Classic Finds + Design: Conservatory Charm

How to bring classic garden style indoors
Posted February 19, 2013

Spring is nearly here. And just before the bulbs begin to pop from their flowerbeds outside, why not jump-start the season by inviting some eye-catching, timeless garden décor inside? An ideal place for inspiration is the heavenly, historic setting of Volunteer Park Conservatory (Capitol Hill, 1400 E Galer St.; 206.684.4743; Its magnificent Victorian glasshouse, completed in 1912, is a jewel in the crown of the Seattle Parks Department with its lace-like, pretty peaked roof and white-paned glass walls that sparkle against the park’s lush backdrop. Inside, the collection of rare plants and flowers from around the world dazzle visitors with their luxuriant leaves and beautiful blooms; a fragrant scene that you will be loathe to leave.

To bring some classic conservatory style into your abode, simply start with a few antiques, such as an Edwardian satinwood armchair with painted floral decoration, a charming 1920s walnut cabinet, both from Antique Liquidators (South Lake Union, 503 Westlake Ave. N; 206.623.2740;, and a delightfully fussy Victorian papier-mâché clock with mother-of-pearl inlay, from Haystack Antiques (Bellevue, 144 105th Ave. NE; 425.455.1515; haystackantiques). Next, add some glorious garden-room goodies from City People’s Garden Store (Madison Park, 2939 E Madison St.; 206.324.0737;, such as a charming birdcage with distressed verdigris paint and an intriguing architectural windowpane mirror. A dramatic black-and-gold trellis obelisk and mossy green stone finials from Molbak’s (Woodinville, 13625 NE 175th St.; 425.483.5000; impart a formal, gated-estate elegance. Finally, fanciful faux-linen throw pillows and a matching framed hexagonal print from Target (various locations; bring floral flair to the arrangement.

Now, you’re set to enjoy the garden season whether inside or outside. 

John Stevens ( is a design writer and publicist.