Ugly planter

by Winks74
No clue what to do with this ugly permanent planter. I want to demolish it but it looks cemented to the floor and a floor redo isn't in the budget. Ideas, suggestions?
This monstrosity
Inside the beast
Side view
  64 answers
  • Jan Herman Jan Herman on Sep 09, 2015
    Paint it white and grow some tall greenery in it to balance off the base.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 09, 2015
    I would paint it the a tone of your existing wall color to aid in disguising the planter. Insert some tall plants. Do not plant inside the piece .
  • Martha Martha on Sep 09, 2015
    My daughter's house has one of these. I like the others' ideas. Or you could make a pretty wooden bench top for it and use the inside to store things. Or add a narrow shelf and top and use it as an entry console.
  • Z Z on Sep 09, 2015
    Depending on your skill level, you could simply add a wooden top stained to match your door or painted like your trim. I'd also add trim up the sides where the brick isn't flush with the wall. That could be painted to match the wall or the brick as you don't want it to stand out. If you have more skills and want to make it something more useful, you could cut out the center area of one side or the other and add shelves as shown in the virtual drawing I did for you. I'd cut the brick just above the bottom row through the grout and the sides at the shortest grout lines so you'd have less actual brick to cut through. I showed where I meant in the second drawing.
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  • Sandra Whittier Sandra Whittier on Sep 09, 2015
    If you decide to remove the planter, buy enough tile to use in the entry. Many homes use tile in the entry so you don't ruin carpet or flooring around the door. Pick and chose the planks of wood you would like to keep and make it look more finished by extending some of the boards on the right with some of the boards to the left of the hole on the left from the planter. Begin by laying cardboard on each side of the hole so you don't scratch the wood around the hole. I put a shelf on top of mine and keep it for keys or key holders, cell phones are the last thought as you leave so I have the recharge stations set up right there at the door. the planter could be kept there and remove one side to make a bookcase to the inside of the room. So many choices! I like mine to keep people herded out the door.
  • Mariann Mariann on Sep 09, 2015
    Add a wood top with a hole cut to hold an ice bucket, wine holder on the wall, accessories and make it a wine bar.
  • Z Z on Sep 09, 2015
    Great ideas from Sandra and Mariann. They got my creative juices going again and I though of another idea to turn it into a hiding place. When you make the wooden top, cut a piece that would fit just inside the opening of the brick. Attach that to the bottom of the top piece. You could easily store umbrellas overshoes inside.
  • Moxie Moxie on Sep 09, 2015
    I think I would knock it down half way, add a bench top (hinged) and back that goes up to the ceiling on a 2 x 4 stud wall (flipped sideways to make is thinner) and create an entry coat area and then doe the shelving unit on the other side. I would also whitewash the brick.
  • Fiona Dorse Fiona Dorse on Sep 10, 2015
    You could keep building it up and make a feature wall out of it.
  • Linda Linda on Sep 10, 2015
    How about painting it, or covering it with decorating flooring or tiles that will pull it into the room, and look like you intended it to be there?
  • Melody McSweeney Melody McSweeney on Sep 10, 2015
    I'd cover sides with wainscotting add- a shelf top -adda plant or decorative accessoryand a beautiful bowl or basket for keys and viola! you've created a welcoming foyer!
  • Angela Smith Angela Smith on Sep 10, 2015
    Definitely a bar,remove some bricks from one side 6/7 courses down in some staggerd pattern then put a removable shelf in. Store your bottles in the bottom, another shelf on the top with some fancy edging on 3 sides, ,,, a bespoke bar and talking point too from a unsightly nuisance, ,good luck x 0:)
  • Nan Nan on Sep 10, 2015
    I like Linda's idea of blending it in to make it look like a part of the floor, like it was meant to be there. Make a cover for it and use to display a gorgeous flower arrangement. Just my thoughts.
  • Heliane Ripley Heliane Ripley on Sep 10, 2015
    Or build a bookcase in the exact size of the planter but leave the top shelf off. Now build a top out of old fence pickets or pallet wood, which is wide enough to cover both the planter and the book shelf.
  • Cindy Davis Cindy Davis on Sep 10, 2015
    I like it - I would paint it, white maybe depending on your décor. Then add a shelf of the same color to the top and maybe a basket or bowl for keys, sunglasses, phones - since its in the entry.
  • Purl68 Purl68 on Sep 10, 2015
