3 Ways to Decorate with Vintage Planters
Call it the greenhouse effect, but we’re currently lusting after lush, verdant interiors. Drop fresh blooms into a vase and you have an instant (and virtually penniless) upgrade in any room, but for something a bit longer-lasting, why not opt for greenery that’s potted in a vintage planter? Ranging from utilitarian ceramics to showy brass vessels, vintage planters certainly aren’t the patio-only dwellers they once were. In fact, if it wasn’t for our already green dreams, used planters would single-handedly encourage us to roll up our sleeves and play in the dirt. To help further inspire, we’ve outlined three simple ways to create botanical vignettes in your space, all using secondhand planters as a base.
I’ll Take Something on the Green: Vintage Planters on the Bar Cart
Having trouble deciding between which vintage brass planter you love the most? Yeah, we wouldn’t be much help there. Our advice? Bring them all home and create a gloriously green vignette on your bar cart!
In keeping with a brass bar cart’s notoriously glam feel, used brass planters or deeply-colored ceramic vessels are the perfect pairing. Fill them with succulents of the not-so-prickly variety (nothing against prickles, but we feel it best to keep them out of tequila bottle range whenever possible), and layer them onto your cart. Our best rule of thumb is to keep the majority of your vintage planters clustered on the top level of your cart. This will ensure the plants receive the maximum amount of sunlight and maintain easy access for watering. Feather the rest of your cart with stacks of books, candle holders, and bottles, working in small vignettes as much as possible.
Favorite Plant to Use: String of Pearls. The multiple levels of a bar cart lend it nicely to a cascading plant like string of pearls. With a look that’s reminiscent of air-filled pods of kelp, a string of pearls plant will soften the hard angles of a square bar cart and lend a relaxed vibe (This is, after all, a plant who's signature move is letting her hair down!). Bonus points: this plant looks inspired in brass.
A Chance of Rain(forest): Vintage Planters in the Bathroom
Bathrooms can be notoriously difficult to decorate. Beyond towels and a fancy soap dispenser there’s not much willing to brave a bathroom’s tumultuous temperatures, including oodles of humidity. This does; however, sound right up a greenhouse plant’s ally, does it not? Try a whole ledge full of plants in a bathroom, opting for a drill-in marble or brass shelf with pretty brackets if your bathroom isn’t equipped with built-ins.
Because of the swinging extremes present in bathrooms, look for vintage planters in durable materials like terracotta or ceramic. To keep the feel strictly spa-like, also opt for planters in a similar color scheme (whites, ivories, and grays are magic), and pair them with feathery-leaf plants like the zebra or spider plant.
Favorite Plant to Use: Snake Plant. Composed of vertical, variegated leaves that resemble daggers or hissing tongues (it’s also cheekily known as the mother-in-law’s tongue), the snake plant is a fabulous way to introduce drama into a teeny bath. They’re also counted among the best ways to improve air quality in the home, as they give off oxygen at night, rather than absorbing it like most plants.
Greenest Greetings: Vintage Planters on the Porch
Ranking among the classics that can’t be shaken (nor should be!) are twin topiaries flanking a doorway. Pop two topiaries in vintage urn planters and you have an ode to colonial-era charm that rivals a Betsy Ross flag. While some will argue the look is a bit worn, we think twists like using grand chinoisierie urns or opting for a front door in an unexpected hue like yellow or masala keeps things delightfully fresh.
And while a colonial house obviously invites the look, don’t discount it if you live in a bungalow or ranch, either. Instead, look for unusual vessels like old wine barrels, which are perfect if your home has a Tuscan tinge, or galvanized tubs for a rustic, farmhouse feel. Opt for tall-growing plants like lavender or sea grass, which can provide height without projecting the overly formal look of a traditional topiary.
Favorite Plant to Use: Boxwood. While we do love the untraditional, it’s hard to deny the soulmate vibes that bubble between vintage urns and boxwoods. A boxwood’s hardiness and wire mesh-like branch structure makes it ideal for clipping into any shape you please, including spheres and soft-serve-like swirls. Among the best varieties to consider for a used urn planter: Green Tower, Green Mountain, and Golden Triumph.