Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Down to a Science

When I was little, I often used my uncle’s chemistry set to conduct groundbreaking studies on rock candy formation. Playing around with all that lab-grade equipment always made me feel like such a grown-up. The instruments’ sci-fi-ish orbs and tapered lines seemed to defy gravity—and left a lasting impression.

Bendy beakers and lanky cylinders, once reserved for science class, can easily be turned into gorgeous, useful objets design:

• Fill an Erlenmeyer flask (right) with change and it instantly becomes a stately, easy-access coin bank. Cork it with an appropriately sized rubber stopper to complete the look.

• Cluster three to four volumetric (left) or graduated cylinders and Bomex filtering flasks, and place one or two Sprengeri fern fronds (right)
in each one. Group containers together or scatter them throughout your home to provide continuity between rooms.
• Create a cheerily unexpected tableau by securing test tubes (below right), filled with single stems of
scented muscari (left), in a wooden rack.

Place the arrangement on top of your bathroom’s toilet tank, or on a shelf.

• Start a miniature greenhouse in a large
bell jar (right).
You can also use this to start bulbs (in any season) and grow luscious tropical plants that your cat can’t get at.

• Stow beauty supplies like cotton balls and Q-Tips in screw-top

flint glass jars (left). Store whole grains, cereals, and pasta in doctor’s office-worthy Pyrex receptacles.

• Corral desk accessories, like pens and pencils, in various-sized
Griffin beakers (below). A.

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