Helping to answer the question, “how many stools fit at my kitchen island?”. Includes ideal measurements as well as examples of counter stools in real kitchens to show spacing.
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As we quickly approach a move-in date for our new build, I’ve been working on a number of design plans for several of the spaces. I’ve started with rooms that will need to be used immediately, and one of those is the kitchen. I’ll share more specifics further down in this post as it relates to our specific kitchen, but one of the things I need to order first is counter stools. We’re dealing with a rather large peninsula, so prior to ordering anything, I wanted to ensure I knew how many stools to order to maximize the space, but also to allow for plenty of movement and traffic flow! I thought I would share my thoughts on how many stools fit at my kitchen island and how you can use this guide in your own space!
How To Select Counter Stools & Determine How Many Will Fit
The kitchen island has become a staple in modern kitchen design, providing a multifunctional space for food preparation, cooking, and dining. One important aspect of designing a kitchen island is determining how many bar stools can fit comfortably around it. Today I’m sharing some tips for figuring out the right number of counter or bar stools for your kitchen island.
First, you need to consider the size of your kitchen island. A standard kitchen island is about 36 inches high, 24-30 inches deep, and 48-72 inches wide. If you have a smaller kitchen island, you may only be able to fit two or three bar stools comfortably. If you have a larger island, you can usually fit more stools.
Selecting Stool Height
Next, you need to think about the height of your stools. Typically, you’re going to want to allow 10-12″ from the top of the stool seat to the understide of your countertop. Standard countertop height is 36-39″ high, so you’ll want a seat that is 24-26″ from the floor, leaving that room for leg clearance under the countertop. Bar height coutertops run 40-42″ high, so there you’ll typically look for stools with a heigh of 40-42″. You’ll typically find that those labeled as “counter stools” will be shorter (for standard height counters) and those labled “bar stools” will be the taller heights (for bar height counters).
Spacing Needed Between Stools
Another factor to consider is the spacing between the stools. You want to make sure that there is enough room for people to sit comfortably and move around the island. A good rule of thumb is to leave 10-15 inches of space between each stool. This will allow people to get in and out of their seats without bumping into each other.
With that, some experts recommend you allow for 24-30 inches total for each stool (depending upon the width of the stool). In order to determine how many can fit, take your total island length (in inches) and divide by anywhere from 24-30 to see how many stools will fit. If it’s close to a whole number, you can likely round up (especially if you used 24″ rather than 30″). Otherwise, I’d go with the lowest whole number. This can also be somewhat dependent on the shape of your stool, as well as how oversized it may be.
If you’re planning a kitchen and want to ensure a set number of stools will fit, simply take the number of stools you want/need and then multiple that by a number between 24-30. So, at minimum for four smaller stools, I’d recommend at least a 96″ long island. If your stools are rather oversized, I’d take the four stools multipled by 30″ and aim for an island about 120″ long.
Selecting A Stool Style
It’s also important to consider the overall style of your kitchen when choosing bar stools for your island. You want the stools to complement the design and feel of the space. If you have a modern kitchen, you may want to choose sleek, minimalist stools. If your kitchen has a more traditional feel, you may want to opt for stools with a classic design. We’ll be leaning a bit coastal in our selection and can’t wait to share the ones we eventually pick! I’ll be sharing a large collection of counter stool with back soon, but in the meantime, be sure to also check out my post on Modern Coastal Backless Counter Stools.
In summary, when deciding how many bar stools to fit at a kitchen island, you should consider the size of the island, the height of the stools, the spacing between them, and the overall style of your kitchen. With these factors in mind, you can choose the perfect number of stools to create a comfortable and functional space for dining and entertaining in your kitchen.
Measurements In Real-Life Kitchens
Rather than solely talking in rough numbers, I thought it may be helpful to see some real-life examples. This way you can visualize your own space based on the various measurements and how they may relate you your own kitchen.
In Omaha, our kitchen island was essentially the size of one full slab of the Caesarstone quartz (minus the mitered edges). I have a lot more measurements from our Omaha coastal kitchen in this coastal kitchen remodel FAQ post, but our island there was 113.5″ wide, but we chose to only use four of the Riviera counter stools. We likely could have squeezed a fifth one in, but we prefer more moving room, and didn’t really have a need for a fifth stool.
Out in the pool house, our kitchen island measured 68.25″ wide (with about a 9.5″ countertop overhang for reference). I originally only purchsed two of the backless counter stools for the space, but quickly realized there was plenty of room for one additional. With the backless style, it didn’t feel to crowded and didn’t overwhelm the island size visually.
POOL HOUSE KITCHEN SOURCES:Basket Pendant Lights|Aged Brass Star Sconces|Striped Runner Rug|Backless Counter Stools|Cabinet Ball Knobs|Drawer Bin Pulls|Faucet|Counter Depth Fridge|Beverage Fridges|LVP Floors|Blue Serving Board|Similar Faux Fan Palms|Blue Vase| Cabinet Colors:BM Simply White (perimeter) & BM Santorini Blue (island)|Countertops: White Macaubas Quartzite
By contrast, our island at our current home in Florida is 81″ wide. We are currently only using three backless counter stools here, as well. With nearly 20″ more space than our pool house island, we probably could have fit a fourth counter stool. But, with it just being Kurtis and me, and not entertaining in this home much, we preferred the more spacious option!
Our New Kitchen Peninsula Rendering
I’ve shared a few details about our new build, but haven’t really dug into any of the specifics on each of the rooms. Our kitchen actually has a rather long peninsula, measuring in at 165″ long, rather than an island. With this much space, our preference would have been to have an island for traffic flow, but our builder did not allow an alteration to the plans in this instance. The front of the peninsula is shown below.
The back side of the peninsula will have magnetic cabinet doors (with no pulls or handles) and will be where all the counter stools will go. At 165″ I’m planning to use five or six counter stools, depending on the style of chairs I select. Because our kitchen will be all white, I’ll like go with stools with backs in a woven natural material, wood or something with some color.
I’ll be sharing a round-up of my favorite coastal counter stools that I’ve found later this week, and maybe you can help me narrow down all the great options!
Additional Kitchen & Dining Posts You May Find Helpful
Following are some additional kitchen-related posts you may find helpful! Simply tap the title below to be taken to the full article.
- Modern Coastal Backless Counter Stools
- Modern Coastal Round Dining Tables
- Modern Coastal Cottage Dining Chairs
- Coastal Kitchen Reveal
- Coastal Kitchen Remodel FAQs
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