Vanity stools, Counter stools, bar stools…which one do I need?
Stools are a great small way to change and upgrade the look of your room. These seats can go a long ways toward furthering the design details of the room – they are an opportunity for a splash of color in a monochromatic sea of cabinetry, or a place to add some softness and texture with a fabric and upholstery details. There are many choices – fabric, leather or wicker, wood or metal, swivel or not, legs or pedestal, casters or not, backs or not and if so how tall…but by far the most important thing to get right for functionality is the seat height. Too low and your chin will be resting on the counter and too high and your legs will be wedged uncomfortably beneath it!
Vanity stools/chairs have a seat height of 18”-19” and are just the right height for a tabletop, desk, dining table, or vanity counter at somewhere around 30”, leaving room for a shallow drawer or a table apron and still comfortably fitting legs under it. Vanities can use any desk chair (in fact a writing table desk makes a lovely vanity!) or dining chair, but there are also chairs and stools specifically intended for vanities which are usually more feminine in style. The design details of your room and furniture will dictate which choice would look best. If your seat needs a little boost for a slightly higher counter, adding casters to the bottom could be just the solution – and if there is a skirt, adding trim to the hem would be an easy way to lengthen it for the additional height.
For this bathroom vanity, we selected this adorable vanity chair with a pleated skirt, curvy upholstered back, and cute handle detail. It comes in several fabrics, but the natural linen color was a perfect complement to the crema marble-look tile.
Here are some great vanity seat options (click on each image for more information)
Counter stools have a seat height of 24”, which is the right height for a 36” counter (the standard height of a kitchen counter, for example, and sometimes the height used in master bathrooms as well).
Here are some counter stool options (click on each image for more information)
Bar stools have a seat height of 30” which works for 42” bar counters. Some kitchen islands or peninsulas have bilevel counters with a 36” high work surface and a 42” high dining ledge – this is generally used to screen the kitchen work surfaces (and the attendant mess!) from adjacent living areas. And while it is somewhat effective for this it also limits the flexibility of the countertop. It’s a trade off and a personal decision to make, but whatever you choose, get the right height of seat! The higher the seat, the more practical a swivel becomes as it is harder to reach the floor to easily position the stool.
Here are some barstool options (click on each image for more information)
To make matters more confusing, some vendors label everything a barstool regardless of the seat height, so make sure to double check the actual dimensions before purchasing. The right stool is the perfect finishing touch, so have a seat and enjoy!
**Please note that this page contains affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase, I might make a small commission at no extra charge to you, and some of the vendors are having a great sale right now so be sure to check them out!