Seat of Style

by Amitha Verma Interior Design, www.amithaverma.com

Humble though it may sound, the simple garden stool has made quite a place for itself in the homes of the design-savvy. In fact, many of these so called ‘garden’ seats are anything but simple, and they are certainly not all relegated to the outdoors! So many of these stools are now seen in fancy finishes, beautiful designs and eye-catching colors, often making them a focal point of the space they inhabit, rather than simply an extra seating solution.

(Source: Elle Decor)

Some of the garden stools I have come across have been so pretty, I wonder if anyone could actually bring themselves to sit on them! I often see gorgeous ceramic stools which originate from China but which work very well within French-style interiors – whether in an outdoor setting or an indoor one. Since many French styles are inspired by Asian design, the blend usually works really well. See how well these ceramic stools match in a semi-formal veranda setting?

(Source: House Beautiful)

I’m a big fan of versatile pieces, and I love how these stools look just as good inside the home too. I like how these Chinese stone stools look just right in this neutral toned entry hall. The shape and form remind me of the beautiful pottery I saw on my last antique-hunting trip to France, especially the pretty confit jars that are so popular over there.

(Source: House Beautiful)

When stools are this ornamental, it seems a shame to use them just as extra seats. They make very pretty and unusual side tables too, and with such a range of designs and artwork, they can hold their own even in formal rooms. Or how about a single carved stool next to your favorite easy chair to hold your book and a miniature vase of flowers?

(Source: House Beautiful)

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Taking the Inside Out

by Amitha Verma Interior Design, www.amithaverma.com

I love it when clients ask me to create an outdoor space for them that builds upon the interior I have designed for them. The whole concept of taking the ‘inside’ into the ‘outside’ means that there is a real sense of continuity and flow in the home.

As with my interiors, I tend towards very classic, French-influenced outdoor spaces. I especially love creating intimate little courtyards – a place to sit and relax, have a glass of wine and enjoy the sunset! I get inspired by designs like this one – a small, private space that feels to me like those hidden, romantic gardens in the French Quarter. I love the effect of the traditional white shutters against the ivy-covered walls – so charming!

(Source: House Beautiful)

A courtyard, for me, combines the best of inside and out: it is more private than an ‘exposed’ front garden and yet more open to the sun and the elements than the inside of the house. It’s nice to create a sense of privacy with nearly-touching tree branches overhead, trellises and even lengths of white muslin. How gorgeous is this sun-dappled courtyard at the Avignon home of artist Pascale Palun? The antique Biot pot that stands front and center reminds me of all the pottery I saw on my recent trip to France.

(Source: Trouvais)

This is another one of my favorite courtyard spaces. It just screams ‘Parisian chic’. The distressed iron chairs and table, the fabulous old-fashioned wall-sconces, even the gravel drive – it all works together so perfectly. I’m always drawn to this kind of elegant palette of gray, ivory and black; it’s a combination that never grates, never goes out of style, never stops pleasing the eye…

(Source: Trouvais)

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