How to buy the right size stools

There has been an increase in demand for apartments and homes featuring an open layout. Often the kitchen, dining area, living room and/ or family room are connected into a larger open space so homeowners can entertain guests. Connecting these spaces through renovation and redesign is also an effective way to increase the resale value of a residence, especially if the new floor plan generates more natural light throughout the space.

Invariably open floor plans will have a counter area either as a build in or as part of an island in the kitchen. If the layout incorporates stools, the first important distinction is between bar stools and counter stools. Bar height stools are generally 30” tall facing a bar area of 40-42”. Counter stools are lower, with a height between 24-26” at a counter height of 36”. The average height for kitchen islands is 36” and counter stools are usually the most appropriate option.

For outdoor spaces in residential environments bar stools with 40-42” tall tables can work. Bar stools can be a great option if you would like to be able to sit higher to see a view or or possibly be able to see beyond a window/ guardrail. Spacing between the stools will also determine how many you will be able to place, typically requiring 26-30” between the middle of the seat top. Additional space will be required if you purchase stools that swivel or feature arms.

Stools are not typically thought of as a centerpiece in the same way as a chandelier or dining room table. They are usually a substantial focal point and selecting stools that have the right combination of elegance, design and functionality is important. Here are several options we considered for a project in Soho. The first option features leather, wood and metal with a comfortable seat back. The second option is a leather seat with a lacquer wood finish. The third counter stool is stainless steel with a leather seat and the last option features leather, solid oak and metal.

tips on buying stools

tips on buying stools

Custom built ins

Custom built ins are a great way to maximize and change the feel of a space.  Whether you are looking for a wall unit, desk area build in, entertainment center or a unique option to display artwork, there are endless possibilities.  Often in New York City the building codes, especially in the older buildings, can be strict and limit the possibilities for moving walls or drastically changing the existing layout.  If space is limited or you do not have much flexibility in performing renovation work, hiring a cabinetry firm or designer to assist you with drawing or selecting options that will work and compliment your space will be helpful.  If you are looking for a large amount of storage space it’s important to look at options which aren’t too massive or one dimensional.

Too many cabinets or too many shelves can completely overwhelm a room, especially if it is a covering an entire wall.  Similarly if all of the shelves or cabinets are the same size you might as well go to Ikea, the variation in build ins with shelf/ cabinet size is what makes them elegant and compliment a room.  If you are displaying artwork such as sculptures for example, you will want a build in that does not overtake the artwork with its design, and serves a functional backdrop able to highlight the art.   Here are some inspirational images for living room build ins.

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PICTURE WALLS

picture wallsPicture walls can be tricky. If you have a large number of photos you would like to
frame and hang, designing with the right frames is critical. White frames tend to work very well
on white/light walls,  keeping the viewer’s eye on the photo rather than
the frame pulling your eye away from it. If you are using darker color frames it’s important
to consider a dark color wall.

SPACE PLANNING

space planningSpace planning is an essential element for utilizing space and improving the way people live. If any component is out of proportion the harmony of the space will be effected. A table that is too large with edges jutting out past or is too close to a sofa, for example, will cause problems when walking around it. When designing in scale the pieces need to fit the size of the space. This living is a larger size and the furniture needed to be proportional.

By |2011-04-16T11:26:37-04:00November 4th, 2010|DESIGN ADVICE, Family Room Design, Living room Design|
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