7 Tips to Choose the Perfect Barstool + Affordable Barstool Round-Up
Hi Friends! This is Kristin from Postbox Designs Interior E-Design, and I’m so happy to be back this month with another custom mood board and shopping guide for you guys. Every month I take my 13+ years experience as a designer to share some of my tricks, tips, and ways to save money, this time with affordable barstool ideas while making your home beautiful.
Nowadays it seems like just about every kitchen you see on Pinterest features a huge, beautiful island. And I’m the biggest fan of all of the kitchen island. When my kids were little I would plop them up there and they would help me bake. As they got older, the island wasn’t just for cooking or eating, but also for doing homework and working on crafts. The kitchen is the center of most homes, and the island is the heart of the kitchen.
So today I created a custom mood moard and affordable barstool roundup to help you find the perfect barstool for your kitchen island:
Affordable Barstool Round-Up: All $150 and Under
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Barstool Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
And they start at just $25 each! Every barstool is affordable and neutral so there should be a stool that will work for your kitchen. But before you get too excited about the pretty eye candy, there are actually several factors to consider before buying a bar stool!
7 Tips to Choose the Perfect Affordable Barstool + All of the Numbers You Need to Know
A barstool is typically a piece a furniture that will get a lot of use and abuse, so you want to think through your lifestyle and needs before purchasing these multi-taskers.
ONE. A barstool should fit your budget.
What I mean by this is I don’t want you to cry when your child spills grape juice on your custom upholstered $800 barstool. Whether your budget is high or low, be sure it is something you can afford to replace or fix. Unless your kitchen is just for looks, barstools are meant to be used.
TWO. An affordable barstool should be durable.
Think about it: these stools are likely to be pushed in and out a dozen times a day. You might eat at your island, cook at your island, work at your island, and host guests at your island. If you choose a painted barstool, look for one with a good finish that won’t easily chip. Look for sturdy ones that can withstand some banging around.
THREE. A barstool should be cleanable.
I’m going to say it:
If you have small children I would not use a barstool with fabric. Ever.
I just wouldn’t. I know you can clean fabric, or scotchguard fabric…but it is going to be a high maintenance chore. And barstools by their nature are going to be around a lot of food and liquid. Honestly, it is setting you up for disaster.
If you don’t have children (or they are older), I would consider using a fabric that is meant for outdoor use (typically more durable and clean up with water), one that is fabric protected, or look for the phrase “commercial grade”. I would also consider a mid to dark fabric or one with some pattern to help hide stains and dirt. Fabrics like velvet or linen typically don’t work well as they can be difficult to clean.
FOUR. An affordable barstool should be made from a material that works well for your lifestyle.
Typically wood or metal barstools are going to be the less maintenance and the easiest to clean. You might want to consider a more rustic or distressed wood that will hide nicks and dings. If they will get less use you can try a more fragile material like wicker, woven seats, or fabric.
Leather (or a faux leather) is also a great material for a barstool-it is durable and easy to wipe down!
FIVE. A barstool should be the right height.
Typically barstools come in two sizes. You might see the terms “counter height” (which is made for a standard 36” high countertop) or “bar height” (which is made for a raised 42” high bar area).
“Counter height” bar stools will range from 24”-29” in height. “Bar height” bar stools will range from 30”-36” in height. Not only do you want the appropriate scale for the height of your counter, but you also need to allow room for someone to sit in it!
SIX. A barstool with a back or backless?
There are a couple of factors to consider. The first is aesthetics-did you fall in love with a certain style? That look might determine if your barstool has a back or not. Also if you have small children I would consider buying barstools with backs on them. If you plan on eating a lot of meals at your island (some people use their islands more than their dining room tables) I would consider a back to make meals a lot more comfortable.
I would consider going with a backless bar stool if you are tight on space. These typically will have a smaller frame and are less wide. Additionally, if you are tight on walkway space, backless barstools can be pushed all the way under the overhandg of your island. These precious few inches can make all of the difference. When a barstool is pulled out all the way, you want a minimum of 30” of walkway space behind it. If you can, 36”-42” of walkway space feels very comfortable.
SEVEN. How many barstools to use?
You want someone to feel comfortable sitting in their barstool while giving them plenty of elbow room. More stools is not necessarily better. For a truly comfortable fit, allowing 28-30” per stool is ideal. However if you are super tight on space and/or need a minimum number of stools I wouldn’t go smaller than 24” of space. I would only do this if smaller children are primarily using the space, it is for short periods of time, or the island is not typically full at one time.
Find Your Perfect Affordable Barstool
So now you know the style you are looking for…but let’s get you started with some real examples! You can find all of these barstools for under $150…starting at just $25!
Barstool Sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
3 Kitchen Mood Boards to go with your new Barstools
But what is the good of having the perfect barstool if you don’t have the perfect kitchen to go with it? So today you are in luck! I also wanted to share THREE Farmhouse Kitchen Mood Boards with you to inspire your dream kitchen. The first two I created for my Postbox Designs clients and the third I created for Remodelaholic.
Traditional Meets Farmhouse Kitchen
I was working with a client who wanted some of the rustic features of a Farmhouse kitchen but also wanted to incorporate traditional, classic items that wouldn’t go out of style. She was building a brand new home so we were starting the kitchen from scratch. The first Kitchen Design Mood Board has elements like Shaker doors, subway tile, white quartz, polished nickel, and matte black items are classic items that will work with a lot of different design styles.
The second kitchen design has a much more rustic, industrial farmhouse look to it.
You can see more of this Farmhouse Kitchen makeover (and see other versions as well) here at:
4 Mood Boards to Create Your Dream Kitchen
Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Mood Board
I have one more set of client Kitchen Mood Boards to share with you today! This client was moving into a new home with a boring, outdated kitchen. She knew the first thing she needed to do was remodel her kitchen. She wanted a Modern Farmhouse look with some rustic features to it. If this sounds like your style, then check it out! You can see more of this Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover right here:
Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover
Kitchen Makeover Entirely from Home Depot
I’m a big beliver you can have a great design with any budget. So if you need a kitchen on a budget…then read on! I was excited to create this exclusive Mood Board for the Remodelaholic readers last year. You can see the whole makeover, including a 3D rendering of what the space will look like, AND all of the product sources right here:
Budget Cottage Kitchen from Home Depot
Whoa. That is a L-O-T to get you started on dreaming of your perfect kitchen. Remodelaholic is already a great first place to go to grab your kitchen design ideas. But if you need a little more help, you can find out how the custom Interior E-Design process works over at Postbox Designs. Or check out my Kitchen Design board filled with hundreds of gorgeous images over on Pinterest!
A huge thank-you to the entire Remodelaholic team for letting me hang out with you guys today!
More shopping guides for a beautiful home on a budget:
budget-friendly vintage style rugs
Oh my, thank you so much for all the wonderful tips. I love the various stools and light fixtures.
You’re welcome, Ivory! Thanks for the comment!