If you tuned in to Home To Last on HGTV a couple of weeks ago, you would have seen the many before-and-afters of our work on the Schmitt family’s country home. But there were a few transformations that didn’t make it to the small screen and one of them is this heart eyes-inducing potting bench, created to bring a little storied charm to their back porch.

Since it’s a DIY involving a one-of-a-kind vintage piece, we can’t tell you how to recreate it exactly, but we can help you get a similar look in your own backyard with these three simple steps.

Get the Home To Last Look: Vintage Potting Bench

  1. Become a regular at your favorite antique shop.

It’s no secret we’re fans of antiques. While much of our design is about clean lines and classic color stories, there’s nothing like an antique to bring interest and impact to an otherwise understated space. To nab great pieces, become a regular at a handful of antique shops in your area. If you let the owners know what you’re looking for, they might even give you the scoop on new merchandise before it hits the shop floor. For this project, we went to our favorite antique shop in Weatherford, TX. where we always find pieces that are prime for upcycling like the vintage sideboard we used for this project.

  1. Think about form and function.

Before buying the sideboard we thought about how the potting bench was going to be used and what function it needed to play within the space. We decided something with concealed storage for tools was a must. We also wanted a piece with a deep enough worktop to accommodate pots of various sizes. Of course, the look needed to be right too. This piece had great bones: delicate and decorative, sturdy legs, wicker details, and an arched bottom shelf that would be great for styling out with plants, herbs or simple stacks of pretty pots.

  1. Behold the power of paint.

We subscribe to the idea that there’s nothing like a lick of paint to bring new life to time-worn furniture. Thus was the case with our sideboard-turned-potting bench. The beauty of using vintage furniture outdoors is that further wear from the elements will only add character. For this project we primed the wood and wicker before painting it a rich navy blue. Using painter’s tape, we protected the worktop and bottom shelf from the paint and instead sanded and stained both areas a warm chestnut. We’re obsessed with the contrast of the dark blue against the home’s freshly-painted white exterior.

For such a simple DIY, this bench sure does make an impact. As part of the overall home renovation we replaced the existing kitchen window with a larger one. We decided that just under that window, against the bright white exterior siding was the perfect spot for this piece that can also serve as a serving station for back porch entertaining.

And lately, we’ve spotted a few other similar pieces making the rounds on Instagram. These are a couple of our favorites...


This stunning set-up is from @erinkestenbaum.



Loving this plant collection from @roomfortuesday


What do you think? Is this kind of multi-functional bench a DIY you’d attempt? How are you making your outdoor space extra pretty or practical this summer season? We’d love to hear!


Want more where this came from?

Catch the Encore Airing of Home To Last on HGTV

Thursday August 16 at 11 p.m. EST*

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*Check local listings for air dates and times in your area