What Are Garden Stools Used For? A Guide to Their Many Applications

garden stool near two chairs outside

Garden stools are a special type of chair that is used outdoors, however can also make a great part of the interior decor in one’s home. The difference between garden stools and regular chairs is that they often have a flat top, which can be used as a table or as a serving surface. As they are typically placed in one’s outdoor yard space, garden stools are usually made out of weather-resistant materials such as metal, wood, or plastic. Especially decorative types even include ceramic garden stools! One of the best attributes about them is that they come in many different shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your specific needs.

The Main Purpose For A Garden Stool

A garden stool is most commonly used for seating around the garden or in an outdoor entertaining area. In addition to the outdoors in the garden or on one’s porch, they are also widely used indoors as a part of the interior decor.

Below are a few different ways that people use garden stools:

  • As a side table next to the sofa, or as end tables for decorating with planters, plants, or other decorative accents to display
  • Impromptu seating for visiting guests when hosting a BBQ or outdoor event
  • A perch for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to rest on
  • As art- some come with rather detailed and intricate patterns
  • A decorative table with books, beverages, or other knickknacks

No matter what you use them for, a garden stool is an attractive and easy way to add seating and style to your outdoor space. Perfect for summer, interior designers commonly use them can bring life to an otherwise dry decor scheme. They are versatile, long-lasting pieces of furniture that will last for years to come.

History of the Garden Stool

Garden stools have a long and fascinating history, dating back centuries to the gardens of China. During this early period, the Chinese often used them as extra seating or as small coffee tables for entertaining guests in outdoor spaces. Over time, their popularity spread throughout Asia and then eventually to Europe, where they became popular decorative accent pieces for the home. Today, the garden stool remains popular for both indoor and outdoor use due to their versatility, style, and ability to offer an eye-catching focal point in any space. From their humble origins in the East to modern-day decor pieces around the world, the garden stool is truly a timeless piece that can blend seamlessly into just about any space.

Examples of How to Use Garden Stools in Specific Rooms

In the Bathroom

A stool in front of the bathroom provides easy access for everything from towels to bathroom books. Because garden stool materials have the capacity to be durable and resistant in order to weather the outdoor elements, they can withstand the humidity from the shower or tub in the bathroom. You can even place it directly under the bathtub if there is no storage space for soap or lotion.

As a Coffee Table or Side Table

An upholstered chair and a stool provide a comfortable reading area, and garden stools flanked by a couch also provide an accompanying place to place drinks or the remote. Several of them put together could even serve as a coffee table, one that is more flexible than nesting tables. You will also commonly find a garden stool flanked by end tables, as a common decorating tactic.

As a Bedside Table

A garden stool makes a great alternative to nightstands on small beds. This unique silhouette also adds a unique dimension to a bedroom, if placed nearby the bed (especially at the foot of the bed). Lighted stools with sconces or other lamps placed on top of them for nightlights are an especially compelling touch for a guest bedroom.

As an Accent Piece

A garden stool can provide an easy way to add a statement piece to any room in the house. While often used for a practical purpose such as in the entryway for additional seating, it is also very common to use them as unique pieces throughout the house that are purely for aesthetic reasons.

Why do garden stools have a hole in the top?

More commonly seen when the stool is being used outside, a hole will help the water escape from the stool without soaking its top. Although called “stools”, ceramic garden chairs have often been used for accents rather than for sitting.

What Should I Know About the Different Types of Material?

When it comes to the materials in garden stools, wood is often used for its strength and durability. Metal or a porcelain garden stool is great for adding a modern touch to your outdoor space. Ceramic stools add a classic look that’s perfect for making an impression. Finally, concrete garden stools provide a look that’s both rustic and industrial at the same time.


Garden stools can add a touch of class to any home, whether you are using them for decoration next to plant stands or for practical purposes such as entertaining. If you are looking for garden stools, be sure to check out our stock. We have a variety of different styles and colors to choose from so that you can find the perfect stool for your needs.