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When furnishing or designing any hospitality venue, whether it be a bar, restaurant or café, bar stools are an essential piece of the puzzle. Their versatility means that they can be placed along a window looking out of a café or arranged around poseur tables in a pub or bar. 

The uses of bar stools are endless but they ultimately ensure that you can fit adequate seating into your space by filling difficult areas. As you’d expect, bar stools come in a range of different styles, materials, fabrics, sizes and prices.

To help you on your hunt for the right bar stools, we’ve explained the main areas you should consider:

How tall should bar stools be?

To understand what height your bar stool should be, you first need to measure the height of the table or bar that the stools will be propped against. 

As a general rule, if the counter is 40-42 inches in height, the bar stool should be 30 inches for the optimum comfort of the customer. If your table is slightly taller, around 45-48 inches high, the bar stool will need to be around 34 inches. For counters that are around 36 inches high, you will need a counter stool that is 24-26 inches.  

Ensure that the seat is tall enough for the customer’s chest to be positioned above the table but not so high that their knees are touching the table’s underside. 

How many bar stools do I need?

Much like the question of height, the number of stools that should be ordered is a common concern for restaurant and bar owners. An industry standard is that 21-25 inches should be allowed for each stool. That means if you have a counter that is 155 inches in length, you could fit seven bar stools. This should provide adequate space for customers without them feeling confined and constricted. 

If you are purchasing bar stools with arm rests or stools that swivel, add a couple of extra inches to either side. 

Should bar stools be backless or with a back?

The main division between two stools of the same height is whether or not there is a back rest. If the only difference between the two is that one has a backrest and the other doesn’t, which do you go for? Each has its own benefits. 

Backless bar stools tend to look more refined and are a better choice where space is at a premium, however bar stools with backs tend to be considered a better option for comfort. Your decision should come down to what their purpose is. If the chair is going to be used for long periods of time, perhaps to have a meal on, then a backrest is probably wise. But if they will be sat on whilst a customer quickly sips down their coffee in a small coffee shop, backless would be preferable. 

What are the most popular bar stools for sale?

At Trent Furniture, we believe that bar stools should be practical, stylish, comfortable and affordable. That’s why all of our bar stool selection fits with these four criteria. Here are a couple of our most popular bar stools: 

For pubs, it’s hard to look beyond the tall dark oak brass rail stool that comes as a hard top, button top or piped top. The traditional style will look the part at most country pubs and can be tailored to your chose of material and colour. 

The tall finback armchair is ideal for traditional or modern interiors. The bentwood design is a restaurant staple style but this stool could equally be used in pubs and bars.  

The Verona bar stool is a stylish and contemporary brown faux finish bar stool. Its appearance and comfort make it the perfect addition to any pub, bar, café or restaurant where high level seating is required.

Top tips for buying your next bar stools

We have been supplying bar stools to pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels for over 50 years and our ever expanding range of stools makes it easy to find the right style and price to suit your interior and budget. Choose from our wide range of quality contemporary and traditional bar stools in a variety of finishes and colours and buy with confidence from Trent Furniture.

Have you heard the good news? It has been announced that pubs and bars across the country will have an extended license across the weekend of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. What makes the news even more exciting is when you realise that the wedding falls on the same weekend as the 2018 FA Cup Final.

The two events combined present a fantastic opportunity for pubs and bars to get punters through their doors. With entertainment on all the way through Saturday 19th May, this shouldn’t be too hard to do.

What does an extended license mean to pubs and bars?

Pubs, bars and other licensed premises will be allowed to keep serving alcohol until 1am the following morning instead of the usual 11pm. This green light will be given on the nights of Friday 18th May and Saturday 19th May.

So, with an extended license, pubs and bars will be able to get some extra revenue that weekend. A royal wedding is always a big deal but considering the date of Prince Harry and Meghan's marriage coincides with the FA Cup final, there will be double celebrations for fans of football and royalty

The extra hours will allow the nation to celebrate and raise a glass the new couple.

What time is the royal wedding and FA Cup final on? 

Saturday 19th May is looking to be a busy day for pubs and bars. Residents and tourists alike will be pouring into your establishments to get a look at the events on the big screen. Here are the timings of the two events:

Enjoying the Royal wedding at a bar

Kensington Palace has announced that the wedding service will begin at 12pm, with a carriage procession through Windsor happening at 1pm. Just like Charles and Diana, and William and Kate, the royal wedding will be televised so all news stations will be there to broadcast.

Celebrating the 2018 FA Cup Final at a pub

As the celebrations of the royal wedding begin to wind down, it will be time for the build-up to the 2018 FA Cup final. The FA Cup final is broadcast live on both the BBC and BT Sport. Although a kick-off time hasn’t yet been confirmed, in past years it has been 5:30pm meaning a likely start for the coverage will be around 4pm. 

Once finished, it’s celebration time. A royal wedding and an entertaining football match with friends and family means Saturday night will be music to the ears of pub and bar owners. 

As you’ve been granted a longer window frame to make the most of the events, it’s now up to you to make the most of it. 

