Favorite Things

Bamboozled

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I participated in the Day of Thrifting event last Saturday, hitting up three of my local favorite thrift stores and visiting a brand new one that just opened in my town.  Tucked away in a corner under a big pile of shoes I found a piece with a certain detail I’ve been wanting forever.  Faux bamboo!

Check it out:  

faux bamboo chest

 

Obviously not everyone’s style, but I love its Hollywood Regency like bamboo trim and bonus, check out those awesome campaign pulls.  It’s definitely in need of some TLC but a good price at $25.  For anyone who likes the wood ‘stain’, sorry but it’s faux, and chipping off in places, so I plan to sand it down, prime it, and paint it. 

I’ve been gathering inspiration from all across the internet, trying to decide what color to use.  Usually, I just make up my mind when I see something, but I’m a little torn here.  You know me, my first inclination is always to paint it a (safe) glossy white!

design sponge bamboo trim dresser

Design*Sponge

 

ws home white bamboo

Williams Sonoma Home

 

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Secrets of a Successful Terrarium

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

One of the nice things about contributors is how much they teach and inspire me.  This month, Courtney is back and he is talking about his personal experience with a project I’ve long wanted to try: a terrarium! 

Placing anything organic under glass is a hot trend right now.  We’re seeing these mini ecosystems pop up everywhere in design, and more and more terrarium vessels available at stylish retailers.  They were big in the 1970’s and now they’re back!

james modern bespoke terrariumI learned with a little research yesterday that the art of a successful terrarium is not a new discovery by any means.

The history of the terrarium dates back to the 19th Century, and grew in popularity in the Victorian Era in England.  Their origination is credited to surgeon and gardening enthusiast Dr. Nathanial Ward. 

An amateur botanist, Ward was conducting an experiment on protecting plants from the polluted London air, and observed how certain plants could thrive and be kept healthy under glass. 

An added bonus to his 1827 discovery was that horticulturists could use glass vessels to protect tropical plant species in ‘Wardian cases’ from sea air on long voyages returning by ship to their homeland. 

I am fascinated by these ‘Wardian cases’ which we now call terrariums, and so is Courtney.  He recently attempted to create one himself, and learned a few things in the process.  

Please welcome back Courtney Lake on the topic of successful terrariums!

“Terrariums are the flora equivalent of a ship in a bottle in my opinion. They are beautiful living sculptures that can serve a multitude of purposes from table centerpiece to anchoring a mantel vignette. The terrariums of today are not the ones we crafted for school science fairs.  Modern terrariums combine form, texture and color to create living works of art.

Yet for many, including myself, creating a successful environment can be intimidating.  Every time I see one, I think to myself “How did they do that?”  It amazes me that people have mastered the art of how to create what are essentially miniature gardens within the confines of a glass vessel.

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