How can I make over this built-in planter?

by Jess

What would you guys do with this built in planter? Take it completely out, refinish it somehow? Ideas please!

  24 answers
  • Janice Janice on Jan 18, 2020

    Hi Jess, here's one idea for you.

    Is there storage beneath the planter area. If so, use it to your advantage and then possibly paint in the same color as your walls or a complementary color you love.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 18, 2020

    Wow my mom had one of those in our home when i was a kid. We hated it. She took it down which made the entryway larger. Of course we had to get new flooring. Ours was not load bearing, so check to see if you can take it down, because it looks like there is a board going to the ceiling. You could always bover the plant area and make shelves on the top. Is the bottom brick? Ours was and there was no way we could figure out how to make it storage.

  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 18, 2020

    I see that your carpet is gray. If you want to keep the brick box, paint the bricks white or light gray to go with the room's decor. Everything in the room looks light and airy. The red brick weighs it down and does not work with your decor. My first choice was to tear it out but then you would have to fix the flooring under it. Good luck.

  • Where is it in your home?

    • Jes48629739 Jes48629739 on Jan 18, 2020

      it is the main entry way into the home. We have the TV to the left of the boots in this picture, then the couch sits in front of a large picture window to the right of the dog toy basket. The living room is long and narrow with a large bricked fireplace between living room/kitchen with walk ways on both sides of it.

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on Jan 18, 2020


    If this area could be used for other things then you could take it out but you would need to have flooring to match what is under it. You could use it for potted plants, for a bar, or to place colored bottles for decor there.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on Jan 19, 2020

    Decorative see-thru shelving

  • Dwp7470b Dwp7470b on Jan 19, 2020

    Keep it as it is, maybe paint the Brick something brighter like Cream or Antique White. You really are considering reducing Equity and Home Value by taking it out and leaving it bare. You will notice a Difference in Air Scent and Air Quality and regret it, if ever you do take it out.

  • Lucky Home Today Lucky Home Today on Jan 19, 2020

    I would either take it completely out or make it a small landing with storage basket for keys, etc.

  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Jan 19, 2020

    I'd take it out

  • 17335038 17335038 on Jan 19, 2020

    Removing the planter will not affect the Equity you have in your home. Equity is the amount that you have already paid towards clearing the amount owing on a mortgage.

    Any effect on Market Value is negligible, as the 'dated feature' is decorative only, not structural.

  • Peggy L Burnette Peggy L Burnette on Jan 19, 2020

    Hi Jess, do you love the planter or could you use the space? Here is one idea for redoing your built in planter. Personally I would remove it. Good luck › updating-retro-built-in-planter

    Updating a retro built-in planter - Lovely Etc.

    Our house has a lot of quirks unique to ranch homes from the 60s and 70s. ... And a built in planter separating the dining room from the living room. I’m not really a retro kind of girl – so the paneling got painted and the planter box found a new purpose.

  • Catherine Deirdre Rodden Catherine Deirdre Rodden on Jan 20, 2020

    If the bricks are real, I agree with folks telling you to paint them lighter tone. If not real, I'd look into turning space into a cabinet for boots/shoes.

    I see an outlet at the base. Maybe you can hook up a wiring conduit and set up a charging station. Everyone can grab their phones on the way out the door in the morning?

    Maybe turn it into a mini bench where someone can sit to remove their boots?

  • I had one in a house and actually turned it into a "bar" serving area:

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Jan 21, 2020

    I actually like it! You could paint the bricks white to brighten up the area and if you don't want plants in it, you can add a top and use it as bar and the plant area as a small storage area.

  • Judy Judy on Jan 21, 2020

    I would take the planter out and make it a shelving unit. If you don’t use the light remove them.

  • MomofivejsOR MomofivejsOR on Jan 21, 2020

    I have one in our entry also. I turned it in to a charging station and mail drop off.

  • Lindsey A Mahoney Lindsey A Mahoney on Jan 22, 2020

    If you have it in the budget to repair the flooring, I would remove the planter altogether. If you want to makeover the planter I would paint the brick or apply shiplap around the base and add a solid wood top to cover the hole and make a little table.

  • Lindsay Aratari Lindsay Aratari on Mar 31, 2020

    you could paint it

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 04, 2021


    Add shelving above it ?

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Oct 31, 2021

    I would take the planter out and make it a shelving unit. If you don’t use the light remove them.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Aug 31, 2023

    Make it a storage area by having a lift off lid. Make it into a desk, Bar/Cellar or remove it or make a built in cupboard instead.

  • I think it's super cool and very retro. I would keep the planter and plant colorful flowers in them. If you don't like the base you could paint it.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 01, 2023

    Personally, since it is not load-bearing, take it out.

  • Deb K Deb K on Sep 02, 2023

    Hello Jess, hope this inspires you. How about putting a solid counter over the hole and painting it and the lower brick a nice color to match your decor.