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How to Create a Country-Style Potting Room

Simple lines, hardworking surfaces, and natural textures combine in a functional space with a warm, earthy style. Here's how you can approximate it at your house

Get This Look

Photo by Andrew Bordwin

Whether you're a gardener who lives to get your hands dirty or you just crave a dedicated space for tending houseplants and cut flowers, an efficient—and attractive—workroom is a pleasure to have.

This one, located just off the kitchen in a 1929 brick house, was designed around a 6-foot-long vintage nickel sink and inspired by the kind of potting shed found in the French countryside, crafted from leftover boards and bricks and filled with weathered, moss-covered pots. How to strike a balance between practicality and style when you bring such a space indoors? "Keep all the finishes natural and stick to conventional garden-tool materials: wood, metal, and terra-cotta," says interior designer Wayne Nathan, who created the Brookville, New York, potting room shown on these pages. Here are some pieces you can use to bring a similar space to life in your home.

Utility Sink

Photo by Don Penny/Time Inc. Digital Studio

A vintage nickel sink is a rare find. But this 6-foot-long stainless-steel workhorse delivers many similar features—it's sink, countertop, and backsplash, all in one. Remove the legs to set it into a trio of flat-panel cabinets. About $3,147; Elkay

Period-Style Faucet

Photo by Darrin Haddad

A new pantry faucet based on a 1930s design recalls the days when culleries served as prep areas for fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. About $240; T & S Brass

Open Shelves

Photo by Darrin Haddad

Simple plank shelves have the right rustic feeling. These, with a graduated profile, are a bit more decorative. About $45 and $60; Home Depot

Potting Table

Photo by Darrin Haddad

The tray top helps keep soil contained; just line the slats with newspaper before you set to work. The lower shelf is handy for storing extra supplies. Cedar table, About $144; Yard Lover

Outdoor Light Indoors

Photo by Darrin Haddad

This reproduction pendant lamp, inspired by barn lighting, complements any hardworking task area. About $290, with this tarnished-copper finish; Barn Light Electric

Brick Floor

Photo by Darrin Haddad

Early potting sheds were built entirely from scrap, including clinker bricks, which have a poor-quality burnt finish. These antique terra-cotta floor tiles refine the traditional surface. About $10-$24 per square foot; Cavendish Grey

Aged Terra-cotta Pots

Photo by Darrin Haddad; Andrew Bordwin (portrait)

A weathered patina gives these unusual square-shaped containers vintage style. About $12.50 each; The New York Botanical Garden Shop

Pro Tip: "To encourage mossy growth on new pots, apply a mix of yogurt and crumpled moss, and leave the pots in a warm, moist, shady spot. The results are worth the mess!"

—Wayne Nathan, interior designer, New York City