This is an actual example of an idea that I saw on Pinterest that I was able to follow through to fruition.

When we first moved in we weren’t sure what to do with the empty space behind the couch. Our common area is in an L shape where the couch, TV and reading corner take up one leg and the dining table takes up another, which forms an empty space in the corner.

Not that I’m complaining, coming from Brooklyn living which meant utilizing every nick and cranny and still feeling like you were just cramming stuff wherever there was space on the floor.

The best part about this empty space is the big beautiful window, which we had just gotten done painting the trim in Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron. As soon as I saw the photo of the beam above on Pinterest I knew it would be the perfect addition. We could create a nice decorative space that served a purpose – housing our houseplants!

My first message was to my dad, who loved the idea and got to work on procuring an old barn beam from a family friend (who also supplied the barn beam that is the fireplace mantle at my parent’s house – I told you they’ve been DIY’ing it, meaning their ENTIRE HOUSE – since before it was cool) – thanks, Joe!

planter-legs
Legs going on the planter beam.

We went back and forth on the legs a bit, mostly because I wanted to use hairpin legs on something, but we eventually settled on these cool iron ones suggest by my dad, which are probably also the more stable option for such a heavy piece of wood. (I got my hairpin legs on this cute little side table that I made.)

Pretty soon my dad had the whole thing put together. All that was left was some tung oil and a coat of black paint on the legs.

planter-dad
Ready for a little oil and paint.

During one of their frequent New York visits, my parents hauled this up to us in their car and my dad and Joe lugged it up two flights of stairs (it’s HEAVY ya’ll).

Now, the story could end there. Except that we immediately began noticing small piles of sawdust under the beam. Apparently when old barn wood sits outside for years critters can sneak into the cracks. WHO KNEW.

We wrapped the bench in plastic wrap, hoping to cut off the air to the little buggers, but it did no good. We finally had to resort to Boracare, which was the only good solution we found online for snuffing out wood worms. You can also apparently only buy it by the gallon for anywhere between $56-$150. We sucked it up and I spent a Saturday afternoon dressed like I was ready to rob a bank, brushing it over every inch of the beam.

planter-plastic-vert
Our beautiful plant bench, wrapped in plastic wrap.

We got most of them, but just in case we have plenty of Boracare as backup!

To accompany the bench we brought out a bookshelf we had previously been keeping in the office, which has the same iron + wood look to it, to sit in the corner. Between those two we have a nice little indoor garden put together.

planter-today-best
Our plant wall ❤

My favorite part of this arrangement is that the decor function never gets stale. I can switch around the plants to my hearts content and add pumpkins and snowmen figurines for the holidays, and photos of loved ones, whenever we need a change of pace.

planter-today-2
The plants getting some early morning light

I’m not sure I’m at Millennial Plant Lady status quite yet but I’m pretty pleased with our empty space solution. And I’m pretty proud of myself for managing to keep a few of these little guys alive and thriving for nearly a year now.

Currently taking suggestions for new plant babies – what am I missing?

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