How to find the right seating for your kitchen island

You have your kitchen island of dreams and have space for a few stools around the side. There’s a lot to think about - height, fabric, style...not sure what to go with? Don’t worry. I've put together this little guide of things to consider to help you find the best seating for any space.

1. Usage: How much traffic are these seats going to see?

From light occasional wear to heavy everyday use, here’s what you need to know. For more of an occasional sitting area you have a wider choice of options as you could opt for seating without backs or arms for a minimal profile, or with a less padded seat, like rattan. If you need something more for everyday use, or for longer periods of time (hello new WFH station!), you definitely need to prioritise a padded seat and some back support too.

2. Height: Where does it sit under your countertop?

Most kitchen counters & islands are built to a standard height of 90cm, so the ideal kitchen bar stool seat height should be around 60cm. If your kitchen island is not a standard height, or the seating area has been lowered or raised, you will need to ensure the height of the seat matches the height of the counter top. To calculate this, just subtract 30cm from the height of the countertop. Note: If you have an extra thick countertop, that 30cm gap will diminish and encroach your leg space.

3. Quantity: How many do you really need?

Each individual seat should be given ample amount of space to allow you to freely move without bumping into the person next to you. You want to leave about 60cm between each seat. Measure out the length of the counter and divide it by 60cm to get the number of seats you can accommodate along that distance. If you have an extra long counter top and can accommodate 6 or more seats, I’d still suggest six as a maximum number. Anymore and it will end up looking like a diner!

4. Style: The world’s your oyster!

Once you’ve worked out the numbers, you can now look at what is on offer. There is a vast array of styles to pick from and sometimes the choices can be a little overwhelming. Here’s my selection of the best stools that are currently on offer to suit a variety of budgets and styles.