I need advice for this entryway eyesore please!

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This is part of the entryway to our multi-level house. The main entrance is to the left of this "thing". I plan on painting the wall behind it a medium gray but after that I am stumped. The "brick whatever that is" has white sand & white gravel in it maybe 6 inches deep (older former homeowner). Suggestions? The carpet is staying for a while b/c it was put in brand new before we bought it and is high-quality carpet.
q advice on this eyesore , concrete masonry, foyer, home decor, home decor dilemma
  29 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 02, 2016
    In my opinion if you paint the brick the same color as the wall it will not be as obvious. You could put potted or silk plants within that area to dress it up.

  • Tpup Tpup on May 02, 2016
    I would have nice wood covers made, paint all the brick, and use it as shelves until you can rip it out.

  • MN Mom MN Mom on May 02, 2016
    Consider it retro and use it for its intended purpose as a planter or paint out the brick in a light neutral to coordinate but not match the wall. Matching may look too much like you're trying to hide it. A trio of nice wooden baskets with lids would help contain the clutter. Until you can have it removed, make the most of the unique architecture.

  • Merri jo Merri jo on May 02, 2016
    Definitely paint the bricks and plant either live succulents or buy the look real fake ones. They don't need much water at all.

  • William William on May 02, 2016
    It is retro and that's where it should've stayed. I remember a lot of homes having these "planters". Many people just didn't want to plant or care for them. A lot of people just converted them for seating areas when kids would congregate. Paint them a shade darker than the wall, cover the tops with some nice wood, add some cushions, and the kids have a place to sit when they get together. When your ready to replace the carpet, tear it out, extend the steps, and recarpet.

  • Tesspug Tesspug on May 02, 2016
    If you can't stand the brick ,even if it is painted, then cover it with bead board, pallet wood or wood planks. I agree with Parker and would make wooden shelves for the top. Baskets or boxes could provide extra storage.

  • KatAych KatAych on May 02, 2016
    If I had this, I would turn it into a cascading fountain! But that's just me...

  • Tami Chrisman Tami Chrisman on May 03, 2016
    If you need storage, this would be a great secret place for hiding those Christmas presents with some modern decoration on them OR have them built up even with drawers for games, etc.

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on May 03, 2016
    Can you post a pic of the whole area - so we can see what the VIEW is when looking at it ....

  • Missie Rebecca Missie Rebecca on May 03, 2016
    I'd take the back brick wall out, and add wood shelves/toppers to the existing brick staircase. You could put them (the shelves) on hinges and use the empty space inside as storage If you have wood floors, I'd try to match that, or paint them in your trim color

  • Johnchip Johnchip on May 03, 2016
    It was obviously built for plants and drainage. I would paint or cover the brick get square planter boxes to fit the openings and put in some nice plants as it has the drainage to make it easy to keep. Or cover the carpet and rip it out.

  • Debbie Debbie on May 03, 2016
    I would paint the brick the same color as the wall. Hopefully it will be a dark enough gray that it will contrast the brick cap. This will make it blend in more. Maybe put a decorative railing (if it makes sense), clean out sand and rocks and put in battery operated candles to light your entryway and steps.

  • Dianne Forster Dianne Forster on May 03, 2016
    I would paint the whole area including the brick the same color as the wall and as I love plants/greenery I would fill the gravel areas with artificial plants. Good artificial plants can be costly but they are well worth the money. (If the area was well lit I might put in live plants in square plastic pots. I would cover any visual space with sphagnum moss but it sounds like you do not have much depth to play with.)

  • Melly Melly on May 03, 2016
    I like some of the ideas above! And from what I can see in your photo here is my suggestion which could be a temporary fix until better inspiration hits. 1. Remove the rocks and clean each box. 2. Gather some reclaimed or salvaged wood to create 'lids' that would completely cover the top surface of each of the two lower brick boxes and then use the same wood to create a 'lid' and 'ledge' to cover the uppermost brick box. Add cleats on the bottom side of the 'lids' so they will stay in place AND be removable for easy access 3. Stain or paint according to your preference. 4. Use the new 'lids' as display platforms for some of your larger collectibles/plants/pottery/lanterns/statuary/vases of floral stems. The options for display are practically unlimited! Love a challenge like this! Good luck!

  • Sus4499217 Sus4499217 on May 03, 2016
    On the brick areas I would cover with faux stone and if you like the recessed pockets I would put some type of plant if you have the right light. If not have a flat stone put on each recessed box and then put baskets or some art work there. If you use a weathered stone color it will go great with grey paints.

