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10 Easy Pieces: The Lab-Style Covered-Glass Container

Present and Correct desk dishes.

Who would have imagined that the petrie dish could have household storage applications? We’ve long been fans of scientific equipment: We use test tubes as vases, line up glasses on instrument trays, and swear by Chicago faucets. Back when we were creating Remodelista: The Organized Home, we also discovered that lab-style covered glass containers are ideal for corralling all sorts of small items, from tea bags to loose change.

It wasn’t easy to source them—we ultimately found Japanese imports at Dover Street Market and Italian examples at Makié, both in New York. But we’ve since been gratified to see these handy containers in a range of sizes popping up all over. Take a look—and start inventing new ways to put them to use.

Schale covered glass containers by Kinto, Japan.
Above: Made of heat-resistant glass, Schale Glass Canisters come in three sizes; $16, $18.80, and $21.50. They’re made by Kinto of Japan, which sells them directly. In the US, they’re also available from Unison Home and Food 52.
Schale covered glass containers by Kinto, Japan.
Above: The smallest Schale Glass Case is ideal for pocket-sized items—and both the top and bottom can be used as receptacles. It’s $18 from Unison Home.
Pincher Glass Canister CB2.
Above: CB2 added a handle to the form. Its new Pincher Glass Canister, $9.95, is made of “ultra-durable, chem-lab beaker borosilicate glass” and sized for bathroom accessories, such as cotton swabs.
CB2 Looking Glass Canister.
Above: Big enough for dry goods that don’t require airtight storage, CB2’s Looking Glass Canister comes in two sizes; small (shown) is $24.95 and large is $29.95.
Stationery etiquette kit from Remodelista The Organized Home. Matthew Williams photo.
Above: During the final shoot for Remodelista: The Organized Home, we created an Etiquette Kit that includes a small glass container for stamps (a Schale design from Dover Street Market), and a Hay Bits and Bobs Container for clips; $28, from Schoolhouse Electric.
Present and Correct desk dishes.
Above: Present & Correct, our favorite London stationery supplier, offers green-hued lidded glass Desk Dishes in three sizes for £6, £8.50, and £12.50. Explore the store in Now Present in London.
Hay glass-covered containers.
Above: Hay’s collection of Bit and Bobs glass containers are made of borosilicate glass. Amara offers them in Brown, Gray, and Clear: the small size is £13, and large is £16.
Hay Bit and Bobs Dot glass containers.
Above: Hay Bit and Bobs Dot containers also come with clear glass tops and colored bottoms: one size for each color. They’re sold individually by the Danish Design Store, starting at $10 for the green mini. Another variation: The MoMA Design Store offers Bits and Bobs mini containers in solid colors—blue, green, and powder pink—for $10.
Muji Large Glass Container
Above: Muji makes covered glass containers in several sizes. The Large Glass Container, $16, is the only one currently in stock at Muji USA; it’s sized for cotton balls.
Glass Petrie Dish National Museum of American History
Above: The real thing—petrie dishes are available online from a range of lab suppliers; just make sure what you’re looking at is glass (plastic is more common these days). Pyrex is the standard-bearer—the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has one in its collection—but can be pricey. For affordable options, consider Ronyes Life Science Glass Petri Dishes; $18.99 for a set of five via Amazon.

For more glass containers—and organizing ideas—take a look at:

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