The term "retro" means almost any style that is a throwback to recent history, but most of us think of soda fountains and sock hops when we hear retro. A soda fountain theme is a great way to integrate your kitchen bar into the rest of your living area, while still giving it a distinct look. Although the typical look for a retro bar stool is red vinyl and chrome, there are actually a wide variety of colors and shapes for your kitchen bar stools. By getting a good idea of what the differences are between each retro design, you can be prepared when you begin to shop for your bar stools.
Looking for Retro Barstools
The differences between most retro barstools lie in three areas: the seat, the legs, and the back, or lack thereof.
* The Seat – One of the most distinct things about a retro bar stool is the fire engine red vinyl seat. You can still get that retro feel, though, if you choose another color or even another type of material. This is probably one of the easiest places to match your bar stool to the rest of your decor. That red is great if you have retro furniture already, but a more noble black or brown can blend in well with other furniture. Light blue, purple, sparkly silver, and many other colors of vinyl are also available for the more adventurous.
* The Legs – For your barstools to be truly retro, the legs must be chrome. Wrought iron or wood, even if carefully crafted into the stylized geometric shapes of the 1940s, does not quite capture the true retro feel of the soda fountain. Most classic retro barstool legs have one or two foot rests and four legs that angle out, sometimes with column from the seat or an arch in the legs. You can also opt for a full column instead of the legs if you do not mind floor mounting your barstools.
* The Back – Some retro bar stools come with backrests and some do not. The difference is primarily comfort and style. Backrests are particularly nice on swivel barstools as they allow a little bit of leverage when you swing around.