What can I do with this planter area?

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My home was built in the 70s with this planter area right inside the living room. It had one of those dark mirrors with the gold design on it (which I still have). What can I do with this area, I like real plants but I won't take care of it. I'm turning the room into a combo formal dining/library with bookcases along one wall, dining table in middle, and 2 chair/table reading area next to this half wall. I plan on putting a vintage bar cart on the other wall so I won't need a bar area here. We are working on the updating, walls will be retextured and painted. Any ideas?
q what can i do with this planter area, gardening, home decor, home improvement, living room ideas
q what can i do with this planter area, gardening, home decor, home improvement, living room ideas
  16 answers
  • Relli Relli on May 03, 2015
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ITRJG3S?psc=1 http://en.paperblog.com/product-spotlight-sao-paulo-collection-513222/ Change out the recessed light fixture You don't have a lot of light in that area, brighten it up and use hanging planter globes, the ones from amazon I posted above are really decent in price but you maybe can find them a bit cheaper whole sale. Dollar store vases or mason Jars work really well. Use 8 -10 of these make 3-5 hanging light pendants and the other globes I would place air or succulent plants they are popular right now and low maintenance! I can just see the light dancing off the glass, and illuminating that corner. Lay a rustic painted board across the bottom and put a ceramic bowl as accent to throw keys in or simple decor balls. :-) Good Luck!
    • Sheila Pruitt Sheila Pruitt on May 03, 2015
      @Relli I like those hanging lights, don't think I can afford the artist but it does give me the idea that I could replace the light with some cool pendant :)
  • Lois Chambliss Lois Chambliss on May 03, 2015
    You could close off the hole to make a solid counter. Then you could use the area for either a buffet area for deserts, etc. or for decor when you are not needing the space for food. I would put shelves in the space above for either more books or nicknacks or dishes you want to show off.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on May 03, 2015
    Like Lois Chambliss reply. I, too, would make it into a counter space. I would also place a mirror above it to expand the space.
  • Shelley Shelley on May 03, 2015
    You could make it a small bar area. Paint the walls a contrasting color to your walls so it pops. Put up some nice shelves for items. You could make the planter into a cooler for ice or close it off for a serving area. I could see it being a real showpiece.
  • Marion Griffith Marion Griffith on May 03, 2015
    I like the shelf idea for books, etc. Would an armoire-type closet for coats work? Just inside the living room gives me a mental picture of beside the front door.
  • Sheila Pruitt Sheila Pruitt on May 03, 2015
    Thanks ladies, I'm thinking combine a little of all your ideas. I like buffet area, mirrors, and pops of color. It's also right by my front door, the 6' wide entry steps down into this room.
  • Tracey Tracey on May 03, 2015
    Would you consider putting shelves in there? Also what's on the other side? Maybe take the wall out make a pass thru of some kind?
  • PainterNoni PainterNoni on May 04, 2015
    how about building a tall beautiful fountain...............then have some kind of varying length hanging lights..........or more useful............some place to put stuff on after coming into the room
  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on May 04, 2015
    I would close it up & make a counter. You can have a place to leave your keys & your purse.
  • Diane Batton Diane Batton on May 04, 2015
    The fountain idea sounds great!
  • Debbie McGarrity Debbie McGarrity on May 04, 2015
    Google feng shui and find out what corner of your home or is like money and add accordingly or love etc I would illuminate the square place perspex or cut glaS's to fit (safety of course ikea hackers have ideas, place an object that corresponds with that area and it will illuminate it like money tree lovers statue or water fountain helps chI flow too x
  • Ysm1000860 Ysm1000860 on May 04, 2015
    Waterfall feature?
  • PainterNoni PainterNoni on May 05, 2015
    Oh, yes........I like the idea of Ysmaine....a small waterfall......the sound of the water during dining would be so nice. I have a small foundtain in my livind room as part of my gallery wall..........the water sounds are so soothing......plus adds a bit of humidity to the air........perhaps just enough humidity to have a plant that takes little or no care........
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on May 05, 2015
    I'm thinking that since you are already building a bar area and have a wall of bookcases, I would add some clear glass shelving into this little nook. Use it to display some pretty china or pottery with some pops of color that go with the room. Change that flush ceiling light to a small chandelier or pendant that shines directly down on it. And I would just cover over that planter hole and paint it.
  • April E April E on May 05, 2015
    I havery 1 of those I dug out the dirt, filled it with sand, "gems" some old costume jewerly, and those tiny alcohol bottles. Then I added a string of led lights around the edge, and topped it with table grade glass. Added shelves and a wine glass chandelier. Instant themed bar area. Cost $135, and people love it. Cost was less than a cart and the conversation starter was worth it
  • CK CK on May 05, 2015
    I have an area similar to this in my 1961 house. It has the 'built in' planter boxes too. When we bought the house, the previous owners had just put glass over the opening. I style it differently from time to time and sometimes I have two planters with faux succulents in them that look so real, people think they are. :-) I think if you cover the opening you'll have tons of possibilities. Here are two images of my boxes styled in different ways. (One was Christmas time.)
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