Website of the week
I've always had a bit of a green thumb. When I was three, I brought home a jade plant from preschool; that plant is now a five-foot-tall tree that resides on my parents' patio. I also brought home a stick from Arbor Day when I was in second grade; it's now a thirty-foot-tall tree hovering over my parents' house. Within the last few months, I've rediscovered my love of plants, finding that it is quite possible to grow them even in a not-so-sunny New York apartment. Plants are good for you (they release oxygen into the air), and they bring out my inner nurturer. So, in kind of a full-circle way, this week's website of the week is Sprout Home, a Chicago-based store that's all about the urban gardener and the home-garden connection. The nice part though, is that even if you're not so into gardening, there's lots of cool stuff for inside your home as well. The website is simply structured; you can browse by category or search for something specific (of course, I always prefer browsing). The merchandise is a bit on the modern side, and unlike anything I've seen in any other home store. I love all of these Dwell-esque shower curtains; any of these doormats would make an excellent choice; these vintage pillows are unlike any I've seen; and they have an incredible selection of mod, psychedelic plates (my favorite is this delight plate). Outdoor-wise, they've got a great selection of gardening tools and planters; I want to replace all of my dumb terra cotta planters with ones like this small gloss planter, which would go so much better with my decor. The site is also a great source for hostess gifts, which we're all in need of this time of year when we're visiting friends' summer cottages, parents' suburban houses with pools, etc. I think anyone would love this Portugese Gipsi soap, these truly innovative crane chopstick stands, or these seeds for a butterfly garden. So while your fifth-floor walkup studio might not have a rooftop garden or even a terrace, a plant here and there--in cool planters, of course--can make it feel like you do.

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