I've been on the hunt for a pair of fun stools for the end of our kitchen island at the #hotlantamidmod. Luckily for me there are lots of counter height stools out there on the market now. However, I think a lot of people still get confused about what size stool to buy for a kitchen. Here are a few guidelines:
A typical chair is about 18" high and it sits at a table that is about 30" high so usually the amount of space you have to tuck your legs under is somewhere around a foot or so (and tables and counters often have a 3-4" apron hanging below).
So a typical kitchen counter is about 36". Using that same math, a counter stool would be about 24-26" If you buy a 30" stool your legs will be squished under the counter (or won't fit at all)
Similarly bar height is another 6" taller at 42". So you want a 30" stool here. If you got a counter height stool for an actual bar height counter you would be sitting with your chin on the counter.
Size aside, I also like stools to be wipeable and lots of times I prefer backless so I can slide into the bar without moving the stool far out from the counter. Here are my faves right now.
From top to bottom L to R: Citizen Ghost Barstool from Finnish Design Shop :: Santistevan Counter Stool :: Bouchon Bar stool :: Avila Bar stool :: Ellis Bar stool :: Schoolhouse backed utility tool :: Bay Counter Stool :: Dakota Adjustable stool :: Nahla White leather barstool