Traditionally, during the Ming Dynasty a thousand years ago, the great homes of China were designed and built around a courtyard, with emphasis on a zen garden. Naturally, benches and stools became an essential design element for the function of this outdoor space. It's been said garden stools most likely were the  result of the Buddhist tradition of using tree stumps and smooth rocks for seats in the garden. Early garden stools were made from wood, stone, glazed stoneware or porcelain. Soon  they began to feature decorative elements, such as nailheads (also known as bosses), Asian linked coin motif (believed to bring good luck) and pierced carvings such as lattice and even smaller filigree. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the garden stool was embraced in the West.

A pair of garden stools can help show off a great pattern rug vs. a traditional rectangular coffee table, which would cover it up.

Today, the Chinese garden stool has evolved into a multi-functional decor element. Garden stools can be used both indoors and out, as a colorful accent, a charming side table, extra seating, a textural element, or even clustered in two's or threes en lieu of a traditional rectangular coffee table. They are excellent for small spaces, such as a small office reading nook, a bedside or tub-side table, and they can also be used nested under a console table for added color and interest. Of course, garden stools are also perfect poolside and in a garden as well. Below are 15 ideas for using garden stools in your home today...

As a side table for books and fresh flowers in the living room.

As a resting place for your towel near the tub.

As a ledge in a shower enclosure.

As vanity seating in the bedroom.

As a side table for guest room corner seating.

As a layered extra side table + pattern in a bedroom.

As a pair for a coffee table in a small space.

As a trio of color under a console table.

As layered character in a room.

As a side table for books and tea.

As added texture under an entry table.

As extra quick seating.

 As a side table on a porch.

 Color-blocked in a cluster on the patio.

If you do come across a good price and size of a garden stool, but it's not quite the right color, or maybe you want to refresh one you already have, it is possible to paint your garden stool, with this simple process featured at The Painted Hive - How to Paint Ceramic - Drum Stool Redo.

Earlier this year, when I went to the Las Vegas Market, Safavieh launched a new Garden Stool Program (snippet seen below). Garden seat decorations vary. You can read more about the Chinese garden stool origin, symbolism, and mythology, by visiting HomeDecoDirect and also be sure to see the selection I spotted at my nearby HomeGoods in my previous post: Stylish Garden Stools For Spring At HomeGoods.

Do you have any garden stools in your home? 
Where do you use them at?

Thanks for stopping by

1 comment:

  1. You have put together an excellent piece here. I am saving it, for you have given me a solution to a little problem -- a seat in a small shower. I have four in my house already: one in the foyer, two in the LR, and one in the guest room. Off to HG!



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