Chinese garden stools – now a popular indoor decorating accessory

You’re probably familiar with the concept of barrel-shaped stools. They are now a very popular decorating accessory for homes featuring all styles. They are mostly used in living rooms either as seats, side tables or simply as decorations. But very few people know where these accessories come from.The barrel-shaped ceramic stools come from China where they were originally garden stools.

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Contemporary white and grey bathroom featuring a black barrel-shaped stool

They have been used there for more than a millennium and it’s probable that they evolved out of the Buddhist garden tradition. The tradition back then was to use natural elements such as tree stumps and rocks as seats. The garden was a very important part of all Chinese homes. The houses were traditionally built around a courtyard and the connection with the outdoors was very important. This meant that outdoor furniture was very important as well.

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Asian-inspired living room with ceramic garden stools of various sizes
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Eclectic bedroom featuring a fireplace and a ceramic side table
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Contemporary, open-space bathroom with a stylish barrel stool
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Eclectic living room with a small Asian-inspired side table in between two armchairs
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Tangerine guest bedroom with white and brown accents and a chic side table
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Relaxing poolside space featuring orange Chinese garden stools

With time, these garden stools started to also be used indoors and they became popular in living rooms and bedrooms. They also began to feature decorative elements and motifs. With time they also began to be exported to the West where they became very popular in the mid-20th century. They are still considered to be beautiful decorative elements for all types of interiors and for all the rooms in the house.

Picture sources : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.