Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

September 2, 2015

Is the Modernica Case Study Planter Worth $200+?

I recently splurged on a case study planter from Modernica.

It was $189 USD, which is about $250 Canadian (yikes), but at least the shipping was free!  Because I live on a part of Lake Superior that is close to the US/Canadian border, I have access to a US address for parcels, which makes shopping online a lot easier because I can have things shipped within the States or Canada.  When I cross the border on my way back, sometimes I have to pop into the CBSA office and pay HST (although they usually wave folks by if the value of goods is under $100).  This time I had to pay tax and as I walked out with my receipt I was kind of stunned by the final price.  I only made it a little way up the road before turning the truck around and marching back in, certain they'd made a mistake calculating my HST.  They had not.  When the border guard I was harassing showed me the exchange rate for the day I actually blurted an expletive and he had a difficult time keeping a straight face.  When I drop an f-bomb with my 12 year old voice, it tends to be more amusing that combative.  Thoroughly embarrassed, I informed everyone who was eavesdropping that I have a PhD, and then I quickly egressed. 

All this to say that I experienced some serious sticker shock making this purchase.  When the dust settled, I paid around $282 CAD for my planter.  Despite that staggering sum, I actually saved $100 by ordering direct from Modernica and using my US shipping address, because to order from a Canadian retailer is $384 CAD.    

Aqua kitchen with Pyrex collection and Modernica side shell stools

So, what possessed me to drop nearly $300 on a planter?

Truthfully, I'd been lusting after the case study planters from Modernica for awhile, but the price was too steep for me, even though I have been very happy with the two side shell stools and trio of bubble lights I'd purchased from them.  The stools and lights are functional pieces that see daily use, while a planter seemed like a bit of an indulgence.  I ultimately decided that I didn't deserve one because I'm terrible to plants.

As you know, though, I recently inherited some very precious plants.  You already saw me caring for the orchids by making over a plant stand, so they can bask in the perfect light, and then spending major bucks on fancy orchid pots.  In addition to these orchids, I also inherited a snake plant and I decided that it, too, deserved a fancy new habitat, especially after it spent two days in a bumpy, stuffy, over-packed u-Haul trailer.  I'd seen some really great DIY case study knock-off tutorials, but I really liked the actual ceramic planter Modernica sells.  The walnut frame would be easy to duplicate, but not the pot (Kim and Scott, from Yellow Brick Home, had a tough time finding a large, cylindrical pot for their cool, globe-turned-plant stand project).

I decided that I didn't want to hunt for the right planter and reasoned that this plant, of all plants, is special enough to warrant buying the real deal.

Modernica case study planter review
Modernica case study planter review
Turquoise modernica side shell stools
Turquoise modernica side shell stools and case study planter

Was it worth the price?

I don't regret buying it at all (and I can say this having already paid the credit card bill with this purchase, so that's saying a lot!).  I've been really thrilled with the quality of the bubble light and side shell stools we purchased.  We experienced a bit of sticker shock with both of those purchases too but, almost two years later, we still love the looks and the quality.  So far, this planter is what I expected too.  The structure of the base is very simple (the legs just slide together for assembly), but the walnut is beautiful - no stain can hold a candle to genuine walnut.  The ceramic pot is very substantial (it must cost a fortune to ship) and it was flawless when it arrived.  I wish that the timing could have been better - only a few years ago the CAD and USD were at par - but I didn't want to wait.

Is the modernica case study planter worth the price

If I ever stumble across a planter with the same shape and look of this case study planter, you better believe I'm going to take a stab at a knock off, but for now I'm super thrilled with my purchase.  

Walnut case study planter

I read about some plants dying in the case study planters, but I suspect that might have something to do with a lack of drainage so I filled the bottom with large rocks before adding my soil and re-potting the snake plant.  Hopefully that helps keep the roots from getting soggy, but I'll also take care not to over water this fella.  After hauling rocks from the shore and completing the messy task of re-potting, I read about someone using packing peanuts, which seems infinitely lighter and easier (but is it good for plants to have that synthetic material near them?).  I'm not sure which method is better, but if you have any tips I'm all ears!

For now, at least, the snake plant seems happy with its new home.

MCM planter

The greenery that you can see from the kitchen, dining and living room really adds some more life to the lakehouse -  I've missed having plants!
 
Aqua kitchen with turquoise pyrex and light maple counters
Aqua pyrex collection
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26 comments

  1. I once ordered a pair of jeans and a shirt from the states- probably $100 in value and I knew I wouldnt return either as I already owned those jeans, but they wore out. Shipping was $12, but then the company reshipped with Canada Post who charged me over $30 extra!!! So I paid basically $50 in shipping for $100 worth of clothes. And then I lost weight and less than a year later those pants didnt fit.

    At least your planter will always fit!!!! Long term, that money is a drop in the bucket

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    1. Oh gosh, what a bummer!! The worst is when you ship into Canada and get slapped with extra import fees. Before I moved here, I had to ship to Ottawa and I had many problems so I gave up.
      Haha. You're right about the planter fitting! I think it will remain a timeless, classic piece.

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  2. Ok it is beautiful but still too expensive!But if it makes you happy why do you have to explain this?Just enjoy it dear!AriadnefromGreece!

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    1. Thanks! It's my habit to explain larger purchases and the thought process behind them - when I save, when I splurge. I don't want to contribute to a culture of debt by just showing me buying buying buying.

