Garden Stools


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Williams Sonoma

Used for centuries in China, the garden stool design began as a small outdoor seat used in courtyard gardens which were a central part of Chinese homes. The design may possibly date back to the Buddhist tradition of using a tree stump as seating in the garden.

garden stool

Another possibility is that the garden stool descends from barrel shaped drums.  The nail head pattern often seen as a design element in today’s garden stools may be a nod to the pattern of nails on the original drums.

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Caribbean Living

Garden stools come in many shapes, sizes, patterns, and colors. They also are available in a wide range of quality and prices. Today’s garden stools are most often made of porcelain, fired stoneware, or pottery. The typical Chinese designs, including the well-recognized blue and white, are usually porcelain. These are more delicate and not recommended for outdoor use.

garden stool

Stoneware that has been glazed and fired is the best choice for use outside where their resistance to frost is one less worry in maintaining an outdoor room.  Although done in an assembly line, the glazes used can make them look hand made and less cookie cutter perfect.

garden stool, pottery garden stool, Michael Jones artist

Michael Jones

Pottery garden stools are hand-thrown on a potter’s wheel. These are labor and time intensive and often feature cut out designs or unique designs which are not seen elsewhere. Designs are hand smoothed, glazed, and fired in a wood-fired kiln, a process which may take several days. Pottery-thrown garden seats are generally heavier than the other styles. This process provides more selection of glaze colors and allows for these glazes to have more depth of color and more crazing (crackling) in the glaze. These pieces are one-of-a-kind sculptures which will carry a higher price tag but will represent an investment in a unique piece.

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Elizabeth Kimberly

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House Beautiful

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Ashley Whittaker Design

Open any design magazine and you will see garden stools placed in any type of room setting. The garden stool was exported to the west hundreds of years ago and westerners have come to love this little piece that can be used as seating, a table, or simply as an interesting accessory. Portable and small, they fit in anywhere a very small table will fit. Move them from room to room and see how many ways you can find to show off your garden stool.

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Indulge in Reading Outside

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I had a busy day lined up on Sunday. I knew that my list of tasks to complete around the house was going to keep my day full but my plan was to make time at the end of the day, in late afternoon before getting dinner ready, to grab my Nook and head out to my screened porch. The plan included settling into my comfy Lloyd Flanders lounge chair, putting my feet up, and reading the book that has been unfinished far too long.

By 7:00 pm, my scheduled tasks were complete but the part that . . . → Read More: Indulge in Reading Outside

Wicker Furniture: Man-Made or Natural?

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Pottery Barn

In the past, people used natural wicker outside but experts now tell us to use synthetic wicker outside and leave the natural wicker indoors. Why? What’s the difference between natural wicker and “all-weather” wicker?



American Country Home Store

Natural wicker is harvested from plant material. Most wicker that we are familiar with comes from a vine although other natural materials, such as willow, have been popular choices for weaving into furniture. Typically, materials that were once living organisms will not have the longevity outside that man-made materials have. These materials are more easily . . . → Read More: Wicker Furniture: Man-Made or Natural?

Yipes, Stripes

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Country Style/Alicia Taylor

Stripes are a timeless favorite in both fashion and home decorating. A stripe is easy to incorporate into nearly any décor style. With varying widths available, it is easy to move across the lines from traditional to contemporary: wide, bold stripes suggest a contemporary décor (or, at least a non-fussy style) while a narrower stripe often lends itself to a more transitional or traditional style.


Better Homes and Gardens

Color also has a lot to do with how a person perceives a stripe. Bright colors often suggest a more youthful and/or contemporary design . . . → Read More: Yipes, Stripes

The Adirondack Chair

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My Home My Style

Everyone has heard of the Adirondack chair even if many people have difficulty pronouncing it. Named for the Adirondack Mountains of New York, the chair was originally called the Westport Chair. Designed in 1903 by Thomas Lee in Westport, New York, Thomas needed sturdy outdoor furniture that would be suitable for his Adirondack Mountain vacation home. Using his family as seat testers, Thomas finally came up with a design that was liked by all. Made from 11 pieces of wood cut from 1 plank (originally hemlock), the chair had to be roomy, comfortable and . . . → Read More: The Adirondack Chair