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Get the Most Out of Your Bar Stools

By Sophie Hardy, 18th May, 2017

Your bar stools have arrived and you’ve set them up at your bar area, but how can you get the most out of them practically and aesthetically? In this article we have put together ten day-to-day tips for living with bar stools. We cover everything from alternate uses to arranging your stools to look like they’re fresh out of a home interior magazine.

Evenly Spaced Bar Stools

Ace Brushed Steel Stool White

1. Space Stools Evenly

For the best results visually, try to keep an equal and adequate space to the left and right side of each stool. Not only will this look smart it will also ensure each person has enough room to be comfortable when seated and when rotating on gas lift models.

The distance between the island and each stool should also be equal. You could use a newspaper as a point of measure or use your flooring as a guideline. The joins on tiled or wooden flooring will also help you position the bases or frames in a straight line – this is a simple step with effective results.


Bar Stools Aligned With Flooring

2. Set Stools at Equal Height

Each person that sits on a variable height stool may change the seat height to their preference, but it looks far neater when each seat is set at the same height. With gas lift bar stools the easiest option is to find a point of reference, such as a certain height against your leg, and then visually align the stools to that height. Stools with a screw thread mechanism, like our industrial models, can be set at equal height by counting the rotations of the screw when adjusting. Of course with our four-legged fixed height designs this is not necessary and they are much tidier in this respect.


Gas Lift Bar Stools Set At Same Height

Lush Chrome Stool White

3. Angle Stools in the Same Direction

Another tip for neatly positioning the stools is to make sure they are all facing the same direction. This usually means both the seat and the base are parallel to the straight edge of the bar. However, you could choose to angle your seats at 45 degrees for a different look, whether that’s two facing inwards (as seen below) or a row of four angled to one side. With curved bar designs you could position each stool to follow the shape of the bar.


Lush Brushed Steel Bar Stools Set At An Angle

4. Keep Upholstery Neat & Tidy

Some fabrics, like velvet and velour, have a certain pile. A simple tip to tidy this up is to use your hand to brush the pile in the same direction for a neat and uniform look. Occasionally, colour dye from clothes can transfer onto seats, for example, blue jeans may transfer a blue tint onto a white faux leather seat. The best option here is to wash new clothes before you use the stools, or spray the seat with scotch guard when your stools first arrive. To prevent any snags in your fabric seats, take care when wearing clothes with rough textures and details like zips, sequins, and Velcro.

5. Adjust the Gas Lift Handles

As well as adjusting the height and angle of the stool you can also adjust the handle on gas lift designs. They can sit in one of two positions, as demonstrated in the image below. To keep a remarkably neat appearance, make it part of your routine when tidying up the kitchen to tap the handles so that they all point towards the floor. Some of our industrial style stools have locking screw thread mechanisms, try to turn these so they all sit in a straight line for a smart look.


Adjusting Gas Lift Bar Stool Handles

6. Tough Worktops Can Damage Stools

Work surfaces are harder and sharper than the seat of your bar stool, especially those made of granite or concrete. So to avoid damaging or marking your seats, try to be visually aware of the size of your seat and where it might impact with your worktop when it is turned. Be careful not to let children spin on the seats as they might accidentally bump into the worktop.

Another quick tip for this is to make sure the stools are low enough before trying to tuck them under the worktop. Particularly with designs that have armrests, although most are designed to fit under the counter it’s better to double check first.

7. Stools Are Not Steps

As convenient as it may seem, please don’t be tempted to stand on your stools to use them as a step, whether that’s to reach the top cupboard or to change a light bulb. Not only is this unsafe (particularly if it’s a 360-swivel design) but you could cause damage to the stools too. Remember, a footrest is not a step either and is purely just for resting your feet. The same is true for bracing bars on wooden designs, these are to strengthen the frame so be careful not to let children use them to climb up on to the seat.


Stools With Footrests

8. Alternate the Layout Regularly

It’s good practice to rotate the order of your stools regularly. This is particularly important if one end of your bar sits under the sunlight coming in through windows or patio doors. Sunlight can bleach the colour of your stools over time, so to reduce this effect you should regularly alternate the layout so that different stools sit under the sunlight each time. The same applies for giving the seats even wear, for example if you have three seats but only ever sit in the same one, it will receive more wear than the others over time unless you alternate every now and then.

9. Use Stools For Various Tasks

Many people think their bar stools are just for sitting at the breakfast bar. Well that’s not the case! Why not move them around the kitchen to help you complete different tasks! Move one to the sink to sit on when washing up, or to the chopping board when you’re prepping the vegetables for dinner. You could even take them into another room when extra seating is needed at parties and family gatherings. Just make sure you always lift the stools when moving, as dragging can cause damage to the underside. And if you do move them often, be sure to keep the underside of the base or frame clean as any dirt or grit that has gathered there could mark your floors.


Bar Stools Used For Food Preparation

10. Maintenance & Cleaning

Of course, general upkeep and cleaning is necessary for getting the best out of your bar stools too. We have more tips and advice for this in our Maintaining Your Bar Stools article, which takes you through maintenance and care for different seat and frame types.


Chartwell Wooden Stool At Island With Cushion

Chartwell Wooden Stool Grey Fabric

You could also bring a personal touch to your seating by adding cushions, they will add comfort and can also bring an accent colour to your bar area. These are just a few simple tips and ideas that can make all the difference, helping you to enjoy your bar stools and realise their full potential.


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