31+ Gorgeous Built-In Planter Box Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

31+ Gorgeous Built-in Planter Box Ideas

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

Have you ever considered the impact that integrating built-in planter box ideas into your living or working space could have? These cleverly designed features serve more than just an aesthetic purpose; they’re a fusion of function and style that can transform any area.

The essence of a built-in planter box lies in its seamless incorporation into existing structures, providing a designated spot for plants without taking up extra space.

The advantages of adding these elements are plentiful: they bring nature closer, enhance air quality, and can even contribute to your well-being by offering a calming presence.

Incorporating built-in planter boxes into your design scheme is not merely about following a trend; it’s a strategic move toward creating a more pleasant and lively environment.

Whether you’re looking to add a splash of green to your indoor living areas or seeking to enrich your outdoor landscape, these planters are versatile solutions.

In this article, we’ll guide you through a range of creative ideas that cater to both indoor and outdoor settings, practical considerations for installation, and maintenance tips to ensure your greenery thrives.

Get ready to elevate your space with the charm and functionality of built-in planter boxes.

31+ Built-in planter box ideas for your outdoor living spaces

In this article

Considerations Before Installing Built-In Planter Boxes

Before you start the exciting journey of installing built-in planter boxes, there are essential factors to think over. These considerations ensure that your planters not only look good but also function well and stand the test of time. Let’s dive into what you need to keep in mind.

A. Assessing Space and Sunlight

Understanding the space you have available and the amount of sunlight it receives is crucial. Plants need light to thrive, and not all spaces are bathed in sunlight equally.

When you plan your built-in planter boxes, pay attention to the patterns of light and shadow throughout the day. This will help you decide which plants will flourish in your space.

Area of SpaceSunlight AvailabilitySuitable Plants
Shaded IndoorLow natural lightShade-loving plants
Sunny OutdoorHigh natural lightSun-loving plants
Partial Indoor/OutdoorModerate lightPlants that tolerate partial sun

B. Choosing Materials for Durability and Aesthetics

The materials you select for your built-in planter boxes must be tough enough to withstand the conditions they will face, yet attractive to complement your space.

For outdoor planters, materials that can endure rain, wind, and sun without deteriorating are vital. Indoor planters, while not exposed to the elements, still need to be made from materials that can handle moisture and are easy to clean.

Material TypeDurabilityAesthetic Appeal
WoodHigh with proper treatmentWarm, natural look
MetalVery highSleek, modern feel
StoneHighClassic, sturdy appearance

C. Understanding Drainage Requirements

Good drainage is the backbone of healthy plants. Without proper drainage, water can accumulate, leading to root rot and other issues.

When planning your built-in planters, consider how excess water will escape. This might mean drilling holes in the bottom of the planter or incorporating a layered base that allows water to drain away from the roots.

D. Considering the Maintenance Needs

Think about how much time you can dedicate to maintaining your plants. Some plants require more care than others, and the design of your built-in planter boxes should reflect your maintenance preferences.

If you’re someone with a busy schedule, opt for low-maintenance plants and designs that make it easy to care for them.

Maintenance AspectConsiderationImpact
Watering FrequencyChoose self-watering systems for convenienceLess time spent on upkeep
Plant Care LevelOpt for hardy plants if you’re not a green thumbMore resilience to neglect
AccessibilityEnsure planters are easy to reach for pruning and careSimplifies maintenance tasks

By addressing these considerations, you set the stage for a successful and satisfying installation of built-in planter boxes. Keep these points in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a green space that is both beautiful and sustainable.

Indoor Built-In Planter Box Ideas

Creating an indoor oasis with built-in planter boxes can breathe life into your home, purify the air, and even provide fresh herbs right at your fingertips. Here we focus on leveraging the often-underutilized window sill to introduce greenery into your living spaces.

A. Window Sill Planter Boxes for Herbs and Flowers

1. Designing for Small Spaces

When space is at a premium, making the most of every inch is key. Window sills present a unique opportunity for built-in planters. They can be custom-fitted to your window’s dimensions, ensuring no space is wasted.