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  3. Looks awesome! I LOVE the way your kitchen looks in these photos!

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    1. Thanks! I took them with my new camera. The colour is a little more true to live but I have to fiddle some more...

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  4. Girl, you deserve to treat yourself every now and then! I know that big purchase feels like a gut-punch right now, but in the long run it will be like giving birth. After a few weeks pass you will forget all about the pain and just smile every time you walk past that beautiful walnut!

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    1. I think I should blog about every sweaty palm inducing purchase I make. You're so supportive!!

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  5. When you're shopping for something sculptural and classic that you love, all that price-tag-fever gets to step back a little! I mean, if you were going to expose that planter to the arctic gale, I would shake my head. But in your kitchen? Where you love it every day? And you've done your share of agonizing over the cost? And your life's partner likes it too? Enjoy!

    Now, about the botanical side of things: The good news is that snake plants are really tough! As you say, for sure don't over-water. And if in future you want to be extra careful about drainage in a large, closed planter, you can always get a slightly smaller plastic pot (the sort of lightweight, black, generic kind garden centers use), put your plant in that pot, put a few small blocks of wood or other props in the bottom of the actual planter, and put the slightly smaller pot in on top. That way, there's an inch or two in the bottom of the planter for runoff from watering. I've seen nice work done with sphagnum moss or pebbles on top of the insert pot to cover the potting soil and the place where the edges of the two pots meet. The insert need not be obvious in order to be effective for the health of the plant. Happy green thumbing through fall and winter! Try a spider plant, too... They're great air purifiers.

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    1. Haha, yes it wouldn't fare well with an arctic gale. Your reasoning is definitely along the lines of mine when it comes to deciding when to splurge and when ti save.

      I am happy to hear snake plants are hardy! The two pot method is such a good idea. I never would have thought to use to moss to cover the edge. That's what stumped me - how to keep it from looking cheesy. I will keep and eye on him and might just re-plant him with your method. I'm definitely keeping a mental note of that. Thanks!!

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  6. Snake plants thrive on near neglect. I only water mine once a week (sometimes less), and it has stayed alive and thriving for two years so far. In fact, it was the only indoor plant to survive last year when I had a baby.

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    1. Then near neglect is what I shall offer, haha! I am so relieved to hear these fellas are hardy. Although, way to take the wind out of my sails if I get this guy to thrive. I need to hear that's it's DIFFICULT and that I finally did it, lol.

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  7. Money well spent it is a real statement piece!

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    1. Thanks!! Sometimes I find that high price doesn't mean quality, but with Modernica I can relax because spending the money has, for me, always meant good quality too, which I appreciate.

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  8. Your 'snake plant' entry made me smile. I inherited my mother's, which she inherited from someone else. I can remember my mother scolding my brother for picking off the pointed tips. My brother is in his 60's, so that kind of gives you an idea about the age of that old snake plant! I agree with Oona and her ideas about creating a 'sleeve' when you are planting in such a nice pot. Yes! They will rot if you over water them...How about placing some sort of mulch on top of the soil? I use glass marbles, stones, moss...Something that doesn't scream out at you, but softens the look of the soil. I am glad that you incorporated a special plant and pot into your decor!

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    1. Well then, my goal is to pass this on to someone else 60 years from now!! I love your idea to soften the look of the soil. I will noodle on that for sure. Thanks for the tip.

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  9. Stunning! I was going to offer the same plant advice as Oona re: hardiness or snake plants, not overwatering and using an inner pot if necessary.
    Snake plants are so lovely and it makes it more special that it once belonged to someone special to you. I can appreciate why you wanted to give it a beautiful planter to call home.
    So beautiful!

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    1. Ooo, I should have asked you all first before potting! I never would have thought of that neat trick to hide the double pot. It's not to late, though. I will definitely make sure I'm stingy with the water, in any case.

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  10. Looks awesome! Too expensive! But if it makes you happy then go for it!

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    1. Thank you - you might be the first person to feel my pain about the price! Definitely a pricey pot - especially if you have lots of plants. I was starting to feel like such a cheap skate, lol, being the only one who nearly fainted at the final tally.

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  11. Worth every penny! It's a classic. I feel the same way about my Architectural Pottery purchase. We all should feel free to splurge occasionally without feeling guilty.

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    1. I knew it would get your seal of approval! I wanted a bullet planter and you guys carry them, right? I was so worried Szuka would tip it over - this seemed sturdier. But that might be my next plant splurge - if I can keep these guys alive for a year you might get an order from me ;)

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  12. I've been eyeing this planter as well. Did you buy the Large or XL?

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    1. The large, although my measurements are a bit off from the website so I wonder if the sizing has changed or if there is just some wiggle room. I still really love this planter and dream of buying more but they're just too expensive right now. I'm Canadian so until our dollar is a bit stronger, the conversion means this is a lot more $$$ for me. But I have no complaints - it's beautiful and still looks perfect.

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  13. How is the plant holding up? I just got a similar planter but it doesnt have the stand (sample sale the model is case study bullet). Worried about drainage issues as well.

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    1. Good question! The snake plant is thriving there - but I don't know whether to credit the planter, the lighting or the fact that I've finally stopped under and over watering my plants! I did, however, line to bottom with a layer of small pebbles to prevent the roots from sitting in a soggy mess. I think that may have helped! But then again, the snake plant is apparently very easy to grow, so perhaps that's the real root (lol) of my success.

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