The Sill

How To: Terrariums

If you're feeling a little time-challenged, terrariums are a great way to add life to your space without the hassle of a watering schedule. Its own ecosystem, terrariums make it possible to grow things in places that aren't exactly conducive to growth. There are two types of terrariums and it is crucial you choose the correct plants for inside based on type: 
1. Open
An open terrarium provides ample air circulation and lower levels of humidity, than an enclosed vessel. Choose varieties of plants that prefer a drier environment. Open terrariums are the only type of terrariums we'd recommend for drought-tolerating succulents and cacti. 
2. Enclosed
An enclosed terrarium is water-tight, has a cover or lid, and functions by creating its own ecosystem. The plants inside release moisture, which condenses inside the vessel and trickles back into the soil. Choose varieties that are compact and thrive in humidity, for example ferns and mosses. We're big fans of the delicate looking asparagus fern (Asparagus setaceus). 

Find suggestions for terrarium plants based on light here

Images via Pinterest 

Our Top Terrarium Tips: 

  • Pick slow-growing plants that require less trimming and are less likely to outgrow the container quickly 
  • If you are mixing plants, choose varieties that thrive in the same environment -- i.e. prefer the same amount of light, humidity, and watering schedule 
  • Choose a clean, glass container with an opening that is big enough to squeeze your hand inside  
  • Before filling your terrarium with soil, place a 1/2" layer of gravel at the bottom of the terrarium followed by a thin layer of charcoal to create drainage 
  • Lightly press the potting soil down to remove air pockets 
  • When placing plants, do not overcrowd -- make sure to leave room for growth 
  • Use a paintbrush to remove any soil from the sides of the container or leaves of the plant 
  • Put your terrarium in indirect light -- full sun can fry the plants inside 
  • Water directly at the base of the plants 
  • Do not overwater -- an open terrarium can be watered once about every one to two weeks, while a closed terrarium can be watered once about every two to three weeks 
  • Let enclosed terrariums breath by opening the lid for half a day every two weeks or so 
  • If you see dead or dying plants, remove them immediately 
  • Rotate your terrarium so plants grow upward 


Looking for a little more inspiration? Check out 21 Ideas for DIY Terrariums on BuzzFeed


NYC Summer Series: Get Your Hands Dirty VII

Week of 8/18* 

If you have a spare night:
This week marks the annual Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, and this year's New York City-inspired line up includes team favorites like The Royal Tenenbaums and Ghostbusters. These classics will surely attract a crowd so arrive early - and don't forget a blanket and snacks.

If you have a spare hour:
Check out the Public Art Fund's recently revealed piece of art at the MetroTech Center in Brooklyn. The interactive outdoor sculpture, "Light Over Time", is the work of Los Angeles-based artist Sam Falls. On display until May 2015, the brightly colored mazes, benches, and chimes will change color and texture as guests interact and the elements change with the seasons.

If you have a spare minute:
Enter the second installment of our Green Leaf Giveaway Series, highlighting unique companies and tastemakers that inspire our team. This week features the stylish, reusable, and do-good S'well bottles! We'll be giving away one 17oz bottle from their new Wood collection. Learn more

(*The best part? They're all free!) 


Green Leaf Giveaway Series: S'well Bottle

Round two of our giveaway series features our new friends S'well Bottle -- a company that creates reusable bottles that not only look great but also do good. Made of non-toxic, non-leaching, and BPA free stainless steel, every bottle keeps your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Did we mention the bottles do not condensate? In addition to their mission to rid the world of plastic bottles, S'well aims to give back to those in need. They're proud partners of such organizations as WaterAid, American Forests, and Drink Up. 

We're giving away a 17oz burlwood* bottle from their new Wood Collection. For every bottle sold American Forests will plant one tree, helping in the preservation of forests around the country. 

To enter to win a wood bottle, all you have to do is:

  1. Make sure you like @TheSill on Instagram and Twitter
  2. Make sure you like @SwellBottle on Instagram and Twitter 
  3. Retweet our contest announcement on Twitter for 1 entry 
  4. Regram our contest announcement on Instagram for 1 entry 

Questions? Feel free to shoot us an email at - and good luck! 



*No trees were harmed in the making of these bottles. Their "wood" facade is hand painted. 


How To: Herb Window Box

Window box planters are a go-to for both frustrated urban gardeners and nervous beginners. If you lack the time, energy, spare space, or green thumb to maintain a large scale garden – you can still enjoy greenery in small yet striking ways with window boxes. Available in an endless amount of choices of color, texture, and size, you are sure to find one that is a perfect fit for your space.

Herbs are a popular choice for indoor window boxes because of their utility. We choose basil, which prefers full sun, but there’s a multitude of herbs out there that can thrive on a shadier sill. Make sure to choose the right herb based on your light. 

Our Top 5 Light Shade Picks: Mint, Chamomile, Thyme, Parsley, Cilantro
Our Top 5 Full Sun Picks: Basil, Lavender, Oregano, Rosemary, Chives

* Make sure to combine plants that need the same amount of light and water if you plan to plant more than one herb in a single box. Planting in a plastic liner instead of directly into the box makes changing plantings easy.


Our Top Tips for Window Box Planters:


-       Pick Your Potting Soil 

Choose a good quality, fast draining soil. For small potted plants, including smaller window boxes, we recommend Brooklyn Blend potting soil. This lightweight potting mix also makes moving around window boxes a bit easier.