The design should be sleek and unobtrusive, allowing for maximum light exposure and complementing the window’s architecture. Consider a shallow yet long planter that spans the length of the sill to create a streamlined look.

2. Plant Selection for Indoor Conditions

Choosing the right plants for your window sill planter is essential for their survival and growth. You’ll want to select plants that can thrive in the indoor environment’s limited light and air circulation.

Herbs like basil, chives, and mint are excellent options for kitchen windows, providing fresh flavors within arm’s reach. For decorative flowers, consider species such as African violets or orchids, which are well-suited to indoor conditions and can add a splash of color to the room.

When selecting plants, also consider their growth habits and water needs. Compact plants are preferable, as they won’t outgrow the space quickly. Additionally, plants with similar water requirements should be grouped together to streamline care and prevent over or under-watering.

By thoughtfully choosing plants and designing your window sill built-in planter boxes to suit small spaces, you can enhance your indoor environment with natural beauty and practicality.

B. Living Room Divider Planter Boxes

1. Creating Functional Space Dividers

Incorporating built-in planter boxes as dividers in your living room is not only a smart way to define areas but also adds a dynamic and organic element to your space. These living dividers can provide privacy, reduce noise, and improve the overall ambiance of the room.

When designing these dividers, ensure they have a stable base and are proportionate to the room’s scale, so they serve their purpose without overwhelming the space.

2. Tips for Integrating into Existing Decor

To ensure your new built-in planter boxes blend seamlessly with your living room, consider the room’s current style and color scheme. Use materials and plants that complement your furniture and decor.

If your living room has a modern aesthetic, opt for clean lines and minimalist designs. For a more traditional space, classic wood finishes and lush foliage might be more appropriate. The key is to enhance your living space’s aesthetic while maintaining the functionality of the planter boxes.

C. Kitchen Counter Built-In Planters

1. Fresh Herbs at Your Fingertips

A kitchen counter with a built-in planter box can change the way you cook and use your kitchen, providing a convenient source of fresh herbs. Imagine having basil, parsley, or cilantro readily available as you prepare meals.

These planters should be situated in an area of the kitchen that receives ample light, ideally near a window, and should be easily accessible during meal prep.

2. How to Integrate with Kitchen Workflow

To effectively integrate a built-in planter box into your kitchen workflow, consider the placement and size of the planter. It should not disrupt the kitchen’s functionality or take up valuable counter space.

Design the planter to be narrow and run along the backsplash or perimeter of the counter, ensuring it’s out of the way yet still within reach. Choose materials that match your countertops for a cohesive look and opt for herbs that you frequently use in your cooking for maximum benefit.

By incorporating these built-in planter box ideas into your living room and kitchen, you not only add greenery to your home but also enhance the functionality and aesthetic of your living spaces. With thoughtful design and appropriate plant selection, these planter boxes can become an integral part of your daily life.

Outdoor Planter Ideas for Patios and Decks

Elevate the appeal of your outdoor areas with integrated planters that merge seamlessly with your patio or deck. These additions are more than just decorative; they provide structure, privacy, and a touch of nature where you relax and entertain.

A. Patio and Deck Planters

1. Enhancing Outdoor Living Areas

Integrating planters into your patio or deck design can transform these spaces into lush retreats.

They can act as natural screens, carving out intimate areas or shielding you from view, all while contributing to the overall ambiance with vibrant foliage or colorful blooms.

Customizable in size, these planters offer the flexibility to fit any outdoor layout, allowing you to create a tailored look for your personal oasis.

2. Material Choices for Weather Resistance

Selecting the right materials for your outdoor planters is critical, as they need to endure varying weather conditions. It’s essential to opt for options that balance resilience with style.

Materials such as treated lumber are robust and can harmonize with your deck or patio’s wooden features, while metals with a rust-resistant finish offer a sleeker look. Alternatively, stone or concrete planters blend durability with a timeless appeal.

