Because bar stools are a taller seating piece, they tend to be noticeable. A glossy modern stool or three can go a long way toward making an entire area feel more contemporary, if that is your aim.
Then there’s also the bar height stools. They work well with bars and counter tops that are between 41” and 43” tall. They are typically used in restaurants and bars and they are taller than the average dining chair. There’s also a fourth category of extra tall bar stools which suit counters and bars that are 44” to 47” tall.
The same shape of base with an upcycled metal seat makes for a rustic bar stool that would still be an appropriate addition to a modern space. The colored seats are perfect for mixing and matching. Round bar stools can take on a retro feel when they are outfitted with an old-fashioned seat, foot rail and pedestal base. These were found at Finch, in Hudson, New York. The vintage look would fit well at a traditional style bar or at a rustic or modern kitchen counter.
Fabric is definitely one of the easiest ways to bring in color and pattern into a space with bar stools. (Spaces that, typically, may be short on both of those design aspects.) Fabric bar stools tend to be comfortable and pretty, although probably the hardest to clean.