Practical pub and bar furniture for events

For this event-packed day, everyone will be vying for the best spot to watch the action. Of course you will be need a TV. If you have a projected large screen, you might feel more inclined to create rows of stackable chairs, while if you have numerous screens around the venue, you might settle for scattering some additional stools and chairs around tables. 

For pubs and bars it is set to be a very busy weekend. We always recommend that pubs and bars have an extra supply of stackable furniture for special event days such as this. 

Get your pub or bar prepared and browse our range of stacking chairs. These can be easily stored away and the majority are available in a range of fabrics to match with your current theme.

It’s a classic chair whose origins have been lost in the mists of time. But what we do know about the Windsor chair is that people have been making them for more than 300 years. Some stories suggest that King George – the tales vary between Georges I, II and III – was visiting the home of some of his humble subjects and was offered a seat in a very comfortable wooden chair. He liked the chair so much, he had the design replicated and made for use in Windsor Castle.

Another, perhaps more plausible, story says that the chair became popular because of changes in the design of English gardens. In the mid-18th century, garden designers such as Capability Brown were turning away from the rigidly formal geometric designs of French gardens and adopting a more naturalistic, landscaped approach. This coincided with – and perhaps contributed to – a move towards using gardens as a place to sit and socialise and entertain guests. Furniture that was strong but light and portable was needed, and the Windsor chair was ideal. 

What is a Windsor chair?

1772 William Williams (1727-1791). The William Denning Family with Dog

But what is a Windsor chair? What makes it different from other chair designs? The main difference is that the Windsor chair’s legs are not connected to the spindles at the back. It is essentially a stool, with back spindles attached. The seat is made from a solid piece of wood, with legs attached. The back spindles form a comfortable backrest which comes in various arrangements; in some Windsor chairs, the spindles form a high back with arm rests, others have a bowback design. Some designs feature a back splat – a wider piece of wood in the centre of the chair back, featuring decorative designs such as a carved wheel or the Prince of Wales’s three-feather motif. Others have spindles all the way round. 

Many furniture historians believe that the Windsor chair was originally called a “Forest” chair, because it came from the Forest of Windsor, where they were made in small workshops; from there, they could be easily transported to London for sale. The earliest example of a Windsor chair that can be attributed to a particular manufacturer was made by John Pitt of Slough, which at the time (the early 18th century) was part of Windsor. It was made from cherrywood, with an elm seat. 

The chairs were traditionally made from two or three types of wood: elm for the seat, with the spindles and legs being made from woods such as ash, cherry or beech. Different parts of the chair were made by different craftsmen, including wheelwrights, who used their specialist skills to make the spindles, and “bodgers” – wood-turners who, despite their name, were actually highly skilled. Steam-bending was used to create the characteristic “bow” of the chair’s back.

A chair for America

Franklin Windsor chair

These basic designs have given rise to regional and national variations. In the 19th century, many chairs were made in Lancashire, while the area around the Chiltern Hills north-west of London became a centre of production (this was where the bodgers used to ply their trade, and presumably the beech forests provided an abundant supply of wood). Chairs made in the Suffolk village of Mendlesham were distinguished by their square backs.

The chair was taken to America, where it became hugely popular – it has been said that when the American Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, many of those present were seated on Windsor chairs. . A drawing from the 18th century shows Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, seated on a Windsor chair. And a 1772 painting by American artist William Williams, “The Williams Family With Dog”, shows the distinguished-looking Mr Williams seated on a Windsor chair .

The Windsor chair - A pub classic

Early Windsor chairs were painted green to match the outdoor settings where they were to be used, but later examples were stained or varnished. As time went on, Windsor chairs became popular for indoor use – especially in inns and taverns, where their robust and comfortable design was ideal for drinkers and diners. They were also portable enough to be moved around, or moved aside for cleaning. Today the Windsor chair is still widely used in pubs and restaurants, in particular the bow-back design with a decorative splat.

Trent Furniture Wheelback chair

Trent Furniture’s Wheelback chair is a classic Windsor side chair with a wheel design on the back, made from European beechwood in a dark oak finish. It is available with a solid seat or an upholstered seat. The spindles behind the Wheelback chair’s backrest are a typical Windsor chair feature, giving the chair extra strength. Trent Furniture’s Spindleback chair is a simple, elegant variation on the Windsor chair design.

Trent Furniture’s Spindleback chair

The English furniture maker Ercol has long been a champion of the Windsor chair. Since the 1920s the Windsor has been part of Ercol’s identity, and now a whole range of Ercol Windsor furniture is available. And there’s a satisfying link going back to the chair’s origins – Ercol’s factory at Princes Risborough nestles at the base of the Chiltern Hills, where the bodgers of the 18th century used to ply their trade.

And today, it’s possible for Windsor chair enthusiasts to follow in the footsteps of those bodgers and furniture-makers of the 18th century and make their own Windsor chair. James Mursell runs five-day residential courses at his farm in West Sussex. No previous experience is necessary, but at the same time Mursell says that experienced woodworkers will be fully challenged. A maximum of eight people will attend each course, ensuring that everyone gets plenty of individual attention. 