Treated LumberSturdy, complements wood structuresRequires treatment for longevity
Coated MetalSleek finish, resists weatheringProtective coating needed for rust prevention
Stone/ConcreteLasting and sturdy, classic styleWeight may necessitate professional help for placement

Incorporating these planters into your outdoor design not only adds visual interest but also enhances the functionality of your space, making it more inviting for you and your guests. Whether you’re looking for a dramatic floral display or a subtle green touch, these planter ideas can be adapted to suit your style and outdoor living needs.

B. Balcony Rail Planter Boxes

1. Maximizing Small Outdoor Spaces

For those with limited outdoor space, balcony rail planters are a smart solution to bring greenery to your high-rise haven.

They take advantage of vertical space, allowing you to grow a variety of plants without sacrificing floor area. These planters can add a lush look to your balcony while also serving as a visual extension of your indoor space.

2. Safety and Installation Considerations

When adding planters to your balcony rail, safety is paramount. You need to ensure that they are securely attached to the railing to prevent any accidents.

It’s also important to consider the weight distribution and how it may affect the railing’s stability. Choose lightweight materials and appropriate fastening systems that provide a secure fit without causing damage to the structure.

Secure AttachmentFasteners should be strong and weather-resistantPrevents planters from toppling
Weight DistributionEvenly distribute plants and soilEnsures railing stability
Material SelectionUse lightweight and durable materialsReduces strain on balcony rail

C. Garden Retaining Wall Planter Boxes

1. Combining Form and Function in Landscaping

Retaining walls are not just practical; they can also be aesthetically pleasing when integrated with planter boxes.

These structures can help prevent soil erosion while offering a tiered planting area that adds depth and interest to your landscape.

By incorporating planters into the retaining wall, you create a multifunctional feature that serves both as a supportive wall and a place to showcase a variety of plants.

2. Structural Integrity and Plant Health

The structural integrity of a retaining wall is crucial, especially when it doubles as a planter. The design must accommodate proper drainage to prevent water buildup that could weaken the wall over time.

Additionally, consider the root growth of the plants you choose, as some species can be invasive and may compromise the wall’s stability.

DrainageImplement adequate drainage solutionsPrevents water damage and preserves wall integrity
Plant SelectionAvoid plants with invasive rootsProtects the structure from root damage
Wall MaterialChoose materials that withstand the soil’s pressureEnsures lasting durability and support

By thoughtfully designing balcony rail planters and garden retaining wall planters, you can enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor spaces. These planter options allow you to enjoy nature’s bounty, even in smaller or structured areas, while ensuring safety and structural soundness.

Innovative Planter Designs

A. Edible Garden Walls

1. Vertical Gardening with Integrated Systems

Vertical gardening is an innovative approach to growing your own food in limited spaces, and integrated systems take it to the next level.

These built-in vertical planters utilize the vertical planes of your walls, allowing you to cultivate a variety of edible plants.

This method is not only space-efficient but also creates a living tapestry of greens and herbs that can be both functional and decorative.

2. Suitable Plants for Edible Walls

When it comes to selecting plants for your edible wall, it’s important to choose varieties that thrive in vertical conditions.

Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and swiss chard are excellent options due to their relatively shallow roots and quick growth.

Herbs such as basil, mint, and chives are also well-suited for wall planters, providing fresh flavors within easy reach.

Plant TypeBenefitsVertical Suitability
Leafy GreensNutritious and fast-growingShallow roots, ideal for wall growth
HerbsAromatic and flavorfulCompact, thrive in confined spaces
StrawberriesSweet and attractiveSuitable for vertical growth with proper support

B. Succulent Art Installations

1. Low Maintenance and High Impact Designs

Succulents are perfect for creating living art due to their low maintenance requirements and diverse range of colors and textures.

These installations can be designed as statement pieces for both indoor and outdoor spaces, requiring minimal care while providing maximum visual impact.

2. Crafting a Living Artwork

To craft a living artwork with succulents, consider the composition of your design. Use a variety of species to create patterns and contrasts, playing with different shades and leaf shapes.