    Take off the first few layers of bricks, to the height of a bench. Make a bench top by cutting a piece of ply wood then pad and cover to match decor. You could henge the top or add a lip inside the topper to secure the lid. Use the storage for rain gear or what ever. Also gives you a place to sit and remove outside wear
  • Cg Witherell Cg Witherell on Sep 10, 2015
    Oh my gosh! This looks like my front door. I inherited TWO of these beasts. One at the front door, like yours, and one in the kitchen as a breakfast bar. The one in the kitchen is gone! Trust me, it was not a fun project. (I don't understand why anyone would add that kind of weight when there are so many other alternatives.) I personally liked the way that the planter at the door provided some separation. Mine already had an interior shelf and a top so that I can add live plants or decorations. I painted mine and haven't called it a beast since. lol
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  • Kathy Kathy on Sep 10, 2015
    I would cover the sides with wood and make a top for it. I would also put some kind of flower arrangement on it, so it doesn't become a junk dropoff.
  • Suzy kerr Suzy kerr on Sep 10, 2015
    I would white wash it again and put in some tall plants like mother in law spikes which will give you a room divider. Or I would take it all out and go to Flor and get some carpet tiles for your entrance that covers this, too
  • M'sMammy M'sMammy on Sep 10, 2015
    Build open shelves up to the ceiling
  • Judy Wright Judy Wright on Sep 10, 2015
    Could you maybe adhere some sort of top on it (wooden?) and then plaster over the entire thing to make the sides and top smooth to resemble a half wall? Just a thought
  • DianaMarie DianaMarie on Sep 10, 2015
    Could you remove the beast, use a piece of plywood etc.. to temporarily fill the area and cover with a rug/furniture? Front door, high traffic area, you may want a rug there anyway, eh? A 5-lb sledge hammer will tame that beast real quick ;-) If you tear it down half way, spend money for bench materials, but hate that "it's" still there, you'll be twice as mad at yourself. Rugs can temporarily hide a multitude of sins. You can enjoy your living area and have more room for the x-mas tree & family this. :)
  • Girl Girl on Sep 10, 2015
    Create a little book shelf on the left side, put a top over it and paint it white. Can also use a hinge on the top and have a secret compartment, but can be a little difficult to get the screws on the bricks.
  • Nan Nan on Sep 10, 2015 it out ! it looks too dark in the room to plant anything in and as a table would collect everything. I would be worried about running into it in a dark room and breaking my foot. lol. you could tile the entrance and add a tile mosaic if you want to be decorative.
  • Sharyn Diaz Sharyn Diaz on Sep 10, 2015
    I would remove it, since it is in the way and it isn't built into the floor. The wall will be unaffected and you can deal with the floor finish once the demo is done.
  • Sandy Sandy on Sep 10, 2015
    I like the bench seating idea if it could be cut down some.i know when guests come and remove their shoes sometimes it would be much easier if we had a bench seat or put a top over the opening and use for a catch all area..utilize some ideas from typing in small entryway could paint it or stain it to either make it fit in or to bring more attention to it.goodl luck
    • Rub2035710 Rub2035710 on Sep 10, 2015
      @Kegler1000 I agree, cut it down at least half way and make a bench with a top that opens and you could store umbrellas etc inside.
  • Melinda Teal Melinda Teal on Sep 10, 2015
    It it's not in your budget to remove I would paint it the same color as wall. Then your eyes wouldn't center on the planter. If your not into live plants. Fix a silk arrangement in it or use it as an umbrella caddy. Put a cover over whole and make a what not shelving on it.
  • Gail Gail on Sep 10, 2015
    It looks like an afterthought to the room it is not tight to the wall as the baseboard goes behind the brick. It also looks like (from the interior pic) that the hardwood floor runs under it. If floor is real hardwood it could be refinished or build a wooden bench that would look better than that heavy planter. If it was me (and I didn't like it, which I don't) I would knock it down and figure it out after. Good luck.
  • IdahoPiggy IdahoPiggy on Sep 10, 2015
    Oh my.. it looks exactly like the one the we ripped out of our early 50's era ranch style home. you will have to refinish the spot in the floor (yes you will be able to tell something was there) but you can easily cover it with a beautiful throw rug. It is likely not mortared to the wall.
  • Lynnda Lynnda on Sep 10, 2015
    remove it
  • Emilie Emilie on Sep 10, 2015
    Since floor redo isn't in your budget, I suggest painting it and adding a secure cover on top. Can be used for décor/lamp/etc. Good luck.
  • Nicole W. Nicole W. on Sep 10, 2015
