stools

As furniture trends lean toward the Modern end of the spectrum, our Contemporary Waterbury Bar Chair is a perfect example of a two-tone barstool that works in any environment. Casual enough for your eat in kitchen or breakfast nook, this delightful solid wood pub chair is equally at home in an upmarket eatery. No matter where you place this exquisite Modern stool, it will be built to order and built to last, just like all of our handmade Amish furniture.

Swivel Stools

Adding a swivel to almost any of our barstools is an option. Be aware, however, that adding a swivel does significantly alter the appearance of the chair. Pictured above are our San Luis Mission Bar Stools both without and with a swivel for you to compare. In a pub chair with a back, the chair will appear a little shorter to allow for the swivel to be installed without altering the overall stature of the stool. If you do not see the swivel version of the pub chair you have selected, just give us a call and we will work with you to see if our artisans can customize your counter stool by adding a swivel. 

On occasion we also receive requests for stools in a standard dining height of 18" floor to seat. We can accomodate these if you contact us. Because our Amish artisans have been making fine solid wood furniture for generations, we can typically customize almost any order and fill virtually any request.To view all our barstools and pub chairs, click here.  Remember, at Countryside: Your Vision, Our Passion.

Author, Baileigh Basham

Bailiegh Basham is Lead Sales & Marketing Strategist at Countryside Amish Furniture. She's been a team member since 2014. Bailiegh is deeply passionate about furniture design and home decor.