These plants need little water and can thrive in the shallow soil of vertical planters, making them ideal candidates for artistic displays.

Design ElementConsiderationEffect
Color VariationMix different huesAdds depth and visual interest
Texture ContrastCombine smooth and spiky succulentsCreates tactile diversity
CompositionPlan the layout thoughtfullyEnsures an aesthetically pleasing arrangement

Innovative planter designs like edible garden walls and succulent art installations are not only a testament to gardening creativity but also functional additions to your living space.

They allow you to grow your own food or enjoy ornamental plants in a new and exciting way, even when space is at a premium.

These designs bring the joy of gardening into the modern home with style and practicality.

DIY Planter Box Projects

A. Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Simple Indoor Planter

Creating an indoor planter can be a rewarding DIY project that adds a personal touch to your space. Here’s a simplified guide to building a basic planter:

  1. Gather Materials and Tools: You’ll need wood planks, a saw, screws, a drill, sandpaper, and a waterproof liner.
  2. Measure and Cut: Determine the size of your planter and cut the wood to the desired dimensions.
  3. Assemble the Box: Use screws to attach the sides, bottom, and top edges, creating a box shape.
  4. Sand and Finish: Sand down any rough edges and apply a finish to protect the wood.
  5. Add a Liner: Line the inside of the box with a waterproof material to prevent water damage.
  6. Fill and Plant: Add soil and your chosen plants to the planter.

B. Building an Outdoor Planter Box with Seating

An outdoor planter with integrated seating can be both a functional and aesthetic addition to your garden. Follow these steps to build one:

  1. Design the Planter: Plan the dimensions and choose a location that accommodates both the planter and seating.
  2. Select Materials: Use weather-resistant wood or materials suitable for outdoor use.
  3. Construct the Planter: Build the frame for the planter and attach the seating area, ensuring it is secure and stable.
  4. Seal and Protect: Apply a sealant to protect the wood from the elements.
  5. Add Soil and Plants: Once the structure is complete, fill it with soil and plant your favorite flowers or herbs.

C. Upcycling Materials for Eco-Friendly Planters

Upcycling is a sustainable way to create planters with materials that would otherwise be discarded. Here are some ideas:

  1. Choose Upcycle Materials: Old pallets, barrels, or tires can be repurposed into planters.
  2. Prepare the Material: Clean and prepare your chosen item, removing any nails or rough edges.
  3. Modify if Necessary: Cut or adjust the material to create the desired planter shape.
  4. Add Drainage: Ensure there are holes at the bottom for water to drain out.
  5. Paint or Decorate: Customize your planter with paint or decorations as desired.
  6. Plant: Fill with soil and add plants to complete your upcycled planter.

These DIY projects not only enhance your living space but also provide the satisfaction of building something with your own hands. Whether you’re crafting a simple indoor planter, a multifunctional outdoor planter with seating, or an eco-friendly upcycled planter, these projects are a great way to get creative and bring more greenery into your life.

Stacked Stone Planter with Bench

Source: sanfranvic.com

Built-In Wooden Box Deck Planters

Source: kendinyapsana.com

Flower Bed with Built-In Stone Planter

Source: pinterest.com

DIY Wood Bench with Planters

Source: brittanystager.com

DIY Rusty Metal Garden Planters

Source: brokohan.com

Wooden Planter for Small Spaces

Source: pinterest.com

Tiered Concrete Built-In Deck Planters

Source: groundswelldesigngroup.com

DIY Stacked Stone Plant Beds

Source: gobeyondthegrid.com

Deck Bench with Built-In Planters

Source: diy50.com

DIY Concrete Built-In Deck Planter

Source: smallbackyardlandscaping.com

Built-In Planter Half-Wall with Bench

Source: katrinaleechambers.com

DIY Tiered Wood Planter Boxes
Concrete Block Planter and Decoration
Planter Boxes with Climbing Trellis

