Asked on Apr 28, 2018

INO advice for an empty box near front door

Ali KayTaePat
+17

Answered

We recently moved into a house built in 1955, and it has a short wall with a box just inside the front door. (See pictures). We are relatively sure that it was originally a ledge that held poles to the ceiling, which was a regular feature when the home was built. At some point, the poles were removed and the ledge was opened into a box. The previous owners put plastic foliage in the box, but we don't really like plastic plants and the spot doesn't get enough light for real plants. Right now, it's just an open, empty box, so it tends to collect mail and other junk items. I would love some suggestions on what we could do with it, other than just put a shelf on top of it.
14 answers
  • Dee
    Dee
    on Apr 28, 2018

    If you do not like it, why don' t you just remove it. It isn't load bearing and would give you some extra space.
    • Kim Weiss
      Kim Weiss
      on Apr 28, 2018

      We have thought about removing it, but it would mean repairing or replacing the carpet in the hallway to fill in the gap, as well as repairing the plaster wall by the door. Our budget is slim for this project. We also do rather like the short wall there--just not the empty box on top of it.
  • Nancy Turner
    Nancy Turner
    on Apr 28, 2018

    You can have many real live plants to choose from. There are many houseplants that don't need a lot of light. We have one of them just inside our kitchen door, circa 1954, that is made of the brick the fireplace has. The previous owners put in rock and set jarred candles in it as accent. It works for me! It is not unattractive at all.
    • Nancy Turner
      Nancy Turner
      on Apr 29, 2018

      There are many houseplants you could go with, my local home depot has a woman that cares for the plants and they are all really nice. They have many plants that can take little or no light. If you put a taller lamp on the table by it and put in a daylight bulb, it would keep the lower light plants healthy. Daylight bulbs have to total spectrum of light just like grow lights, but much lower intensity for the low light plants. You could put the plants in nice pots and keep them that way and fill the rest of the planter with rocks or gravel. I would get a moisture meter and look up and copy articles on them to have reminders of when to fertilize, water, etc. Some like to dry up before watering, some like to stay moist, so the meter will let you know when each of them need watering. I have a black thumb for houseplants, but a green thumb outside, so hubby takes care of the house and I do the outside. He relies on his water meter because he has many plants that have different needs. The only thing I do to houseplants is the repotting when needed and rooting plants like our pothos to add to our collection of over twenty house plants and a large terrarium.
  • William
    William
    on Apr 28, 2018

    I would remove it. Looks like it was an after thought. Looks weird.
    • Nancy Turner
      Nancy Turner
      on Apr 29, 2018

      I live in a house that was build in 1954 and I have one just inside my kitchen door. They were fairly common in houses around that time.
  • Baxter
    Baxter
    on Apr 28, 2018

    You could make a cover from a piece of wood shelving or plywood to fasten to the top. Add edge molding to match the other trim if needed and then paint to match the base. Then treating it as an entry divider instead of a mail drop might be the hardest part.
    • B. Enne
      B. Enne
      on Apr 29, 2018

      YW ! I like the hooks and bench combo, at least it is practical. Although you can't see it in that picture, it apparently was a planter in it its former life too.
  • Judi1
    Judi1
    on Apr 29, 2018

    Snake plants do well in low light and are hard to kill.
  • Laura Cooper
    Laura Cooper
    on Apr 29, 2018

    Cap it with a nice, overhanging piece of wood that matches your beautiful floors
  • Amy Ogden-Paparone
    Amy Ogden-Paparone
    on Apr 29, 2018

    Hi Kim,
    We actually just bought our home that was built in 1953 and it had the same exact thing! I really want to knock it down eventually but for the time being my husband got a beautiful piece of barn wood that we sanded down and stained and it sits on top. I have a bowl on it now to drop your keys into when you come into the house and some fresh flowers. Ah! But how I dream of the day it's completely gone!
  • Yay31581319
    Yay31581319
    on Apr 29, 2018

    I would attach a piece of white lattice panel and grow a philladendron or golden pothos on it
  • Fiddledd224
    Fiddledd224
    on Apr 29, 2018

    I grew up in a house that had this exact box! It was a "modern design feature" in the 60's that was meant to hold silk or real flowers or plants.
  • Dee
    Dee
    on Apr 30, 2018

    In that case, buy a piece of plywood, stain and place on top and use it for a ledge. Or you can go to a tile store and buy a few of those large tiles and cover the top.
  • Pat
    Pat
    on May 1, 2018

    We put a board on top of ours .stained and vanished it.. Putting a bowl of box on top is optional.
  • Tae
    Tae
    on May 1, 2018

    i had that in my house but I just ripped the whole dang thing out!!
  • Ali Kay
    Ali Kay
    on May 4, 2018

    Someone else said it above...i was thinking a small bubbly fountain. They are relatively easy to make, are inexpensive, and the sound of water is always soothing. Plus, you'll tend to keep your mail elsewhere.:)
Your comment...