    Is that the front door? I would paint it either white or the color of the walls, and insert some planting pots with some tall but slim plants, depending on your style: I think bamboo would look awesome, you can get some very real looking bamboo/other tall plants from Ikea for cheap. It would create a more inviting entry to the house. I suggest bamboo because there will be spaces between stalks, allowing light to come through. I actually think it can be pretty cool. :)
    • Winks74 Winks74 on Sep 10, 2015
      @Nicole W. Yes it's the front door. We just moved in and are in the process of redoing trim/doors/walls. The door is going to be replaced with an actual exterior door. The one in place is an interior door....yikes!
  • Amy B Amy B on Sep 10, 2015
    Firstly, let me offer my condolences. Not only is this thing dated and ugly, it is also in a very unfortunate location. That being said, if you are not able to remove it I would suggest painting it white to match your trim and doors (closet?) and then use it for what it's intended...plants! I found a photo online that sort of shows what I was envisioning. Good luck!
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  • EdiLeck EdiLeck on Sep 10, 2015
    That looks almost exactly like the one that was in my grandparents house! When they sold the house to my aunt and uncle, they cut out one side with a masonry saw and built shelves inside and put glass front doors on the front. It wasn't deep enough for books, my aunt used it as a curio cabinet. I always thought it would have been better to cut it in half (bench height) and put a wood top on it. Since it sat right inside the front door, I thought it would make a great bench to sit and take off/put on shoes!
    • BEVERLY BEVERLY on Sep 10, 2015
      @EdiLeck I think this is the best idea! When adding the seat make it removal to store winter/summer shoes or whatever you need for a little extra storage! That's what I would do. I'd rather have it as functional as possible rather than decorative. I'm all about storage!
  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on Sep 10, 2015
    Put a pretty wood or stone top on it. Add a basket for mail, a pretty bowl for your keys and your have a built in entry table.
  • Karen Karen on Sep 10, 2015
    I'd cover it in beadboard and trim, paint it white and then put a remnant piece of marble or granite on top. You could put a basket to drop off keys when entering the house.
  • Ann Ann on Sep 10, 2015
    I'd cover it with beadboard too. Make a nice top for it and perhaps even put bookshelves on the side away from the door.
  • Joan Joan on Sep 10, 2015
    Take a sledge hammer to it, just make sure you put something to catch the brick. I've seen them taken out, I bet you might like it. Good luck!
  • Jane R. Jane R. on Sep 10, 2015
    There was one of these in the house I sold. It was sort of a rom divider. I just filled it with newspaper, a layer of soil and a top layer of decorative gravel. I then stuck artificial plants in it.
  • Barbara Chase Barbara Chase on Sep 10, 2015
    Cover it with bead board and leave the top open, add dividers and use it for a convenient umbrella stand
  • Iberkeley Iberkeley on Sep 10, 2015
    If you don't like the brick, cover it as suggested above. It seems to be near a window and gets plenty of light - I would fill it with styrofoam peanut and then dirt and put in beautiful plants of various heights or set in pots into the opening. You'll have a bit of a room divider plus some nice green plants all in one. Just don't use fake plants, I personally think they are awful.
  • Kaioverbeck Kaioverbeck on Sep 10, 2015
    It would definitely be a planter, inside or out
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Sep 10, 2015
    Why don't you cover it with a nice piece of wood and you have a shelf,I would paint the brick a lighter neutral color
  • Linda Fraser Linda Fraser on Sep 10, 2015
    You could paint it or you could also box it in with dry wall. Then plaster and paint it.Then attach a finished piece of wood on top to display something.
  • Brenda Haney Brenda Haney on Sep 10, 2015
    If it is just cemented to the floor, could you knock it down about 5-6 bricks and make it into a bench with an opening by the door for umbrellas? either leave the brick or put bead board around it
  • Carol Carol on Sep 11, 2015
    How about turning it into a pony wall & put baskets for keys & Mail on top?
  • Carol Carol on Sep 11, 2015
    Box it in & turn it into a pony wall with baskets or trays on top to hold keys or mail
  • Mary Mary on Sep 11, 2015
    What room is this "thing" in? What style is your house? Cover the stone with paint, aged tin or large time ceiling tiles, wood, mosaic. For the top: fish tank, granite (you can get small pieces from a granite yard) and make it a shelf for plants, items you need to leave by the door- keys, backpacks, etc, seasonal decorations. There is always the possibility of taking it down to floor leve and see what's actually there.
  • Anna L Anna L on Sep 11, 2015
