Dorotea Romano. Bar Stools. November 26th, 2017.
Bar Stools - The continuous evolution: In the old days bar stools were strictly utilitarian, just wooden pieces nailed together to form sturdy seats. There was not much call for aesthetic modifications, and life back then was generally plain-looking by today`s standards. If you have seen movies depicting the medieval or Middle Ages, then you will be familiar with the rough-hewn appearance of their furniture. They were often unpadded as well, so sitting for long periods of time was not an attractive prospect. The Renaissance saw a sudden uprising in the call for beauty, and everything became covered with carvings and etchings. These bar stools were no exception, and their long legs in particular were made more aesthetically ornate. Padding as part of the seat and not as a separate cushion was also introduced. Not surprisingly, not everyone could afford these fancy seats, so the simple designs were still common in the seedier bars and public houses. This disparity is important to consider, since it has led to the richness of choice that we have today. In the previous century, every decade saw changes in popular fashion and aesthetics, so public houses changed their appearance regularly. Those periods saw the use of chrome, leatherette, rotating seats, and polyurethane foam. These stools became fixtures around counters, literally speaking. Being bolted to the floor, their fixed nature prevented them from being used in the inevitable bar brawl. Alcohol seems to often lead to violence of some sort, and many a bar has seen destruction at the hands of inebriated patrons. At least, the stools would be spared too much damage.
There are two uses for bar stools in a typical American kitchens and game rooms: First is with 40-42 inches tall bar tops, and the corresponding comfortable sitting level of the bar counter stool is about 30-32 inches above ground. Second is with the counter tops, which have a typical height of three feet, or 36 inches, and a good sitting height with those is 24-25 inches. Likewise, the small dinette tables for nooks or game rooms are often somewhere between the bar top height and the counter top height. When you want to use your bar stool (or a counter height stool) in all of the above circumstances, then an adjustable height stool is a good choice. Not surprisingly, most adjustable stools will adjust between 24 and 30 inches in height.
Leather: Most "Leather" that you will find in your bar stool search is actually fabric-backed vinyl. Due to the extra time and cost required for real leather seating, the price of the bar stool will generally be $50 to $150 MORE than a comparable vinyl but will last much longer and feel much better due to its ability to "Breathe". Vinyl is prone to tearing, cracking and warping more so than fabric or leather. Synthetic suede fabrics are a much better option if this is a concern. Sun, dry air, excessive heat and cold as well as exposure to certain chemicals or cleaners can also destroy vinyl.
Another thing these western saddle bar or counter stools have in common is that, just like the horse saddles, they never feature a back rest, or the arm rests.
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