Bar Stools

Whoever owns or frequents pubs, cafes, diners and other similar establishments is certainly aware of the importance of creating a suitable atmosphere, and the starting point undoubtedly resides in an inspired choice of furniture, which is the foundation any interior décor. Over the decades, as trends evolved, certain patterns have been established and nowadays a series of features have become indispensable, such as the bar and the area surrounding it - which is precisely what people try to recreate in their own homes in order to entertain guests.

Needless to say, bar stools are a key element in furnishing this sort of commercial environments as well as tasteful home bars and kitchens. Today, bar stools can be found in a delightful explosion of styles, shapes and colours, to perfectly suit any type of bar ambiance. Since many people are attached to the image and feel of an old classic pub, wooden or upholstered bar stools are still available, wooden ones being particularly favoured for their nostalgic appearance. Aged leather seats for classical models are also very fashionable due to the refinement they inspire and their durability.

However, most people today lean towards the unconventional, avant-garde decorating styles, bar stools included, and there is a very broad range providing for this massive customer sector. Modern bar stools are easily recognisable through their innovative shapes (anything from one leg and base to two, three or four legs), most bar stools incorporating arm rests, backrest or footrest, or a combination of those, for an increased comfort.

Bar StoolsWhilst most bar stool legs, frames or bases are usually made of steel, seat tops come in a broad variety of materials, some leaning towards a more classic design and others being more daring. For people with elegance in mind, bar stools with faux-leather upholstered seats are largely available and vary in terms of style and colour, and the same goes for PVC leather-like coverings. More eccentric but equally stylish, faux-crocodile skin is also used for this purpose. And if you want to go for the real thing, genuine aged leather and suede is used for an array of models, particularly traditional ones. Upholstered seat tops will normally comprise a cushion or be padded with foam or white microfibre, the latter sometimes applying to the bar stools' back rest as well. Even though many customers prefer padded seat tops, modern day designs seem to lean towards stronger materials such as plastic or acrylic (clear acrylic being very fashionable at the moment), some models coming with acrylic legs and back rest to match. In addition to these materials, vinyl and Plexiglas are now becoming increasingly common for manufacturing seat tops. Nonetheless, if you are looking for an up-to-the-minute design and an unconventional material, a good suggestion would be polyethylene molding, which is currently being used for a lot of custom-made office furniture. It is also quite common for contemporary bar stools to come with a powder-coated base or a brushed steel finish.

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With regards to colour, there is an infinity of choices and most designs come in various colours, from conventional brown, black and white to explosive bright red, green, blue or even pink, orange and yellow. Metallic colours will never be out of style either, especially for models with plastic seats, as they are the etalon of modern simplicity. Regardless of the tendency to simplify shapes as well as colours, some bar stool designers do indulge in combining these two elements in order to obtain intricate patterns which most certainly draw attention in any establishment. These patterns, on occasion obtained with the aid of stitching, give class as well as character and a sense of uniqueness to these designs.

Bar StoolsStructurally, most bar stools are similar and offer more or less the same features. Footrest is almost always a must, while armrest (chrome-plated sometimes) is a very common prop. You will find that most bar stools encompass an adjustable height mechanism (gas-lift seat height adjustment), for better flexibility of use. You will also find that many bar stools come with swiveling seat tops, which are able to rotate 360 degrees, which is quite handy as well. The manufacturer always specifies whether the bar stools are suitable for home use only or for commercial premises as well, and the main criterion is resilience, which is enhanced for commercial models. When designed with commercial use in mind, bar stools are built with a sturdier frame and a heavy base, to withstand prolonged use. When comparing the weight of different models, the latter category can reach as many as 18 or 19 kilograms, whilst an average bar stool for home use only normally ranges between 8 to 11/12 kilograms. It is also worth mentioning that whilst some models are sold as single items, others are always sold in pairs or there is an option of packs of four, six, eight or ten items.

Whereas many bar stools are designed with an intention of inconspicuousness and can be classed as average, others are undoubtedly made to stand out, such as the retro designs and the novelty items, the latter bringing the elements of creativity and innovation. Retro designs are of course nostalgic and inspired by former trends in bar stool design, such as the retro American diner range. Other traditional bar stools are evocative of old pubs and are made predominantly of fine quality wood such as dark wood, cherry, oak or beech wood, and usually include a polished finish.

Novelty bar stools, for a change, astonish with their every feature, from their outlandish shapes to their multifunctional use. For instance, there is a particular model shaped like a hand, whilst another one takes the form of a disposable coffee glass and can also be used as an ice bucket or as a container. As it's plain to see, imagination is limitless even when it comes to bar stools. The bottle top design is also innovative, just one of the many which have managed to create a niche on this very extensive market.