Source: Etsy

Built-In Patio Planter Boxes

Source: bhg.com

Built-In Deck Planters for Privacy

Source: sarahakwisombe.com

DIY Wood Crate Planter Boxes

Source: manmadediy.com

Green Wall Backyard Planter Project

Source: homeimprovementpages.com.au

Built-In Patio Planter with Bench

Source: homedit.com

Built-In Rock Garden for Succulents

Source: conceptlandscape.tumblr.com

Tiered Wooden Crate Built-In Planter Boxes

Source: decorandthedog.net

Built-In Planters with Water Feature

Source: weeklytechnology.com

Deck with Built-In Planter Boxes

Source: ahigo.net

DIY Metal Tub Planter Boxes

Source: gardeners.com

Concrete Block Corner Garden Planter
Easy Planter with Built-In Bench

Source: gardengurus.co.uk

Built-In Tiered Wood Planter Boxes
Corner Planter Box with Climbing Trellis

Source: diyprojects.ideas2live4.com

Patio with Built-In Planters and Benches

Source: bdphotography.com

Concrete Planters and In-Set Grass Patches

Source: dwellingdecor.com

DIY Wood Planter with Built-In Benches

Source: weeklytechnology.com

DIY Tiered Wooden Corner Planter

Source: palletwoodprojects.com

Tiered Planter Garden With Waterfall

Source: 1001gardens.org

Maintenance Tips for Planter Boxes

A. Watering Systems and Solutions

Proper watering is essential for plant health. Consider these tips for maintaining optimal moisture levels:

  • Self-Watering Systems: Install a self-watering system to ensure consistent moisture, especially if you’re away often.
  • Drip Irrigation: A drip irrigation setup can provide a steady, controlled supply of water directly to the roots.
  • Manual Checks: For those who prefer a hands-on approach, check the soil moisture regularly and water as needed.

B. Seasonal Care for Indoor and Outdoor Planters

Different seasons require different care strategies:

C. Dealing with Pests and Common Issues

Pests and diseases can affect plant health:

  • Regular Inspections: Check plants frequently for signs of pests or disease.
  • Natural Remedies: Use natural pest repellents or homemade solutions for treatment.
  • Proper Pruning: Remove dead or infected parts of plants to prevent the spread of disease.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your planter boxes remain beautiful and productive throughout the year. Regular care and attention will keep your plants thriving and your space looking its best.


Embracing the world of planter boxes can significantly enhance both the aesthetic and functionality of your living spaces. Whether they are nestled indoors among your living areas or adorning your outdoor spaces, these green additions offer a slice of nature that not only beautifies but also contributes to a healthier environment. The versatility and functionality of planter boxes, from window sills to balcony rails, make them an ideal choice for garden enthusiasts and novices alike.

As we’ve delved into various ideas, from the practicality of edible garden walls to the artistic flair of succulent installations, it’s clear that the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination. The DIY projects we discussed provide an opportunity for personal expression and a hands-on approach to enhancing your environment. Moreover, the maintenance tips ensure that your green investments remain vibrant and flourishing.

In essence, planter boxes are more than just containers for plants; they are a canvas for creativity, a medium for sustainable living, and a statement of personal style. They encourage us to connect with nature and integrate it into our daily lives, regardless of the size or location of our homes. As you embark on your planter box journey, remember that each plant you nurture is a step towards a greener, more serene living space.

References and Resources

A. Books and Websites for Further Reading

For those looking to expand their knowledge on planter boxes and gardening, there are numerous resources available:

B. Local Gardening Clubs and Workshops

Connecting with local gardening communities can offer hands-on experience and advice:

  • Gardening Clubs: Organizations like The Garden Club of America provide a place to meet fellow enthusiasts and participate in events.
  • Workshops: Many local nurseries and botanical gardens host workshops where you can learn about gardening techniques and design.

C. Online Forums and Communities for Gardeners

Online communities are great for sharing tips, tricks, and support:

  • Forums: Websites such as GardenWeb host forums on a multitude of gardening topics.
  • Social Media: Platforms like Twitter or Flickr can connect you with a global network of gardeners.

By utilizing these resources, you can continue to learn, grow, and connect with a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for gardening and planter boxes.