The Sill

Come over to my room tonight
And sit with me on the edge of my bed
Watch all of your favourite movies with me
And drink coffee while smoking cigarettes

Play classical music all too loud
And slow dance to it undressed
Drink wine irresponsibly from the bottle
And don’t care about make-up or your hair being a mess

Place your frail body on my thighs
And mess around with my Polaroid camera
Capture a candid of me while I make art about you
Just like you did when I was writing this stanza

Eat cereal at 4 AM on the window sill
Dressed only in my favourite white shirt
Tell me about all of the things that you love
And then come back to bed when you’re burnt

—  tzujen
The 8 Best Plant Picks For An Urbanite: Guest Blogger

We’ve avoided houseplants in the past (NYC apartments are crammed enough as is), but The Sill is changing the way that we buy and display greenery. The start-up specializes in appropriately city-size (read: small) succulents and plants. In honor of our recently launched Birchbox Home: From the Garden collection, we asked Eliza, the company’s founder, and Erin, the social media manager, to bring their plant know-how to our blog. 

Think your teeny tiny apartment and brown thumb can’t handle a houseplant? Think again! Whether you live in the basement or the penthouse, with a curious Fido or a rambunctious toddler, there is a little green fellow out there who will help make your house a home. Here are our top eight plant picks for the modern urbanite:

1. You have large windows, which let in a lot of natural light.

Our top pick: Succulent

  • Light: Bright
  • Water: Every 1 to 2 weeks
  • Humidity: Average
  • Temperature: Average 

A succulent is great choice for an apartment that tends to be dry. Conditioned for arid climates, a succulent can otherwise tolerate being hot or cold, however, it does have a preference for bright light. You’re a great candidate for a succulent if you have windows that face east or south. 

Keep reading

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General Store

ADDRESS: 4035 JUDAH ST, SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94122
“I simply love the curated style of this store, and their outdoor garden space is a sublime secret garden of delights that includes gorgeous raw wood tables, an incredible array of succulents and other cool things like metal watering cans, complete with a gorgeous little greenhouse of plants, cacti, succulents, and even a bizarre and awesome oval rock with a cat painted on it.”

Discover Flynn’s full guide to San Francisco here.

Photos by Melissa de Mata for The Style Line

Plants 101 with The Sill

Sometimes we want to learn about things beyond skincare, ya know? Which is why we were psyched to connect with The Sill, a genius home delivery service for plants. Below, they give us the 411 – or 101? – on selecting and caring for houseplants. 

Read on and be sure to use the code SWBASICS20 for 20% off of your order on their website through September 30th!


What are some great plants for urban-dwellers who reside in (not-so-light-filled) apartments?

When choosing a plant for your space, the consideration The Sill team emphasizes the most is the amount of light your space receives. So many people claim they do not have a “green thumb” – but they’re usually having trouble keeping their plants alive because they’re choosing ones that cannot thrive in the environment they’re providing. For example, if your space is lacking bright, direct sunlight then don’t get a cactus.

Our five favorite plants for spaces lacking in big windows that let in bright sunlight – aka pretty much every NYC apartment, or at least the ones we’ve lived in – are: 

Philodendron

How about for those lucky folks who live in an airy, light-filled houses?

If you’ve hit the apartment-lottery, or live out in the suburbs with a window that faces a yard and not a brick wall, and have a space that receives bright light, you can try:

Or, really, any plant! Though the plants mentioned in question #1 could thrive in low-light conditions, they don’t mind bright light either. Overall, houseplants prefer bright to moderate light. Just make sure it’s indirect – unless you’re dealing with a cactus – so the leaves do not burn. A good rule of thumb: if the sun is too strong for your skin, it’s probably too strong for your plant’s leaves.

Cactus 

What are some of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to purchasing and caring for houseplants?

When it comes to purchasing a plant, the most common mistake we’ve come across is customers choosing a plant based on looks, or popularity, and not based on plant requirements. 

For example – the Fiddle Leaf Fig tree has gained some serious popularity recently. Although pretty low-maintenance, they can be extremely fickle in the wrong environment. There are a lot of customers who request them based on their cool-factor, but don’t have a space with bright, indirect light for the tree to thrive in. Then it’s really not worth it. The awesome thing about plants, unlike cut flowers, is they don’t have an expiration date (they can outlive you!) so you definitely want to do a tiny bit of research pre-purchase.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree 

When it comes to caring for a plant, the most common mistake we’ve come across is customers overwatering. Overwatering is the easiest way to kill a plant! It can lead to root rot and a possible pest problem. Our rule of thumb? It is better to under-water than to over-water. You can always add more water, but subtracting it from soaked soil is a much more difficult process.

We’re in the process of decorating our office and definitely want to integrate some plants – what are some design and styling tips we should be mindful of?

When creating design plans for our plant installations, there really are no set rules, but we do have a few tips:

  • Cluster plants together to make more of a visual impact 
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match planter materials and colors (i.e. terra cotta and glazed ceramic) 
  • Play with plant size, color, and texture by incorporating multiple varieties 
  • Make sure to choose plants that will thrive in your space 
  • Keep in mind plants’ toxicity levels, in case your space is shared with a office pet

Clustered plants = good design advice 

We’re big into aloe over here, namely because it’s amazing for skin. Any tips on growing and caring for it?

Aloe is one of our favorite species of succulents because not only is it extremely easy to grow and care for, but it also is a wonderful ingredient for home remedies. If you plan to grow Aloe at home, we recommend using a well-draining, sandy potting mix – like a prepackaged ‘cacti and succulent mix’ – and a terra cotta or ceramic planter with a drainage hole and saucer.
It is important to keep potted Aloe in a spot that receives bright, partially indirect, sunlight. Make sure to allow the Aloe’s soil to dry out completely in-between waterings. Aloe is a succulent so it’s drought-tolerant! Do not overwater. 

When repotting your Aloe plant, divide new growth from the “mother” plant and into separate spots to allow for further grow and prevent pests. And we would not recommend ingesting Aloe in any way, but feel free to use it on burns, rashes, scrapes, bites, etc.! We’ve also heard that massaging your scalp with aloe can reduce dandruff. Who knew? ☺

Any random trivia and/or surprising facts on some of the plants you feature that you’d like to share?

Our favorite plant here at The Sill is the Sanseivieria, more commonly known as the ‘Snake Plant’. Not only is the Sanseivieria incredibly easy to take of (it can thrive in conditions of low light and serious neglect – i.e. it can grow almost anywhere), but it also has one of the highest conversion rates of carbon dioxide to oxygen AND is one of the best plants for improving indoor air quality by absorbing common indoor toxins such as formaldehyde and nitrogen oxides.

The Snake Plant 

All images via The Sill