Barstool Design

Planning barstools for your space and for your family is more complicated than you might think. Here are some factors that our eggersmann designers suggest you consider when planning the design of your barstools.

Seat Heights

Bar Heights & Tall Bar Heights


  • Provides an elevated surface to add visual interest
  • Perfect buffet for serving party guests
  • Good for entertaining


  • Can be a safety issue for families with smaller children
  • Shorter adults may not feel as comfortable

a dallas preston hollow mansion's kitchen after renovation by eggersmann

Counter Height


  • Expands the kitchen prep area as the entire counter is one level
  • Perfect for a breakfast nook
  • Comfortable seated position lets you stretch your legs


  • Opens the space so that everything can be seen including a dirty cooktop or dishes in the sink

Table Height


  • Fits a typical dining chair height which gives you lots of seating options
  • Allows your feet to be firmly planted on the floor
  • Safer for young children and easier for them to seat themselves


  • Visual interest must be introduced in other design elements
  • May take up more space


Often, barstool buyers immediately think about the number of people they want to fit into the area, but that decision should be made when building the bar area, not when selecting the stools. Once the size of the bar is established, the key for selecting the barstools is comfort.

Elbow room and plenty of space for plates, utensils and glasses are the most important considerations for selecting the number of stools. Allow about at least 6″ between each stool. If you have larger, broad-shouldered family members, give them more space. And if your stools swivel, allow at least 8″, preferably 10″ between.

To determine the number of barstools that will fit comfortably:

  • Measure your counter length in inches.
  • Barstools typically measure 16″-21″ inches wide, but keep in mind that barstools with arms usually need 2 inches more space for clearance. For comfortable seating for most, allow 24 inches of seating space per person, wider if your barstools have arms or your family is broader shouldered.
  • Divide counter length by 24 or the width of space you have determined would work best for your barstool users.  For example, for a 96-inch wide counter that will be used by people with an average build in barstools with no arms: 72 ÷ 24 = 4 barstools.

Keep in mind that if you are trying to squeeze in one more barstool and are just a few inches short, if the counter is open on both ends and not ending into a wall, you will have some extra elbow room to work with.

If you are still unsure, create craft paper or newspaper outlines of the seat dimensions of the barstools you are considering (including the arms, if applicable). Then use a small amount of tape to position them on the floor along your counter spaced with at least 2″ between. Then have a couple people join you to stand on the paper outlines to determine if you feel comfortable with that spacing. Or have your friendly eggersmann designer figure it out for you!

Back, Low Back or Backless

If comfort is your #1 priority or you have children that will be using the space, then a stool with a back and arms is what you need. This style offers the most support, comfort and safety for children.  You can also add a swivel to the seat for a smooth entry and exit. Of course, with the added back and arms, you will need more space to accommodate the larger seat and comfortable spacing between the stools. For a more modern, minimal aesthetic, a low-back or backless stool is more up your alley. These smaller framed stools will allow you to have more seating in your space and, if needed, give you the choice to tuck them under the counter.

In addition to carefully considering a barstool back option, seat size is often overlooked. This is critical for comfort. If the seating area is for dining, consider a larger, more comfortable seat for when sitting down for a long period of time. If the space is more for a bar or entertainment space, then a smaller seat size will work great and give you plenty of space for more stools.

Material & Color

The options are virtually endless which can seem overwhelming. Your designer can be a big help when narrowing down the selections for custom barstools. You will want to consider both design and utility here. If the seating is used daily, especially by children or other messy people in your household, you should opt for a more durable, wipeable surface like wood, metal or vinyl.

Upholstered stools with leather or fabric can make big statements to a room and really pull a space together through color choices and textures. Plus upholstered seats or adding seat cushions up the comfort factor for applications where people sit for longer periods of time. If an upholstered look is the design you love, be aware that select materials may require special care or treatments to make them more durable for messy kids and messy adults holding red wine.

If you have a small space, selecting a homogenous color for the entire stool that blends with the base counter color is a good choice so that they visually disappear giving a more expansive feel. But, often stools are used as jewelry for a space, especially in a kitchen where expansive countertops and cabinet faces are neutral tones.

Custom Barstools

When you have a specific design in mind, go for a custom-designed barstool. Create the perfect stool to fit the color scheme, style, and decor for your home.

eggersmann offers more than cabinetry. Check out more bar stools, tables and even sofas in our furniture collection.

Let’s Design Your Custom Luxury Barstools

Visit your closest luxury German furniture showroom or drop us a line to let us know about your project.

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