2. Decide if you need arms on the stool. Will you be lounging all morning or is your family at an active pace? Arms provide a sense of security (especially for young children or the elderly), sturdiness, and formality. If you do want an arm, they'll be many choices: sloped, tapered, open, upholstered, etc. Many arms will not fit under the counter top fully so also consider how much space is needed behind the stool as well for circulation.
3. What will the back of the stool look like? Do you need a back at all? Again for the young or elderly, a stool with a solid back is a good idea for safety. Otherwise, consider the design appeal, price, and material. Shall it be a woven fiber or wood for rustic character? Metal for an industrial look? Upholstered for a warm cozy vibe? All of these choices help to build the kitchen or bar of your dreams and when the stools are multiplied it only magnifies your initial selection.
5. Consider the feet! Stools have many different shapes and styles, but what part of the stool is touching the floor? An industrial chic wood & metal stool may look great in a catalog. However, drag that stool across your newly refurbished wood floors a few times and then see how much you like them! Note: Use felt pads to protect your floor when needed, but know they will collect dirt, dust, and pet hair too. Also, if the base of the stool is too bulky or heavy, guest won't readily use them. If the space is carpeted, consider how easily the stool will move across a fiber surface as well.
6. To swivel or not to swivel. I've worked with many clients and all I can really say is this is a personal preference. Decide if this feature helps or hurts your space and how you'll function in it.
Choosing a stool for your home may be one of the finishing touches you make in your kitchen, man cave, or rec room. Try to keep these 6 key ideas in mind and you'll select the perfect one for you! - Anita Bhattacharya Oates, NCIDQ