My Greenhouse Debut!

I had to pinch myself last week because my greenhouse is finally built! Now I get to fill it with all kinds of great plants and explore a new skill. Let me tell you a little bit about the building and what went into designing it. Two things you need when building a greenhouse…an imagination and someone who can implement it! I dreamed and my builder-neighbor made it happen!

What I love most about the greenhouse is that almost everything was made from reclaimed materials with exception of the metal, the lights, and the framing of the building.

It began with buying 19 old windows for only $75 from a warehouse that was under renovation. There were repairs that had to be made to some of the windows, but they were just mostly dirty.

I scored this antique weathervane from a seller on Marketplace who said it came from Missouri. I found a load of Victorian shingles and an old door about 4 years ago at a junk yard and bought them. You’ll see them on both ends and along the sides as the trim. (You can read more about the beginnings of this greenhouse by clicking here.

I wasn’t sure what we would use for the siding on the greenhouse. A couple of months ago a neighbor gave me a load of old wainscoting that is at least 100 years old. When the problem presented itself, we had the siding! I decided to keep it as is and not paint it to give a little more character to the building.

I splurged on the red gooseneck light that I found online. (Some things are worth the splurge!) It was just the right detail for that end of the building.

I bought this old door above for $40 at the same place I found the Victorian shingles. It’s been sitting in my garage for over 4 years waiting to find it’s home.

I asked my neighbor if he could make the top windows open somehow. No problem! He came up with a genius way of propping them open at 4 different degrees using a simple dowel and some strategic cuts.

Since I only had one door, and I knew I wanted one on both sides, my neighbor made the other door from two of the old windows that were larger in size. I asked if we could do a dutch door and add a shelf, and presto he made it happen.

To make sure the top door stays open when the wind is blowing, he simply added a hook and tether to the side of the building. The pink sconces came from Lowes…they used to be white but a can of spray paint changed all that!

He added some fun stained glass in certain areas where the windows needed repair. And the window boxes on both sides were constructed from the wainscoting too. The bottom is open and the plants actually sit in a plastic planter inside to keep the rot away.

Inside the dutch door is a bolt that I lift if I want the doors to separate from each other. The bolt sits in another slot and I can swing the top door open as needed for airflow.

The stained glass windows on the other end were a last minute find on Craigslist— I bought the set for $60. My neighbor who did all the hard work even made me a cute skillet that can hold a small plant and swivel with personality.

Both sides have shelving that collapses so I can have more room if I need it. The shelving is made from cedar planks and are drop dead gorgeous!

The antique pavers are from all over the country, but mainly found here in Texas. The names of the companies are embedded on many of them. A few came from St. Louis and Chicago…both places we’ve lived.

Some have distinct glazing on them that indicate they were made pre-Civil War with slave labor.

Old metal fence posts were installed for added support inside the building and so I could hang plants.

The lantern light was found on Craigslist last year and I have been saving it for a while! It’s a reproduction (not old), and I gave it a new life by painting it pink!

My wreath can hang in several places on the dutch door, depending on my mood!

I painted the entire inside white to give it a cohesive look. You should have seen me with the sprayer that day! It took more than 5 gallons of paint!

Last night my husband asked me if the greenhouse was all I wanted it to be. Friends, it’s way better than I had even imagined! And the journey of building it was just as fun, too.

*Update: My greenhouse has been featured in the April 2022 Cottages & Bungalows Magazine. You can check it out by clicking here. And I’ve got a special greenhouse tour on my YouTube channel. Click here to watch.


I'm Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist.

What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do. Check out my shop, services, and courses to bring more whimsy into your home and life!

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