Katy Elliott

A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

Recent Finds: Wardian Case, Camel Back Sofa, and Stool

Posted on | October 18, 2010 | 28 Comments

I had a major score moment this weekend! I found a glass terrarium (Wardian case) with a stand at Grace Sales in Marblehead for $85. I’ve spotted them at fleamarkets before but they were usually rusted, had broken glass or newer versions that used plastic rather then glass for the walls. When I was in Brimfield this spring with the design*sponge team we saw a few but they were really pricey ranging from $500-$800, yikes!

Below a photo of the terrarium showing how the top open ups. Update: I filled the case with beautiful ferns and mosses. See here: An Antique Terrarium For My House.

Below a camel back sofa my mom gifted to me. The sofa is for our first floor living room which we haven’t even starting renovating. She’s renovating her house and needed to get rid of it. I’m thinking of reupholstering it in a ticking stripe (my inspiration photo here) or maybe a simple menswear plaid wool?

At the very bottom a stool I also picked up at Grace Sales over the weekend too. I don’t know what I am really going to do with it but I liked the lines and it was a great shape for the price. For now it will probably become a little side table.

Grace Sales Co.
185 Pleasant Street
Marblehead, MA

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28 Responses to “Recent Finds: Wardian Case, Camel Back Sofa, and Stool”

  1. Jane Flanagan
    October 18th, 2010 @ 11:29 am

    Amazing scores! I especially love the sofa, which will look great in either fabric you’ve suggested (I’m partial to ticking!)

    A terrarium is on my ultimate, ultimate wishlist! This price is amazing!


  2. Ashley
    October 18th, 2010 @ 11:33 am

    Katy, what amazing finds! The ticking stripe is such a fresh, but classic option for the timeless shape of the sofa (that photo from Domino has long been in my inspiration file).

    Are you planning on pairing the sofa and your Craigslist wingback chairs together? They have similar legs and would be a dashing pair.


  3. erin, reading my tea leaves
    October 18th, 2010 @ 11:34 am



  4. Katy Elliott
    October 18th, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    Oh I forgot to mention. My mom took the chairs back! She wanted them for her kitchen and I decided they were just a little too petite for what I wanted to use them for…

    SO the search continues for a pair of wing backs to go with the sofa…


  5. Sealicious
    October 18th, 2010 @ 11:42 am

    awesome score! Can’t wait to see how you use it :)


  6. liane
    October 18th, 2010 @ 11:46 am

    well done katy! and that sofa is identical to one i have which i’m currently reupholstering. love the lines.


  7. EMILY
    October 18th, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    oh boy am I ever jealous. My girlfriend and her husband have a terranium just like this in their guest room in Santa Monica. I’ve been trying to mimic their sweet little set-up myself, but they don’t come cheap! What a treasure you found! x


  8. christine
    October 18th, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

    I am sooo jealous of that sofa. I have been looking for one like that forever! I would love to see it in the menswear plaid- gorgeous!


  9. Kathleen
    October 19th, 2010 @ 8:34 am

    That sofa! Lucky, lucky you!


  10. Karen
    October 19th, 2010 @ 10:22 am

    Yay! As a long-time blog stalker, it is super fun to see you starting to buy more furniture, etc.! Love all these pieces.


  11. Patsy
    October 19th, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    Good thing you saw that terrarium first, I would have scooped it right up!

    Is Grace Interiors the old Stanley Interiors? On Pleasant Street?


  12. Katy Elliott
    October 19th, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    Yup, Grace Sales is the old Stanley Interiors on Pleasant Street. I usually stop by on my way to the farmer’s market on Saturday.


  13. Megan
    October 19th, 2010 @ 10:56 am

    This is so cozy! I think it would be a dream to live in this house…xo


  14. annamaria potamiti
    October 19th, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

    Great finds!Looking forward to seeing how you will transform them.


  15. nicole
    October 19th, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

    they are gorgeous and love that sofa!


  16. Charlotte K
    October 19th, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

    That is more typically called a “Wardian case” named for Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward. Read all about it in wikipedia.

    I am VERY envious. It’s lovely. That was a major steal.


  17. Katy Elliott
    October 19th, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

    Hi Charlotte!

    Thanks for sharing that info. I had no idea that’s what they’re actually called. So cool!



  18. Vanessa
    October 20th, 2010 @ 8:43 am


    I recently got my hands on a chippendale wingback sofa through craigslist, very similar to yours. We had a very reasonably priced slipcover made for it


  19. Vanessa
    October 20th, 2010 @ 8:46 am

    Not sure why my message got cut off…but anyway, happy to send you pictures. I love the idea of plaid!


  20. jen jafarzadeh
    October 20th, 2010 @ 10:51 am

    wow, great scores! I’m in love with your terrarium. That’s an incredible price for a vintage glass one — especially since it has a stand, too.


  21. julieann/creategirl
    October 20th, 2010 @ 12:08 pm

    I think I need to take a ride up to Marblehead and visit Grace Sales, what fantastic finds!


  22. Felicity
    October 20th, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

    the terrarium is amazing. I would plan an entire room around it, if I had one!


  23. Pam
    October 20th, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    I love your Wardian case find! I did a post on Wardian cases awhile back, and for some reason, it’s one of the most popular searches that brings people to my blog. The good ones are very pricey. Looks like you got a winner!



  24. erin
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 11:00 am

    Plaid! Plaid!!

    also, amazing find on the terrarium!


  25. moparbrownstoner
    October 22nd, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

    Wow, what great finds. Isn’t that sofa beautiful.


  26. Vanya
    November 3rd, 2010 @ 1:35 am

    wow well done Katie, they are all absolute keepers! Beautiful


  27. Elizabeth
    November 6th, 2010 @ 2:40 am

    Okay, I’m joining the comment pool pretty late here, but, oh… that Wardian case! I have been haunting Craig’s List and flea markets and antique stores for a year now without any luck. I am so very jealous, but I can’t wait to see what you fill it with.


  28. Katy Elliott
    December 19th, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    Hi everyone!

    I finally filled the wardian case. See here for photos: http://www.katyelliott.com/blog/2011/11/an-antique-terrarium-for-my-house.html


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