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How to Choose the Best Counter Stools

We spend so much time and effort designing the perfect kitchen for our homes. It’s where our families spend the most time – and the most money – to ensure that our own heart of the home is fabulous. A lot of emphasis is placed on the kitchen island and the activities that take place there: family meals, homework or friends enjoying a glass of wine while you prepare dinner. Whatever the activity, this spot is where life happens.

When island seating is involved, there are few guidelines that ensure that comfort and good looks can co-exist. So here are my do’s and don’ts for choosing the right counter stools.

Perfect stool height - How to choose the best counter stools by Michelle Reid at Designer Girl Interiors.com

Do choose a low back stool in the proper proportion, colour and style for a seamless look. These upholstered stools tuck nicely into the counter overhang and the legs match the floor colour so they virtually disappear.

Wood counter stools - How to choose the best counter stools by Michelle Reid at Designer Girl Interiors.com
Image via Pinterest

Too heavy, too dark and too high…ugh!! The cabinetry here is absolutely stunning but all I can see are those over-the-top stools. Light colour and a lower back is the best option here so that the detail work is the focal point.

Backless counter stools - How to choose the best counter stools by Michelle Reid at Designer Girl Interiors.com
Image via Houzz

Don’t feel you must sacrifice comfort for style. I always choose seating with no backs at home and in my model homes – and they are comfortable! People generally lean forward when seated at an island, and are not there for hours at end, so a high back stool is not really necessary. These tuck nicely inside the counter overhang and don’t detract from the real focal points: the cabinetry and fabulous lighting!

Red counter stools - How to choose the best counter stools by Michelle Reid at Designer Girl Interiors.com
Image via Pinterest

Red accents work nicely in this kitchen, but the stools are too much of a good thing. Bring the eye where the “wow” is – on the lighting, cabinet details and the accent pieces in the glass transom cabinets. The stools here should be a neutral colour close to the paint colour on the island.

Acrylic counter stools - How to choose the best counter stools by Michelle Reid at Designer Girl Interiors.com
Image via Pinterest

You can always go acrylic! These stools virtually disappear when looking at this island – the moulded seats are comfortable and because they are so invisible the focus is exactly where you want it!

Clashing style counter stools - How to choose the best counter stools by Michelle Reid at Designer Girl Interiors.com

Although I’m all for an eclectic style mix in my rooms, this is just too much of a contradiction. The stools are way too shiny and modern for this traditional kitchen. It’s a little like wearing stage make-up to the beach!

Low back wood counter stools - How to choose the best counter stools by Michelle Reid at Designer Girl Interiors.com
Image via Pinterest

Absolute perfection! The simplicity of the cabinets and the white/on/white look is brought to life with the lighting and wood/cane stools. They add the perfect bit of natural contrast to the room but their low profile tucks nicely under the counter. Love this look!

I hope this helps demystify the ins and outs of counter stools – and that I’ve reached you before your next purchase!

Happy shopping!

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Michelle Reid

For nearly a decade I’ve honed my distinct eye for style in the interiors industry and have become known for classic style and my ability to transform spaces on a realistic budget. I’m obsessed with details and have helped over one hundred families build or renovate their homes, on time and on budget. My ultimate goal is for you to live well in the space we’ve created together.

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