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From Antique to Unique: 21 Planters to Bring the Outdoors In

From Antique to Unique: 21 Planters to Bring the Outdoors In

Have you ever approached design through a restorative lens? Considering the end feeling you want a space to evoke or setting an intention ahead of the design process can result in a home that benefits you both emotionally and spiritually just as much as it does aesthetically.

One of the restorative things Athena has been doing this past year is learning how to garden. Despite having never done it before, she took several trips to the local garden center, asked numerous questions along the way and let her curious nature guide the journey, while ultimately trusting her gut. Even if you don’t know about trees and shrubs or the names of things, let your eye make decisions for you when it comes to choosing plants, and layering textures and colors.

If you’re still unsure or don’t know where to start, read on for a few gardening tips that Athena has learned through the process of designing her Brooklyn terrace from the materials to planters. 

From Antique to Unique: 21 Planters to Bring the Outdoors In
From Antique to Unique: 21 Planters to Bring the Outdoors In
From Antique to Unique: 21 Planters to Bring the Outdoors In

Find what you love but be flexible

Despite wanting olive branches above her outdoor sofa, they are not suited to the New York weather so Athena opted for blue dwarf willows that created a similar texture and tone against the brick wall behind it. If you’re flexible and open during the design process, you can always find alternatives when the plant you love isn’t an option for your space or climate. 

Play around with levels

Athena is always playing with verticality and varying heights within the home, so it makes sense that this theme would also carry over into her outdoor space too. Opting out of a traditional symmetrical look, she opted for two different kinds of trees to flank the sofa instead—a short pine tree lives on one side while a tall weeping blue spruce with its beautiful sculptural quality leans into the brick corner of the patio on the other. With no prior knowledge of these plants, instead Athena trusted her eye at the garden center and gravitated towards the textures she was seeking, mixing up the levels along the way to create the vision she had for the outdoor space. 

Skip symmetry but consider cohesion

While Athena isn’t a fan of symmetry she does like to ensure cohesion in a space and in this case on the patio. There are two pines on the balcony (but positioned at opposite sides of the space) along with other paired shrubs and plants to balance it out. The only tree that doesn’t have a pair is the weeping blue spruce because it was such a statement moment on its own it didn’t need a supporting character. But for the most part, she makes sure there is repetitive language in the textures and the colors throughout the space. 

Find unique planters off the beaten path

Look in unexpected places for unique or vintage planters to create a garden that feels aligned with your aesthetic and design style. Most of Athena’s planters are either sourced from antique stores or online resale sites like Etsy or eBay. Case in point, the Willy Rizzo style planter she discovered at a local Brooklyn antique store which initially did not have a hole in it so they drilled one in. Which is another tip—seek out shapes you love and turn them into planters! 

Consider varying heights for your planters 

From bulbous to pedestals, always think about how you can vary forms and scale with your planters to ensure variation and visual appeal. There is so much fun to be had in mixing heights, styles, and materials, so play around with it.

Above all, we hope that each of you find some way to seek solace within your world, something that makes your heart feel good. So dive in, make a mess, and trust the process. 

Shop the Best Planters

1800s French Confit Pot

There's nothing quite like the patina of an antique pot, especially when it's French. Look for pots in unique shapes with handles like this one and then turn them into planters—voila!

Round Cement Planter Set of Two

Vary the surface texture and material of your planters to create visual interest. The smooth cement texture of these planters will juxtapose against the rougher, raw surface of a vintage pot.

Pair of French Midcentury Cast Stone Round Planters in Natural Grey Hues

Two is always better than one. To ensure you break up their symmetry, add two varying plants in differing heights and texture.

Pair of French Midcentury Cast Concrete Planter Pots with Round Shape

Indoor or outdoor, this pair would look really at home in your space.

When it comes to choosing planters, variety in shape and size is also important in addition to texture.

Williston Forge Oscoda Fiberstone Planter Box

Just add herbs to this cute planter box and you'll have the freshest, tastiest meals all summer.

Ballard Designs Gordon Planters

Choose varying heights for your planters to create verticality and visual interest. We love this pedestal design.

Crate & Barrel Hyrax Tan Textured Planter

If you don't have time to go down the rabbit hole on vintage resale sites, thankfully some of our favorite stores are now stocking vintage-style planters like this one.

One Kings Lane 15

Rough, raw, and beautiful—this one is coming home!

CB2 Lunar Planter

There is so much to love about this bubbled, natural texture.

CB2 White Belly XXL Planter

Create that Alice in Wonderland effect by pairing oversized planters like this with small terracotta styles.

H&M Home Rattan Plant Pot

We can't get enough of rattan so this affordable planter is a no brainer.

Zara Home White Flowerpot

Zara Home has an entire collection of vintage-antique pots and vases this season and they're priced just right.

Zara Home Flowerpot With Antique Finish

We love the antique finish on this sweet flowerpot style.

Crate & Barrel Nol Large Ridged Indoor/Outdoor Planter

Terracotta is largely underrated but the raw matte finish and color really bring a vibrant color to any space without being overwhelming.

Crate & Barrel Elvy Medium Ceramic Indoor/Outdoor Planter

The rope handles bring added texture to this stylish planter. We can imagine a small leafy shrub emerging from this one.

Pottery Barn Artisan Cachepot Collection, Large, Multi

It's hard to believe this isn't antique—c'est chic!

Pottery Barn Eclectic Villa Planter, Small

When you can't go in person, bring the European villa home.

Pottery Barn Sienna Planters

Sienna is calling us but for now we'll have to settle with these stylish planters.

Terrain Earth Fired Clay Herb Pot + Saucer

Even if you don't have a large space, you can always pot fresh herbs and position them on or near your windowsill.

One Kings Lane 28

This fiber stone pot comes complete with moss and a classic vintage appeal.

One Kings Lane Antique French Herb Garden Pots, S/6

Now, these will make the chicest herb garden ever.

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