Solar screen blocks, a mid century trend that is being revived and I don’t even mind! In fact I am loving this trend so much that I did this DIY over the weekend. I got so many questions about the supplier details for the solar screen blocks…so here we are – a blog post for you to refer to.

This plant bench design is an easy, no tools required, cost effective solution to two common problems for inner city apartment living – storage and a lack of garden space.

Lucky for us we have a fairly large balcony and could fit two benches but even if you don’t, this bench doesn’t take up too much space and ultimately the size is up to you. Our balcony is weather facing, it gets full sun and lots of rain. Everything we put out there perishes, except plants – they thrive, but I had them messily collected on the floor, not any more… The solar screen blocks are hardy and made for the outdoors and the timber plank is easily replaceable each season, although painting it does seal it and protect it from the elements.

We haven’t invested in outdoor furniture as yet, and tend to move things out to the balcony if ever we entertain out there. These benches double up as seating and they cleverly act as storage for all our potting soils and gardening tools too.

Terracotta pots and pot holders are from Stodels


Okay, let’s get started.

What you will need to make a plant bench of your own:
I mostly used things I had around the house, the timber planks are recycled shelves and the paint I used is the same shade we used as the focal wall in our home studio.

– 1l Paint (For the timber plank. Colour of your choice)
– A timber plank (Preferably something smaller in size that doesn’t need to be cut, keep in mind the longer your plank the more solar screen blocks you will need to support it)
– 4 Solar screen blocks from Old World Concretes
– Spray paint (1 can per solar block)

House Terrarium from Hey Jen

If you are looking to transform your space but don’t know where to start, try our online design service. This virtual design service allows you to design your space from anywhere in the world! With our guidance we will design your dream space, we provide you with a design proposal and a shopping list for you to easily execute your vision.


Written, compiled and photographed by Melissa Lawrence.

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