Choosing the right stool requires a little more consideration than just aesthetics and price. If you get it right, you'll comfortably sit at your counter/ bar for hours. But if you get it wrong, you'll probably opt to sit elsewhere given the chance. So how hard can it be?
First of all, try to ensure there is adequate knee-space at your counter, island or bar. If the stool fits all the way underneath then it's probably deep enough, but try to allow a minimum of 300-350mm so that your legs don't have to splay open or, worse still, you have to sit at an angle. It's really not that good for your back.
Next, consider the height. The clue is in the name...Counter Stools are designed for you to sit at counters and are generally 650mm high, whereas Bar Stools are generally 750mm high and are designed for you to sit a little higher at a bar. If you put a Bar Stool at a counter, you'll struggle to get your knees under the benchtop, and if you put a Counter Stool at a bar, you'll just feel really small. It's not a good look and can be embarassing.
Once you have these basics covered off, you may then want to consider how the design of your kitchen will affect how you use the stools. For example, if the area is quite restrictive, choose a stool without a back so that you can sit on it from any angle. If you have the room and plan to sit on the stool for some time, you may want to choose a stool with a backrest, possibly one with arms. If you do choose to have armrests, consider the height of the arms to make sure they fit under the counter or bar so that you can tuck the stool all the way in.
Finally, think about the material used in the construction of the stool. A high-end walnut counter stool may not be the best option for a 4 year old to sit at, perhaps a durable, easy to clean polypropylene stool would prove to be a better option.
We have stools in colours, styles and budgets to suit a variety of schemes. Have a look here for more inspiration.