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Chinese Garden Stools For Interiors With An Oriental Charm

The last few decades have seen a narrowing of the gap between western and Asian design styles. In fact, many elements of each culture have been accepted as integral parts of a global style. While the Chinese school of interior design brings with it several classics, it is the elegant drum-shape and often perforated little stools that have quietly made the biggest move in the last decade. For those still in the dark, these classy additions are called Chinese garden stools, and these days, they seem to be spending more time indoors than in the courtyard or on the porch!

Stunning deck with ocean views showcases twin Chinese garden stools in white

by John Hildebrand Photography / Barbara Grushow Designs

Showcasing the simple and unassuming silhouette that is so common with Asian design, these stools have come a long way from being ornate additions that originated during the Ming Dynasty some 1000 years ago. Having survived more than a millennium, their form has been reinterpreted by modern designers, and their ceramic construction has given way to other materials to ensure that they seem apt in your contemporary home. Here are a few lovely inspirations that capture their versatile charm –

Chinese garden stool in white in a glam living space with Hollywood Regency style

Traditional Chinese Garden Stool in Gold reinvented to suit the modern interior

by Elad Gonen

Fabulous blue accents enliven the cool family room

by R.M. Buck Builders

White Chinese garden stools seem apt for sleek, modern homes

Unique coffee table using Chinese garden stools in blue and white

by Leslie Hayes Interiors

Beautiful ceremic garden stool acts as a simple side table

by Fisher Hart Photographers

A dreamy living room with warm, inviting ambiance

Reinventing the Classic Approach

The origins of the Chinese garden stools can be traced back to the same time as those amazing and diverse vases that have captured the attention of the world for centuries. The design style, the motifs and workmanship are pretty similar and rely on elaborate scenes from Chinese mythology and historic events of the time. Of course, finding an original Chinese garden stool from several centuries back is both rare and insanely expensive (a task best left to museums and really serious collectors). But modern replicas come for as little as just $100 and make a bargain buy considering the beauty and the resourcefulness they bring to the table.

Living room in white with chevron accents, pastel hues and a Chinese garden stool

by Tamara Mack Design

Pops of yellow, red and blue for the white living room with Asian theme

Modern interior inspired by Chinese design

by Gil Walsh Interiors

Porcelain garden stools in white with blue print are incredibly popular and are more costly than the cookie-cutter models that might be available at your nearest retail chain. But if you are a collector of antiques and love carefully curated interiors, these stools can be invaluable additions that enhance the appeal of any space they adorn.

Add a bit of color to the room with the iconic jade stool

by Chipper Hatter Architectural Photographer

Blue and white Chinese garden stool in the eclectic home office

by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti

Chinese garden stool in orange doubles as a bedside table

by Laidlaw Schultz architects

Lovely living room embrace the blue and white color scheme

by James Schettino Architects

Living room with vaulted ceiling and elegant decor

A Truly Global Appeal!

It is amazing how old Chinese vases, cabinets and garden stools are being incorporated seamlessly into sleek, modern homes without ever moving away from the broader theme or the color scheme. For starters, it speaks volumes about the appeal of a global style of decorating that borrows from diverse backdrops that range from the African style to the Oriental. But more essentially, it comes down to ingenious designers reinventing the traditional Chinese garden stool. Classic prints and dragons have been replaced by solid colors, while the design material is also more varied, thanks to porcelain.

Accentuate the accent color with the exclusive Chinese garden stool

by Glynis Wood Interiors

Elegant and spacious living room with twin Chinese garden stools

by Marcye Philbrook

Use the simple barrel shape of the Chinese garden stool to add geometric contrast

by Toronto Interior Design Group – Yanic Simard

As in the case of colorful vintage pieces and bold geometric patterns finding new life in contemporary homes, the Chinese garden stool owes its sudden popularity spurt to the greater use of neutral backdrops. These versatile and space-saving additions can quickly add some bright color to the room or even enhance the existing accent hue. You can even opt for sleeker and far more westernized versions of the stool that seem like distant cousins of the traditional Chinese garden stool.

Modern versions of the classic garden stools serve as small party tables

by Lowe’s Home Improvement – Building Supplies

Contemporary bathroom in white with tall cabinet and Chinese garden stool in white

by Muse Interiors

Sparkling living room draped in hot fuchsia and mellow yellows

by Andrea Schumacher Interiors

Ceramic garden stool in black in the modern glass shower enclosure

by Worth Interiors

Blue Chinese garden stool for the small workspace in the bedroom

Glitter of Gold & Smidgeon of Silver

It is the season for bright metallic accents, and they seem to be dominating every interior that we gaze upon. Why not use the Chinese garden stool to add a touch of silver and a dash of gold to the color scheme of your living room or bedroom? The convenience of these light and sturdy accessories is that you can easily move them from one room to another when you wish to redecorate your home. They also make wonderful side tables, bedside nightstands and even simple and minimalist additions for the luxurious, spa-like bathroom.

Simple and stylish silhouette of the Chinese garden stools in gold

Add lovely golden accents to the room with the trendy garden stool

by Laura U

Chinese garden stool ushers in some silver sizzle ito the contemporary living space

by Stage Struck

Transitional living room in Chicago with the garden stool in gold

by Cynthia Lynn Photography

Fancy a game of chess with some golden charm

by Reliving Interiors

Did Someone Say ‘Garden’?

Yes, there might be many who are already wondering if we have lost it! We did say that these were garden stools, and yet they seem to be spending all their time indoors. The Chinese garden stool did evolve from serene, ancient Buddhist gardens that were all about nature and balance between the elements. The first such stools probably were tree stumps and cylindrical stones that were simply crafted by the elements and the natural weathering process. In time, ceramic versions took over. But true to the tradition, here are a few inspirations that show you how easily this stool can adapt to the needs of the modern patio or terrace as well.

Garden stools can be used both indoors and oustide in the porch

Decorating idea for a small porch with comfy seating and a Chinese garden stool

by CIH Design

Beautiful garden stools in bright orange

by Laura U / Photography by Julie Soefer

A hint of oriental charm for the patio

Relaxing deck space that brings a touch of green to the modern home

by Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

While we often spend time discussing decor additions and design icons that will make you lighter by several thousand dollars at times, here is a little, timeless wonder that will not break the bank. And that makes the Chinese garden stool even more special. The options are indeed endless, so pick a style and a hue of your choice and get started today!

Sherry Nothingam
Sherry is a blogger who loves to live her life to the fullest. She enjoys everything associated with design, décor and stylish modern trends. Born in California, Sherry has grown up on open ranches and in a wild setting, which has defined her taste for design and developed her interest in examining how structures and homes interact with the beauti[...]

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