Chic Spotlight: Life Terrarium

Chic Spotlight: Life Terrarium

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See how a love for interior design and plants inspired this local business that aims to add a little life to your home decor.

Life Terrarium combines woodcraft decorative wall pieces with mountedplants.

Cincy Chic: What is Life Terrarium?
Cade Johnson, Owner of Life Terrarium: Life Terrarium combines woodcraft decorative wall pieces with mounted plants.

Cincy Chic: What was the inspiration behind launching your business?
Johnson: To create beautiful living wall art for interiors and gardens. I have always loved terrariums and living walls, so I wanted to sort of fuse my love for interior design and plants. Earlier this year I collaborated with a friend on creating mounted “Staghorn Ferns” for Liberties Bar and Bottle on Main Street OTR. After we put them up in the bar we got several enthusiastic requests for more of the pieces and so I ran with it and created Life Terrarium.

I am totally obsessed with the beautiful old growth wood torn out of the buildings being renovated in OTR, especially the wall lathe behind the plaster and thought it would be smart to create decorative wall pieces out of them using shapes and patterns.

When deciding how to mount the plants on the wall pieces, I landed on a particular style of Bonsai referred to as, “Kokedama”, which is essentially a soil ball wrapped in moss and eliminates the need for a pot. The mounted plants can be removed for weekly watering and occasional misting without damaging the wood.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it all?
Johnson: My name is Cade Johnson, I am an OTR resident. Aside from Life Terrarium I am an aesthetic designer, carpenter, and Airbnb host. I consulted with botanical enthusiast and local bartender Joshua Kaiser on properly caring for the plants and how to plant them best so they thrive.

Cincy Chic: What types of products do you sell?
Johnson: Our wood craft pieces are created entirely out of reuse wood, which is reclaimed and reimagined. Our plants are locally sourced from local greenhouses.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to purchase items from Life Terrarium?
Johnson: I’ll have a booth at Second Sunday on Main September 9 and October 14. I am finishing a space near the West End where I will be able to display all my available pieces as well as take appointments for viewings and purchase through Facebook and instagram. I am interested in collaborating with local plant and home furnishing stores for distribution in the near future. I also can deliver locally.

Cincy Chic: What makes Life Terrarium unique?
Johnson: Every piece I make is entirely handmade and different than the next. They make me laugh a bit because they’re a bit country fair, but also perfect for modern lofty settings. I have hesitated to call them crafts as much as calling them art, they are somewhere in-between two, but not quite either. I love being able to tell people exactly which building or intersection I collected the wood from on their piece and assuring them the plants are easy to care for. It’s really OTR centric, which I feel locals relate to.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your business?
Johnson: Everything is new for Life Terrarium, so far it’s been entirely improvisational and because of how well it’s been received I am inspired to dive into getting these pieces out there and take this idea forward. I would love to design centerpieces for weddings and events.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Johnson: You can find updates and whereabouts of Life Terrarium on Instagram and Facebook @lifeterrarium. You can email me at for appointments and viewings.