History of the Garden Stool

Over the past few years, you’ve probably seen more ceramic garden stools incorporated into both indoor and outdoor decor. They’re becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. These versatile pieces give you a place to perch while chatting with friends, but they also work well as end tables.

Their earliest known use dates back to China during the Song Dynasty, which happened from 960-1279. Courtyards were the focal points of traditional Chinese homes, and residents needed seats that they could use indoors or out. Historians say the designs of the stools used most often today originated in the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) 

The versions made to tolerate outdoor weather often had stone or ceramic as the main material, and people used them to decorate landscaped gardens. Conversely, wood was a popular and durable choice for the ones that stayed indoors.

Since these stools are barrel or drum-shaped, they’re ideal for households that want to increase the available seating in their abodes without taking up too much space. Even better, the stools usually have decorative patterns painted onto their surfaces. This effect brings a pop of color and turns the piece into an instant conversation starter. Delicate blue patterns against a white background are common designs for these stools.

Considering the potential uses for this flexible and attractive piece, it’s not surprising that the garden stool has stood the test of time. It gives visitors a place to set their cocktail glasses, coffee mugs or smartphones. You could even arrange a vase or a basket of fruit on a garden stool to add character to a room and show your meticulous attention to detail. 

The garden stool looks nice in a more-private area of your home, too. For example, you might use one as a replacement for a conventional wooden nightstand. Alternatively, set one in front of your vanity mirror to make it easier to put the finishing touches on your appearance for the day.

No matter how you use it, you’ll soon discover why the garden stool became such a beloved piece with an appeal that persisted through the ages. And, the next time a houseguest asks you for a bit of background on the furniture, you’ll be well-equipped to answer.

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