Sitting on a piece of history

If you run a pub, bar or restaurant, it’s likely that Ercol’s Windsor chairs would be prohibitively expensive to purchase in large quantities, while making your own chairs in any numbers is clearly impractical. And antique and vintage chairs, though often beautiful pieces, are frequently expensive and not always robust enough for commercial use.

So your best option is to buy from a reliable supplier such as Trent Furniture, whose chairs (and other furniture items) are built to withstand the rigours of regular use in a busy commercial environment. They may not know it, but your customers will be sitting on a fascinating piece of English history

Whether it be a restaurant, bar, café, pub or hotel, if the sun is shining in the UK, customers want to be outside – simply because of the rarity!  

Tips for outside furniture 

If there is space available, operators should make use of it by encouraging customers to dine or drink outside. Through spring and summer, this is important for businesses to consider as it maximises the number of potential custom. 

Having the right outdoor commercial furniture to battle with the unpredictable elements of British weather is a key element of any venue’s furnishings. With outdoor furniture coming in a range of different materials, it can be difficult to know which is best for your business. To help, we’ve put together a guide of the pros of the main three materials: wood, metal, rattan and plastic.

Commercial metal furniture and seating

Perhaps the most popular outdoor furniture material is metal. Metal chairs and tables are a good option for resisting the heavy rain and longer lengths of sunshine. Stainless steel and aluminium outdoor furniture are also light enough to be easily rearranged by yourself or by customers. This means that they can be easily stored away through winter and won’t take long to set up.  

Wooden furniture for outdoors

Typically associated with pubs who have wooden benches and tables, wood is a versatile and rustically attractive choice. The drawback of wooden outdoor furniture is undoubtedly the high maintenance that is required to keep it looking in good condition. Decay and rot through very wet conditions are common, which is why we generally advise customers to steer away and use wood-effect outdoor furniture.  

Plastic furniture for commercial use

Made from durable and water-resistant Polypropylene material, these chairs are highly versatile for use in a range of different outdoor spaces. Because plastic chairs are available in so many different styles and colours, operators can be unique with their choice, too. 

The material was previously seen as a cheaper choice by customers but with more innovate designs and finishes, this problem is fading. If the budget is low, plastic seating might be the best option for value for money. 

Rattan furniture for business

Rattan is a strong, flexible type of vine used to create this seating and tabling. The furniture is stylish, lightweight and because of the weave used, extremely comfortable without the need for cushions.

Commercial outdoor furniture advice

Each has their own merits and as a business owner, you need to choose the correct fit for your unique needs. If you need advice on weighing up which would be best for your establishment, get in touch with our team 0116 2983 641 who will be able to provide assistance. 

All of our commercial outdoor furniture is available to browse here. With seasons changing, now is the right time for operators to think about updating their outdoor furniture.

We have been the restaurant owner’s commercial furniture supplier of choice for a number of years. We’ve furnished hundreds of restaurants all across the UK and even overseas. It’s fair to say that we have plenty of experience when it comes to furnishing a restaurant.

For those of you who are a first-time purchaser of restaurant furniture, there are some common mistakes that can happen in the buying process. At Trent Furniture, we’ve decided to share our knowledge and explain some ways to avoid these mistakes with some top tips. 

Spend time planning your restaurant 

Buying your restaurant furniture shouldn’t simply be a case of going to our website and placing an order of however many chairs and tables. You can never spend too much time planning your purchase. To ensure you get it right, you need to think about the space available, amount of furniture needed and how it will affect the flow of your restaurant. Other considerations include your budget, the durability of the furniture and if it will fit with your restaurant’s image. 

Space considerations for diners

Overcrowding a restaurant with furniture is a common problem. In a bid to get more covers, restaurant owners can be tempted to squeeze in an extra few tables and chairs where space is already at a premium. The result is a restaurant that appears cluttered with little space to manoeuvre. This sacrifices customer’s comfort and privacy for extra seats - not a strategy that we agree with.

There should be at least 45cm between chairs, ensuring tables have space and staff have enough room to work around the tables. The higher quality of the restaurant this space should increase. 

Getting the measurements right

Check your restaurant’s dimensions more than once. There’s nothing worse than setting up a table only to find that it doesn’t fit into the corner of the room how you’d hoped. 

Once you have measured you’ve done this, take note of the dimensions of the furniture you’re looking to purchase and draw a sketched floor plan for every idea you have so that you can assess the pros and cons of each layout design.

Considering you customers’ needs

It might well work with you, but what about your customers? After all, they’re the ones who will be using it. Stay true to your restaurant and the demographic you are looking to target. Is speed important to your customer base or are you a more fine-dining establishment? The comfort of your seating should align with how long you want customers to stay.

Buying restaurant furniture

Each restaurant and bar will have different needs and requirements depending on the image they’re trying to present. Whatever space you are working with, it is nearly always possible to alter the ambiance of a space with careful manipulation of design elements.
Whatever interior your restaurant is looking to create, Trent Furniture can help. Call us now on 0116 2864 911.

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