Magazine article Sunset

A Barstool Balancing Act

Magazine article Sunset

A Barstool Balancing Act

Article excerpt

Make your choice by weighing comfort, style, and price from $30 to more than $1,000

There's a barstool for every purpose, decor, and pocketbook. For starters, do you want a backless model, one with a back, or one with a back and arms? Would that be upholstered or hard? Should it swivel? And what kind of footrest would you prefer?

According to Berkeley interior designer Janice Weingrod, a backrest is often irrelevant because most of us spend our time on a barstool leaning toward the counter. If you'll be sitting back and chatting, a backrest and arms make sense. A swivel makes it easier to get on and off the seat, as does a footrest at a comfortable height.

Most important, says Scottsdale, Arizona, interior designer Judy Thompson, is the height of the seat in relation to both your height and the height of the countertop. The top of the seat cushion should be about 10 inches below the countertop, according to barstool manufacturer Mikhail Darafeev. You should have a clearance of 4 to 6 inches above your thighs when you are seated.

Many makers offer custom heights and a wider-seat option. A stool with two levels of footrest rungs accommodates people of different heights. …

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