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DecorBook Classic : Glorious Garden Stools

I'll happily admit it. I have a mad crush on any Chinese garden stool. Around for centuries as a perch to rest weary bones, a few hot coals were added underneath to provide warmth in cooler weather. Was this the original bun warmer? Easily used indoors or out, affordable (starting around $50), practical and stylish. What's not to love? Let's look at how they work in every room.

Think about using garden stools in multiples.


Maybe a bit crowded in a living room - best to have a place to set a cup of tea?

Handy book rest in a bedroom.

I use a garden stool at my parents' old desk in our bedroom.

Waterproof bathroom shower stool.

Love these coupled with a wood stump on a sun porch.

A glorious turquoise stool.

My friend, Ellin, found a stunning "white elephant" stool at a local home decor consignment shop in NW Portland. So versatile, this garden stool can be used in any room. Right now, it's camped out by Ellin's bed.

At last count, we have six garden stools scattered around our rooms including this one on the patio. One Christmas, my friend, Connie, and I both asked Santa for one of these Vietnamese elephants we'd seen at the old Import Plaza in Portland. Not sure why a couple of college kids decided these were our ultimate Christmas gifts, but they have since been a fixture in each of our houses. Like most things I love (mirrors, moss balls and oh, I could go on), my challenge is to limit myself to just a handful of these glorious garden stools. If you don't have one, why not give one a try in one of your own rooms?

top photo : Michael S. Smith

  • There’s just something fun ceramic garden stools. Years ago I considered selling my Vietnamese elephant beauty but just couldn’t do it. I think I will have him with me forever. Thanks for the memory and keep up the good work. You have been my personal decorator and consultant since 1969 and I have treasured every minute of our friendship.

Connie on May 02, 2016

  • This session of Decor-book brings back a memory of a beautiful pot that one of our friends had on their gorgeous riverside deck. Somewhere in my house there’s a photo of the cutest little naked toddler sitting on a beautiful copper colored Chinese pot. Thanks for bring up such a sweet memory of days gone by.

R. Rebecca on May 01, 2016

  • The elephant reminds me of your apartment near Mount Noma stadium the first time I ever met you there would’ve been 1974 I think I need to get a couple of these to add some color to my space

Ra on May 01, 2016

  • Yahoo! I can even see see a garden stool in your mud room. Let us know how the mirror turns out – that’s a great idea!

Kathleen on May 01, 2016

  • Gee, garden stools were MY Secret Guilty Pleasure too, and NOW I’m going to spring for one. But not until I combine the ideas of some recent blogs and paint a booooooring oval mirror HOT PINK, for my newly spiffed up mud room. Where else to go wild but a mud room, BTW!

elektra on May 01, 2016

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