-       Create Drainage

It is important to have a box with drainage. If your window box does not have drainage holes, layer the bottom with stone or gravel to create drainage. We like to use a mix of lava rocks and charcoal.

-       Leave Room For Growth  

Don’t cram plants in too tightly. Leave room for roots to breath and plants to grow.

-       Prune & Snip

Don’t be afraid to clip and cut. Regular pruning keeps plants in a restricted space healthy and happy. Herbs especially benefit from constant harvesting - pruned plants grow back more thickly and compactly. 



NYC Summer Series: Get Your Hands Dirty VI

Week of 8/11

If you have a spare weekend:
Travel back in time and visit Governors Island this weekend for the Jazz Age Lawn Party. There will be live music, an outdoor dance floor, summer cocktails, and a 1920s tasting menu. Finally a reason to break out that flapper dress that's been hanging in your closet.

If you have a spare night:
Have a meal at one of NYC's oldest restaurants - there's a reason some of these standbys have been around for over a hundred years. Yonah Schimmel Knishery, which has called the same storefront home since 1910, is one of our team's favorite lunch spots.

If you have a spare minute:
Check out this slender four-story home designed by Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa. Tucked away on a Tokyo street, the plant-filled oasis is a creative example of the utilization of small spaces. Fingers crossed its on Airbnb ;)


NYC Summer Series: Get Your Hands Dirty V


Week of 8/4 

If you have a spare weekend:
Check out the colorful Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, where over 170 teams from around the world will compete for cash & prizes. In addition to the races, there will be live entertainment, international food, and attendance is free!

If you have a spare night:
Tantalize your tastebuds by participating in Time Out New York's Battle of the Burger at South Street Seaport. Feast your way through over a dozen burger competitors while quenching your thirst with complimentary ice-cold beer.

If you have a spare minute:
Enter our Green Leaf Giveaway, the first of our giveaway series, with our friends Chasing Paper! The series will highlight unique companies and tastemakers that personally inspire our team. Every other Monday we'll share a new product on both our Twitter and Instagram - all you have to do is retweet and/or regram to be entered to win. 




Announcing Our Giveaway Series!

We're thrilled to announce a new giveaway series to sweeten your summer. The series will highlight unique companies and tastemakers that personally inspire our team. Every other Monday we'll share a new product on both our Instagram and Twitter - so make sure you're following @TheSill to be the first to know.

And the best part? We're making it super simple for you to enter to win! All you have to do is: 

1. Make sure you like @TheSill and that week's tastemaker or company on Instagram & Twitter
2. Retweet our contest announcement on Twitter for 1 entry
3. Regram our contest announcement on Instagram for 1 entry 

The contest ends Fridays at 10:00am EST, and we'll announce the lucky winner at 12pm. Good luck! 

Green Leaf Giveaway // Chasing Paper 


We're kicking off the series with our friends Chasing Paper, who create beautiful, removable wallpaper that is simple to hang and easy to remove. Founder Elizabeth Rees describes Chasing Paper as "stylish removable wallpaper for the urban home," and we couldn't agree more. A renter's dream, it is no surprise this wallpaper was born in NYC. 

To enter to win two Green Leaf wallpaper panels, all you have to do is: 

    1. Make sure you like @TheSill on Instagram and Twitter
    2. Make sure you like @ChasingPaper on Instagram and Twitter 
    3. Retweet our contest announcement on Twitter for 1 entry 
    4. Regram our contest announcement on Instagram for 1 entry 

Questions? Feel free to shoot us an email at Good luck! 



Orange Office Essentials

Did you know the color orange increases oxygen supply to the brain? It produces an invigorating effect - stimulating mental activity and encouraging spontaneity and positivity. It has even be said to offer us emotional strength - helping us bounce back from disappointments. 

Obviously we should all find ways to add a little orange to our everyday environment! And for most of us - that's our office. So we've rounded up a few office essentials in this optimistic and uplifting hue to give your workspace a much-needed boost. We can feel the creativity flowing already.

Shop: Flower Crown - Art We Heart; Classic Notebook - Moleskine; Flowers Desktop Background - DesignLoveFest; Fluted August Potted Plant - The Sill; Stone Collection Water Bottle - S'well; Orange Starter Set - Poppin; Orange Ceramic Light Bulb - Anthropologie.



NYC Summer Series: Get Your Hands Dirty IV

WEEK OF 7/28 

If you have a spare night:
Head over to B_Space on Mulberry Street Wednesday evening for Four&Sons Magazine launch party. We were thrilled to share our favorite fido-friendly plants in their first issue. P.S. four-legged friends welcome!

If you have a spare hour:
Celebrate the hardworking honeybee at The High Line's Honey Day on July 30. Stop by between 2pm - 7pm for tastings, activities, and an open-air market featuring honey harvested in NYC. Observe hives in action and meet local beekeepers.

If you have a spare minute:
Bookmark Happy Interior Blog - the inspirational blog of one of our favorite tastemakers. Living between Munich and France, Igor Josif shares pretty much everything that could make you swoon - including his love affair with plants.



Happy National Tequila Day!

Tequila is made specifically from the blue agave plant (Agave tequilana), native to Jalisco, Mexico. It is produced by removing the piña, or heart, of the plant around its twelfth year - when it is rich with sugars. These harvested piñas can weigh up to 200 pounds! Once the heart is removed and stripped of its leaves - it is heated to remove the sap, which is then fermented and distilled to make the popular alcoholic beverage.

Learn more. 



July 24, 2014 by The Sill