I just love it when a home item multitasks.
Call it what you will — frugal, demanding, unreal — but why should any item in your home do just. one. thing? Enter the coveted ceramic garden seat I’ve been hunting for all season! Seemingly reporting of only one task in it’s name, the garden seat does many things, many of which do not need to take place in the garden. This versatile and stylish piece lends itself to being a unique side table (inside or out) to hold a drink or your latest read, can be used as extra seating for company, can rest weary legs and feet as an ottoman, act as a plant stand or just sit pretty in the garden or in the home as sculptural interest. If space is an issue, you can tuck it underneath a narrow console table which looks doubly good in a pair. Prices for these stylish stools range from $40 to upwards of $500, but I’ve heard from some lucky shoppers of scoring them even less at consignment shops.
Most ceramic garden seats on the market today draw inspiration from their antique cousins which were original to China, and yes, were used in gardens as seats over 1,000 years ago. Some say the barrel shape of the seat is reminiscent of smoothed-over tree stumps, which might have been used Buddhist style gardens. These garden seats have a wide range of decoration which typically includes pierced motifs, floral designs, and relief faux nail heads or rivets that mimic the look of ancient Chinese drums. It’s no wonder this design has stayed around for so long – it’s practical and pretty!