    You could add upright posts/spindles as a wall divider or narrow open shelving all the way to the ceiling as a wall divider and use it for display and keys etc. You could also box it in on the end of the spindles or shelves make a short wall say 24 inches and add hooks for coats.
  • Cindy Minnick Cindy Minnick on Sep 12, 2015
    I would reface the brick with a different tile or stone, then put a cool piece of wood on top, maybe reclaimed or live edge. It could be a really great place for keys or mail. You could also continue sleeves that match the wood up a few feet, in an interesting formation.
  • Bev Bev on Sep 15, 2015
    I would place a top on the planter to hold candle sticks, a small potted plant and a dish of mints (we always have those at the entry). You should redo the brick to suit your personal taste and decor. Then, I'd hang, from the ceiling, a large, antique window. The window would provide a sense of privacy but also retain an open expanse, and the individual panes could become frames for pictures, left clear (or empty), colored to resemble stained glass,.... check out home talk, they have lots of old window ideas. Construction would NOT be involved, just a couple of ceiling hooks, and whatever top you choose could be easily attached and finished or painted.
  • Denra browman Denra browman on Sep 15, 2015
    I have 2 of the brick monstrosities in my house built in 1964. As shown in picture, a wooden top was built for both. Under the top are metal planters, I suppose. I have used mine in the past for a 50 gal aquarium. It fit perfect and looked nice and its supposed to bring good luck with money. Lots of Chinese restaurants have fish tanks by the check out register. I plan to paint the brick a dark brick red to blend with the front door and the floor tile. The tops will be painted black or stained black. I have my eye on some beautiful glassware art to display. So it would make a nice place to show off your favorite collectables. For holidays it is great for little Christmas village or fall pumpkins or Halloween skulls. I have thought about bookshelves on top of the brick to block cold air in the winter. Still thinking! Good Luck
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  • Diane Fairbanks Diane Fairbanks on Sep 19, 2015
    I would demo the brick and build a bookcase the same size in its place. You could even put a couple of Craftsman-style columns on top of the bookshelf, to the ceiling. A friend has small columns like that in her entryway on top of a pony wall, and they look really great.
  • Marlene Lexie Springer Marlene Lexie Springer on Sep 22, 2015
    Sorry, I haven't a clue
  • KBM KBM on Nov 14, 2015
    It is built on the wood sub-floor and not cemented to the house slab or built into the wall. It was definitely added after the house was built. It would be easy to remove with a sledge hammer and masonry chisels. You could also rent a power chisel, which would make fast work of removing it. The hardest part will be patching the wood flooring, which was installed later. I personally would remove the brick box, cut out the wood flooring and install ceramic tile or stone in front of the door. Dirt, snow, and water are very damaging to wood flooring. 15-20 sf of tile or stone at the entrance will protect the rest of the wood flooring and not cost alot.
  • Lynn Couch Lynn Couch on Nov 14, 2015
    Paint the brick. Make a removable, stained wood top that comes down about 5 inches over the brick. Then store winter shoes inside.
  • Winks74 Winks74 on Nov 14, 2015
    Have decided to plank the sides with differently stained colors of wood and put a top on it and use it for keys and things.....thanks for all the suggestions!!
    • Kar Kar on Dec 22, 2015
      @Winks74 if that doesn't work... knock off one side and turn it into a bench with understorage
  • Judy Judy on Oct 02, 2017

    you could always put battery operated candle in the trench part after building it up. Lay glass over it or put photos under it.

  • Bobby Samuel Bobby Samuel on Oct 28, 2017

    I would plant some pot plant in there that are not hard to grow .

  • Dfm Dfm on Nov 18, 2017

    friends had a wall like that...was used as a planter at one it’s a place fore thier fish.

  • I would cover the whole thing with wood and then build shelves above it.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 06, 2023

    If it is low enough right by the door would be a great place for people to sit down and take their shoes off.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 25, 2024

    Make it into a Bar or a room divider using Bamboo? Artificial Plants. Coat Stand/Shoe Cupboard?

  • Janice Janice on Feb 25, 2024

    I haven't read through all the suggestions offered so if others have suggested this prior, please excuse. Two options in my mind.

    1. Place some very nice faux bamboo or tall sticks in the planter to provide more privacy in the room.
    2. Paint the brick the same color as your walls, add a piece of wood or quartz/granite to the top to cover and use as a "drop off spot" for keys/purses, etc.

    Hope you'll post a picture of what you do.