Kitchen & Dining Kitchen Design

14 Ideas for Kitchen Island Seating

Whether eating or entertaining, island seating offers families and guests a place to relax and connect. Get inspiration for stools, benches, and chairs that can be put on display or tucked away.
Kristen Mosier Avatar
Modern kitchen island with black boho chairs.

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The old saying goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home—and often, at the center of that gathering space is the kitchen island. “An island with seating can create a welcoming social hub in a kitchen,” says Mitchell Parker, Houzz senior editor, citing the 2024 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, which found that many homeowners rely on their islands for entertaining (54%) and socializing (44%) post-renovation. “Perhaps that is why we’re seeing a growing interest in larger islands,” he says, “with more than 2 in 5 homeowners (42%) opting for islands that are 7 feet or longer, with the share increasing by 10 points since 2020.”

Incorporating bigger islands brings the opportunity for various seating arrangements. Parker says there are numerous ways to create an island setup that encourages interaction among family members and guests, ranging from seating along one side of the island to chairs on either side for face-to-face conversation. “Whether you opt for a one-, two-, three- or even four-sided seating arrangement around the island, kitchen designers on Houzz recommend allowing enough space for each guest to have 24 to 30 inches of counter width,” he says, adding “You may also want to consider the counter overhang length to maximize knee clearance and add a bar-style foot rail for foot support.” 

Whether seating for one or six is required, counter height options are available for every need and style. These ideas should help shoppers get started.

1. Leather Stools

Brown leather rectangular seats.

These mid-century-inspired counter schools from Trent Austin Design offer a modern look with a hint of vintage styling. Pair two of the rectangular stools on one side of the island for bench-like styling. The tufted leather upholstered seat is available in dark brown, yellow brown, and gray. Metal legs with a footrest ensure comfort and stability. The 22-inch seating can be easily tucked away with its backless design. 

2. Bouclé Seating

Two upholstered counter stools.

The Bansemer Upholstered 26” Counter Stool features a natural rattan backrest for a breezy and breathable design. The seat is upholstered with bouclé for an on-trend look. Metal legs keep the seat sturdy and are finished with an oak-wood styling. The stool is finished with a footrest and metal glides for floor protection. Ideal for homes without many spills.

3. Vintage Style

Brown rectangular faux leather counter stools.

This 23.6-inch stool set from Bay Isle Home offers a nod to 1970s vintage styling with its natural handwoven cane back and c-frame design. A faux-leather upholstered seat is available in white, green, black, or brown to coordinate with various color schemes. The metal frame offers movement and stability with slip pads to keep it in place. 

4. Bench Seating

Dining room bench with neutral color upholstered fabric.

Take an unusual approach to island seating with this 25-inch counter-height bench from Signature Design by Ashley. The upholstered seat is adorned with antiqued nailhead trim for a design that will suit both contemporary and traditional spaces. At 48.5-inches long, the bench can fit two guests comfortably. Some assembly is needed.

5. Stackable and Sturdy

Four counter stools made of metal frames and wooden seats.

Made from manufactured wood and steel, this set of four industrial-style stools from 17 Stories features a stackable design, making it simple to store a couple away until the guests arrive. Each stool holds up to 330 pounds, making them an excellent choice for those looking for a sturdier option. They are available in black, brown, silver, and white metal for various design needs and in 24, 26, and 30 inches for differing counter heights. 

6. A Traditional Look

Two black wooden counter stools.

A nice addition to traditional kitchens, this set of 24-inch counter stools from Three Posts  features a classic design with turned accents on the two front legs and an oval cutout on the open back. Crafted of solid wood, the frame comes in brown/black, black, or brown/beige. The stools require assembly.  

7. Hidden Comfort

Two counter seats with gray fabric seats and wooden frames.

This 25.5-inch stool from Charlton Home fits well with lower counters and can be easily tucked away when not in use. The upholstered saddle seat offers comfort, while the weathered wood frame is contemporary and sturdy. A nailhead trim completes the look, making it ideal for more traditional spaces. As a bonus, it’s available in three finishes: a tan seat with a natural frame, a gray seat with a gray frame, or a gray seat with a white frame. 

8. Swivel Stools

Two white swivel counter stools with wooden frames.

These bar stools by Corrigan Studio can swivel 360 degrees, perfect for keeping an eye on all the action. The Skandinavia-esque design features modern styling with walnut wood and a faux leather back and seat, available in beige, green, or black. Made with comfort in mind, an ergonomic design provides lumbar support with a high-density sponge cushion. 

9. A French Country Look

Two counter stools with natural woven fabric seats and wooden frames.

This boho-inspired bar stool from Dovecove is well-suited for French country or coastal décor. Crafted from solid elm wood and natural woven fibers, it is available in either a walnut or natural finish. The stool features a round, rattan seat and a backless design so it can be easily tucked away when not in use. Part of the Kelly Clarkson Home collection, the seat design is simple but special with its arched details and flared legs. 

10. Modern Simplicity

Modern wooden kitchen island seats with thin metal frames.

A natural mango wood seat combined with sculptural legs gives this simple design from AllModern an upscale, modern look. The saddle seat and footrest offer comfort, while the powder-coated metal legs provide stability. The seat is available in natural, black, walnut, and whitewash finishes and has a 27-inch seat height.  

11. A Little Glam

Two kitchen island chairs with white seats and gold metal frames.

For shoppers looking for a stool with modern styling and a low profile, the Brieon counter stool from Wade Logan offers just that. Well-suited for contemporary spaces, the sleek seating design features an open frame and low back in various finishes. Crafted from steel, two sled legs keep the stool balanced, and a front footrest offers comfort. The square seat is padded and upholstered in 12 optional finishes, varying from faux white leather to green velvet. The stools arrive in two pieces, so they require assembly.  

12. Coastal Vibes

A kitchen island stool with wicker rattan seat.

For those looking for full back support, the Felipe 25-inch counter stool from Sand & Stable is a great choice with its wicker rattan 12½-inch seat back. Ideal for traditional or coastal décor, the rattan is finished with a solid wood frame in a black finish. It ships fully assembled for a simple setup. 

13. Vegan Décor 

Gray bar counter stools with black metal frame in a colorful kitchen.

The Holmes counter stool from AllModern features an easy-to-clean faux leather seat, ideal for homes with messy eaters. The curved backrest hugs the occupant, while the foam-padded seat provides cushioning. Tapered black metal legs add to the modern look and feature a footrest for comfort. It is available in counter or bar height with a honey, smoke, or tobacco seat finish.  

14. Low-Backed Beauty

Brown faux leather counter stool with thin metal frame.

The mid-century-modern styling of this stool from Cortesi Home (available on Amazon) makes it suitable for kitchens with a mid-mod vibe. A low back gives the 25-inch counter stools a bit of back support, yet the slim design makes them easy to tuck away. A good option for little ones, these stools are easy to hop on and off with a footrest for extra support. The seat is available in several neutral shades and unexpected but attractive colors, such as blue and terracotta red.