  • Lynn Vandever Lynn Vandever on May 03, 2016
    If you paint the brick it will be a bugger to remove the paint if you decide you don't like it. I would get poster board and tape there and paint it first and see how I like the color, cheaper than all the effort it will take to take off paint on brick. As for where the rocks are, I'm a plant person so I think maybe 3 nice potted ferns or whatever plant you like. If not lighted well enough for plants, have a few extra and switch them out every 3 or 4 weeks depending on how they thrive. I like the form but I'm not a brick person. If you paint poster board same color as wall it will blend, if you paint it a darker shade of gray than wall it will stand out, if you like it. Seasonal decorations/flowers would keep things more interesting through the year. You have lots of options, be creative.

  • Mona Morgan Mona Morgan on May 03, 2016
    I would also paint the brick to match wall, then I would change the 80's planter into a set of interesting shelves where I would place a bowl or great container to hold keys and phones, the next step maybe a woven basket or small pictures.When turned into shelves your options are almost limitless :-)

  • Leslie Leslie on May 03, 2016
    Hi Carla, I have been looking at the "thing" as closely as I can and am wondering if that is brick veneer, or real brick. If it is veneer you most likely can remove it to see what the structure under it is and deconstruct it. Even if real brick I would take the chance and demolish it. It might be a messy job but if that structure is just there and can be removed I would do so. Your entry looks to be inside your home and not on the outside so the structure may very well be cosmetic. If you are not sure and timid about demolishing it yourself get in touch with someone who does masonry for a living and see if they can shed some light on it to help you out. If you do decide to take it apart then you can go from there and possibly widen the steps. It seems as though the original builders didn't know what to do with that space because of how the stairs are situated so they put that in. The other thing I was thinking is, if you want to keep part of the ledge for a catch all then just remove the top two tiers and make a wooden cap and paint the "brick" or get some pallet wood and cover the vertical brick part and the wall brick. Add some square baskets. Good luck.

  • Heidi Heidi on May 03, 2016
    Look up white wash on brick. Remove trim on top of squares, top with large ceramic floor tiles, decorate as if they were shelves. Tie wall décor into shelf decorations.

  • Marilyn Marilyn on May 03, 2016
    I would clad it in wood. Depending on your style it could look like ship lap, reclaimed barn wood or could be traditional with trim work. Top it with pretty stone slab; marble, slate, soapstone, granite etc.

  • Cindi Cindi on May 03, 2016
    I agree with Marilyn, cover it with wood, with a Marble top stone, or whatever you like, then you could put candles or vases or nick nacks on them. This "thing" is actually very cool, just not the brick planter look. Whatever you do with it, it will look better than the red brick.

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on May 04, 2016
    The problem with pulling it out is that the new carpeting is right up against it, so once you remove the brick you will be left with a gap to deal with. Until you are ready for a complete gut, I would agree with the above comments to just paint it to match the wall. But the "frame" of each hole looks like poured concrete, you could go in that direction and keep it unpainted. Then remove the sand and stone and replace with some weathered planks to match your fence sign that you have hanging above it. After that, I would use a themed approach to decorate it- nautical, for instance, with each step holding a boat model, a lantern, some shells, etc. You could change it out for each time of year.

  • Karen Karen on May 04, 2016
    I would put wood around it. Maybe make it into a cascading water fixture

  • Debbie James Debbie James on May 04, 2016
    wood look tile would be great too....

  • Bkc2023521 Bkc2023521 on May 05, 2016
    Another option would be to box it in all the way to the ceiling, and make varied level shelf openings for books, baskets for storing gloves/hats/ etc at the entry. That would give you some interesting focal points, and eliminate possible clutter in your entry.

  • Eileen Eileen on May 08, 2016
    In my house, we take our shoes off at the door. I think I might empty each column, make a cool top for each with a rustic handle and make them "shoe bins".

  • Laurie Hodges Laurie Hodges on May 08, 2016
    I would paint the brick with concrete/brick paint the same color as the wall color you choose, then I would plant succulents in a nice variety, making sure you have at least one tall plant in each. Why fight it....I would also save my money and get rid of the carpet as soon as possible.

  • Cynthia Hutchison Cynthia Hutchison on May 08, 2016
    I would plant succulents in the planters. Succulents need very little to no water and prefer sandy soil with a rocky top dressing, try Snake plants, agaves, and hens and chickens. They are very sculptural, very mid-century modern which fits the planter's style and relatively carefree.

  • Peggy Jean Bree Peggy Jean Bree on May 09, 2016
    I would cover the brick with pretty tiles that looks like wood strips, and paint a deep color on the wall. If the planters are waterproof, remove half of the white rocks. Then add a sand based planter soil and plant drought tolerant succulents such as rainbow sedums, creeping thyme and blue festuca. They are very easy to care for.