Posts Tagged ‘courtney’

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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Meaningful Modern Design

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Greetings friends, today I have a very special writer contributing his perspective on a style I am finding myself more drawn to these days: modern design!   Courtney of Courtney Out Loud is here to share how to pull off modern design in your home without leaving it feeling austere, cold, or looking like a designer showroom.  Courtney Lake is a fellow Bay Area resident, and lover of thrifting, great design, and good eats. 

Please enjoy Courtney’s article on meaningful modern design:

“Modern style typically evokes images of sharp edges, clean lines and monochromatic color schemes.  This style’s “less is more” mentality makes it appealing for those looking to par down their lives, forcing its advocates to only choose and display what they love.  However, modern’s edited approach can lead to stark environments that look more ‘show room’ than ‘living room’.  So the question remains, how can you get an edited and tailored modern look in your home that doesn’t leave you cold?

I posed this question to three design and merchandizing experts to get their take. All agreed that today’s modern aesthetic is less about utilitarian chic, and  more about an aesthetic that is constantly in flux. It’s this constant evolution that makes it one of the most versatile design styles.

Today’s modern design has to look to the future as well as the past for inspiration in order to ground it in the present.  Iconic pieces such as the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair, the Saarinen Tulip Table or the Starck Ghost Chair, are beautiful and speak to modern design of yester year, but alone they may leave a room feeling cold.

saarinen tulip table modern

Mid-Century Modernist

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