Carly Rubach

Succulents and Cacti, Oh My

By - Feb 19th, 2012 04:00 am
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I feel like there is always that one room in your apartment or home that goes neglected for too long. For me, it’s the bedroom. When I lived in a studio apartment, space was limited so decorating had to be simple and strategic. Now I have a few rooms to work with and just completing one and feeling completely satisfied with the result is a daunting task.

But sometimes you have to look that scary bedroom in the face and say, “Let’s do this.”

One can of orange-gold paint later, we were on our way. We decided to go for a Mexican-inspired bedroom to keep us cozy through the winter months and straight-up happy all year round. We took a trip to Huatulco, Mexico last year and came back with a few art pieces and piles of photographs to help fill the space. The room is beginning to feel more complete with our brightly colored paper banner above the bed that I picked up from the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, along with our collection of personal photographs.

As always, I feel that a few changes and additions can be made. I’d like to add some hanging plants to either side of the main windows to soften up the corners. I’m searching for the perfect comforter or fabric to make my own duvet cover.  I’m also working on a curtain for the smaller window in the room. I had what I thought was a brilliant idea: to hang my stockings/tights from a curtain rod since they’re lacy and pretty. Plus, I have quite a collection and I feel I’d have an easier time selecting a pair for my outfit of the day if they were spread out for me to see. But I suppose hanging your underwear for all to see is super weird. You’ve got to get all the bad ideas out to make way for the good ones, right?

I have a few before-and-after photos for now so you can get an idea of the transformation. I’ll keep ya’ll posted with any new additions to the space.

When I was out picking up paint for the bedroom, I stopped at Home Depot to try and find tile for a different project I’m working on. They didn’t have what I was looking for, but they did have succulents, orchids, leafy house plants and cacti. I went a little overboard and picked out an array of succulents and cacti to make a potted arrangement. And I continued to grab as much as I could carry.

I needed a happy place for my plants to live and happened to have an old bench that I sanded down and stained to new life. We are all getting along quite well. The process is simple and the plants that I chose do not require much watering. The light and soil are most important. Plants are a great way to soften or accent any area of your home that needs a little life and love. Try to make your own sassy succulent arrangement!

Bench Materials


Paint brush

stain and protective finish

sanding sponge/sandpaper

clean rag/paper towel

Bench how-to

Sand bench with sanding sponge or paper.

Use a damp rag to wipe off dust.

Use a paint brush or clean rag to apply your stain (follow product directions). Use a paper towel or rag to wipe off excess.

Let dry completely and then apply a finish or protective coat.

Introduce your plants to Mr. Bench._



0 thoughts on “TCDIY: Succulents and Cacti, Oh My”

  1. Anonymous says:

    At first I thought Mr. Bench was a left-handed school desk — rare. But it appears to be an early midcentury telephone desk, with room for phone books below. Very attractive, but even potted succulents will leave rings in the absence of waterproof saucers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A telephone desk, huh? That’s great! And yes, you are correct…I need some extra saucers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I like the bright, happy feel of this room!

  4. Anonymous says:

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  5. Anonymous says:

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