Top Contemporary Barstools

Nothing ruins a great drinking or dining experience more than a bad backache. If your barstools are the wrong height for your bar or table or if they feature a fabric seat that’s lumpy or torn, your customers can become quite cranky. And cranky customers tend to leave nightmare reviews. Fortunately, you can solve this problem easily by updating worn or outdated furniture with modern barstools that add both comfort and function to your home or commercial space. Here’s what’s trending in contemporary bar furniture for the savvy restaurateur.

Swivel Barstools


Swivel barstools prevent guests from turning or bending in awkward ways. Swivel barstools can be backless or not, but backless stools allow you to fit more guests at your bar or dining table. Swivel is a popular style of barstool because of its bold simplicity. Guests can chat with friends on all three sides with minimal repositioning. Advantages of swivel barstools include:

  • Available in a range of styles, including with backs, without backs, and with or without arms
  • May swivel 360 degrees or feature a 180-degree memory-return swivel
  • Allow you to seat more guests comfortably in less space
  • Allow convenient interaction between guests

Bucket Style Barstools


The bucket barstool is a beautiful addition to any modern counter, commercial space, or home bar. Optimized for guest comfort, it features a cozy backrest with or without arms. Bucket barstools may or may not feature a swivel option, and the backrest may be high, to extend up the back, or low, stopping around hip level.

Bucket barstools take up a bit more space than their backless counterparts, but most guests find them to be more comfortable. If you don’t mind patrons lingering longer at the bar, bucket-style stools are ideal.

Velvet Barstools


Velvet is a fabric usually associated with high-end decor. Soft and cozy to the touch, velvet barstools fit nicely into contemporary design. Equally well suited for commercial spaces or your home bar, velvet barstools bring extra comfort to evening cocktail hour. If your dining or drinking establishment caters to older, more established clientele, barstools that feature high density foam padding topped with elegant velvet or soft leatherette are beautiful choices.

Caring for Velvet Furniture

Velvet does require a bit more maintenance than other fabrics, especially when used for commercial applications. To keep velvet looking fresh and new, vacuum it regularly. The brush attachment of any standard vacuum works fine to remove dust, crumbs, and debris.

To combat spills on velvet, pat dry right away using a clean, dry, absorbent cloth. For dried or stubborn stains, use a velvet-approved cleaning solution and gently brush when dry. It’s important to note that barstools upholstered in velvet fabric may require occasional dry cleaning by a professional. This material should also be positioned or stored away from direct sunlight, which can cause it to fade.

Wood Barstools


Wood barstools are highly functional and super durable. Most are able to withstand the moderate wear and tear that comes with frequent traffic. A contemporary barstool crafted of wood may be lightweight enough to tote around, or heavy and ornate, depending upon the vision you’re trying to create. They add a certain rustic appeal as well. So, if your drinking establishment or home bar mimics an Old West Saloon, wood barstools are the solution. Wood furniture has many advantages, including:

  • Available in a range of beautiful finishes to fit any decor
  • Can be refinished or painted when needed
  • Available in a full range of styles including with or without backs, arms, and padding
  • May feature decorative details such as cross-back or ladder-back design
  • Highly durable

Caring for Wood Furniture

Wood barstools are relatively easy to keep clean. An occasional wipe down with mild soap and water is usually all that’s required. After washing, you may want to polish the legs of your wood barstool, however, and avoid putting polish on the seat as it may become slippery.

Metal Barstools

New Pacific Direct Metropolis II Grey Bar Stool

Metal barstools are as suitable for your home kitchen island or dining room as they are for your commercial space. And metal has the added advantage of being suitable for outdoor use if you forego padding or upholstery. Plus, metal offers a range of designs, styles, and colors that aren’t typically found in other materials. It may look like bright chrome, or it may be plated, powder-coated, oxidized, or even painted.

Metal is a lovely addition to a cafe dining room or coffee house because it can be both formal and informal. And it’s equally well suited to upscale or casual dining areas. A black wrought iron counter stool looks lovely flanking a gray marble countertop in your home. And a bar height metal barstool is a serviceable and functional addition to your commercial bar area. Metal holds up well and can support more weight than other materials.

Low Back Barstools

Modern brown leather barstool

A low back stool features a back that’s typically waist high. Taking up less space than a high-back barstool, it’s a bit more modern, fitting nicely into a contemporary kitchen, dining area, or bar. A low back stool may or may not feature a padded seat, may or may not swivel, and may be constructed of a variety of materials. In most instances, it will feature a metal or wood seat frame.

Faux Leather Barstools

Classic brown barstool with leaf design

Faux leather is a good choice if you like the look of leather, but not the upkeep that comes with it. Faux fabrics are good choices for eateries that cater to families with small children and for homes that have pets. More stain-resistant than real leather, the faux alternative is typically a savvy and economical choice for luxurious interior design and offers the ultimate in comfort and style.

Faux leather has distinct characteristics that make it a good choice for commercial applications:

  • Vegan-friendly. No animals are harmed in the making of faux leather.
  • Lower price than real leather
  • More durable than real leather
  • Easier to clean and maintain
  • High-end, upscale appearance

Caring for Faux Leather Furniture

Leather cleaner and conditioner is ideal for cleaning faux leather. It removes spots and stains while preventing the material from drying out, which can cause cracks. Always test your leather cleaner in an inconspicuous spot before using it as an all-over application. And like velvet, faux leather should be kept away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

The Modern Barstool Verses Counter Height Stools

Is there a difference between the standard barstool and counter-height seating? Surprisingly, they’re not one and the same, though many people use the terms interchangeably. In reality, a modern barstool measures roughly 5 to 6 inches taller than a counter-height stool. This makes it suitable for the standard-height bar top, which is usually 40-42 inches tall.

Counter height stools, alternatively, are designed to seat guests comfortably at a counter height table or kitchen island that measures a standard 36 inches high. As a result, they’re roughly 24 inches tall.

It’s important to choose the right seat height to host guests comfortably. Choosing wrong could make your customers feel uncomfortable or awkward, which may impact your business in a negative way.

Modern Barstools for Beautiful Home Décor


While barstools are a perfect addition to any dining or drinking establishment, they’re not limited to commercial use. An elegant set of barstools looks equally at home in your kitchen area or living room. Grouped easily around a kitchen island or serving as non-traditional seating around a counter height dining table, barstools provide casual but comfortable seating for the whole family. And if you prefer the clean lines and sleek details of industrial design, the simple seating provided by barstools is the ideal solution. Trending in-home applications for barstools and counter height stools include:

  • Seating for a kitchen island or peninsula
  • Seating for an outdoor kitchen or basement bar
  • Eat-in seating at a kitchen pub table
  • Game-Room seating
  • Seating for outdoor dining

Today’s modern kitchens combine classic elements with contemporary details without sacrificing comfort. Barstools make an interesting and functional addition.

Contemporary Barstools From California Dining & Barstools

If you’re ready to upgrade the appearance of your existing bar, pub, or restaurant, California Dining & Barstools has an exemplary selection of seating and dining options from which to choose. Create a beautiful, contemporary look without sacrificing function or comfort when you shop our spacious showrooms in Pleasant Hill and Sunnyvale. While other furniture companies show you digital representations of their current lines, at California Dining & Barstools, you can see, feel, and touch the merchandise you’re about to buy. In this way, you’ll know exactly what to expect when it arrives.

With over 7,500 hundred square feet of display space, California Dining & Barstools is your one-stop shop for commercial furniture. We proudly serve the South Bay area, catering to many of its top drinking and dining destinations. Stop by one of our gorgeous showrooms or browse our selection online today.