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If you still associate terrariums with that nerdy kid from science class, it's time to adjust your outlook. These days, the low-maintenance, glass-encased landscapes have gone decidedly chic--somewhere between a houseplant and a work of art--and bring an instant burst of nature to any room.

As for ready-made options, we love small and simple. This open-top, three-bowl set ($30) makes an understated window or bookshelf decoration. And the conversation-provoking lightbulb-terrarium ($55) demands prominent display, despite its tiny size.

Not that we have anything against bigger and bolder. Case in point: Litill's irregularly shaped collection ($150 to $800) and the self-sustaining (if wallet-draining) flora-cum-living statue from Partners & Spade ($9,500).

Still, when it comes to terrariums, there's nothing quite like making your own. Just fill a glass container--Sprout Home offers a gorgeous hanging version ($80)--with your choice of materials, like moss, rocks, charcoal, etc. You can even consult The New Terrarium ($17) for extra inspiration.

Or forgo the hunting and gathering altogether in favor of a handy DIY kit. Brooklyn-based Twig sells some of the coolest we've seen ($25 to $100)--think miniature lawns, doll furniture and figurines in endless embrace--for constructing your tiny glass world.

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