You Can Actually Decorate With Cinderblocks Past Age 20

cinderblock album storage
credit: Paul Anderson

Gone are the days when only struggling college students used cinderblocks to create rough versions of furniture they couldn't afford. Concrete building blocks are seeing a resurgence as of late in beautifully modern adult homes. From attractive planters to stylish shoe racks, creative cinderblock DIY projects are popping up everywhere, adding a stripped down industrial panache to many dwellings. Here we explore 15 uber-cool ways you can integrate cinderblocks into your well-thought out, grown-up design scheme.

1. Build a cinderblock succulent garden.

We just love the fun and colorful way Kara from A Kailo Chic Life used cinderblocks to create a beautiful garden. The holes in the center of each block just happen to be the perfect size to plant small succulents. And the great thing about these plants is that they require little water to maintain, so they are very drought-friendly.

2. Or, go one step further and make a garden wall.

When Caroline and Jayden of Woodnote Photography got the news that their landlord was removing the grass in their backyard, they immediately started brainstorming ideas to work with their new landscaping reality. Luckily, Jayden designed this unique and dynamic cinderblock garden wall to bring a little leafy goodness to their revamped patio.

3. Turn a wood pallet into a rustic outdoor table.

For those with limited space in the backyard, an adjustable outdoor table, made by setting a palette over cinderblocks, is a great option. Whether you're setting the table for an intimate dinner or need something bigger for a huge party, an adjustable (and collapsable) DIY table like this rustic gem may be the perfect solution.

4. Use cinderblocks as a minimalist bed frame.

Minimalist platform beds are all the rage. If you want the same style without the high price tag, use cinderblocks to make a sturdy bed frame like this one created by Emily Henderson as part of an adorable dorm room set-up for Target. We only wish our dorm rooms had been this dreamy.

5. Feel free to elongate your desk space.

There's nothing worse than a workspace that's uncomfortably small. Take a cue from Caitlin at The Merrythought, and give yourself a little extra flexibility by creating this DIY cinderblock desk. You can adjust the height and length to fit your individual needs — and you can even make a standing desk.

6. Use cinderblocks to make a nightstand.

Follow Nicola Lemmon's lead and give your boho-chic boudoir some industrial flair by adding this DIY cinderblock nightstand to the mix. Simple and inexpensive, it's the perfect match.

7. Make a forever home for your books.

cinderblock bench for books
credit: Design Sponge

Home to part of jewelry and fashion designer Victoria Cho's book collection, this DIY cinderblock and plywood bench blends seamlessly into her hip, industrial downtown LA loft.

8. Cinderblocks make an ideal shoe rack.

Organization is key in any fashion-forward closet. Keep your footwear in order like Maria Hejlsborg with this must-have DIY cinderblock shoe rack. It adds just the right amount of edgy mixed with modern.

9. Give yourself a little extra seating.

cinderblock stools
credit: Brit + Co.

Pull up a chair, or more specifically, a cinderblock stool. These cute little numbers are a great way to add some extra casual seating and a fun pop of color to your monthly book club get-togethers. Check out how Brit + Co. made these vibrant stools in a snap.

10. Every living room needs a coffee table.

This simple DIY cinderblock coffee table in fashion designer Shaina Mote's boho-chic minimalist studio just exudes modern elegance. Legendary architect Mies van der Rohe's 'less is more' philosophy is definitely working in her favor.

11. Or try this option, just to test the cinderblock waters.

If you're feeling a bit unsure about the whole cinderblock trend, then this is the coffee table for you. Take a note out of Shannon Tate's design handbook and use the industrial concrete building material sparingly, supporting only one side of your table.

12. Modify the blocks to make a low-height console unit.

Think outside the cinderblock box. Don't be afraid to cut your cinderblocks in half to create a unique piece that's all your own like this low-height console unit. Austin and Mel Holmes wanted an open and airy unit to display greenery and assorted tchotchkes, and this modern DIY project fit the bill.

13. Build a curved, low-height bench.

You can even use cinderblocks to get in on the curved furniture trend. When Eskayel and Spacedout teamed up to design Room 10, a bright beach bungalow in the now former Playland Motel in Rockaway Beach, they created this colorful serpentine bench.

14. Construct a media storage console unit.

cinderblock tv cabinet
credit: Maiko Nagao

Media console units are an important element in any living room. Unfortunately, the price tag on these items can be quite high. Save your hard-earned cash and build your own instead. The perfect size to neatly store all of her electronic equipment, graphic designer and DIY lover Maiko Nagao's industrial furniture project blends in seamlessly with her modern loft.

15. Show off your cacti collection with a geometric display.

Grab a few cinderblocks and show your cactus collection some love by creating a cool bohemian display like this one captured by Victoria from SF Girl by Bay.


Kate Santos

Kate Santos

Kate Santos is a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. After interning at Dwell magazine in San Francisco, she began writing for a variety of ... more