Monthly Archives: October 2012

Start With the Sofa

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Styling a Simple and Speedy Halloween Vignette

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Whether you’re throwing a huge Halloween bash or simply looking to add a bit of ghoulish flair to your home, this season look to your home library for decorating inspiration.

Get started by stacking orange and black-colored books on a dining room or entry table for a traditional Halloween vignette. If you don’t have have enough books in these shades in your home library, you could check out volumes from the library, or peruse antique stores for titles. (We found these orange-and-black hardcover books from Andrea’s Etsy shop, which specializes in color-coordinated vintage books.)

For variations on a theme, try decorating exclusively with black books for a darker, more gothic look, or alternating black and silver tomes for a glam vignette. We’re also fond of the idea of using stacks of classic horror books. Look for books by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley, Ambrose Bierce, Bram Stoker and H.G. Wells.

Round out your bookish Halloween vignette with florals such as orange marigolds or black sunflowers. A set of antique spectacles would also relate to the theme. For those of you decorating around horror titles, try adding props that speak to the book’s subject, such as our Etched Antique Mercury Glass Pumpkin for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Feathertop,” or a cthulhu illustration for H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Call of Cthulhu.”

For more decorating inspiration, make sure to check out all of our tips for throwing a Halloween party.

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Impulse Investment: The Side Table

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With prices starting at just $99, these tables are a home decor update perfect for indulging one’s impulsive side. So, who’s going to be your sidekick today?


Ava Accent Table ($399): This glam piece has a cool x-shaped base and shiny nickel finish. The perfect sidekick for a chic modern sophisticate and her collection of fashion history coffee table books.

Campaign Accent Table ($299): Brass is bold, beautiful and definitely on trend. The classic campaign shape will keep this table historically appropriate through many a decade. It’s a great sidekick for classically cool decorators who’d like to experiment with a warm metallic trend piece.

Hyde Turned Leg Table ($199) With plank-style tabletop and lathe-shaped legs, this table’s great for a farm-inspired decorating arrangement. We see this table as a great choice for a rustically refined decorator who’s big on cozy moments. Scoot this table up to a leather club chair (the Manhattan, perhaps?), pile your favorite memoirs high on the Hyde and settle in for a long stint of pleasure reading.

Robert Side Table ($399) This industrial-inspired table has the good fortune to be built on casters — making it the ultimate rolling bar for a cocktail-heavy house party. The metal-and-glass fabrication will perfectly suit loft dwellers, while its mobility factor makes it easy to push from place to place when the need arises. When not hosting a cocktail party, this table is perfectly at home parked next to a sofa and entertaining a table lamp and a few framed photos.

Lillie Pedestal Accent Table ($499) With a sturdy solid wood base and a decorative metal top, this table will stand up to roughhousing while looking elegant the entire time. Bonus? The metallic top will naturally develop a patina over the years. The elegant, feminine decorating maven will want to add this table to her must-have list.

Chatham Coffee Table ($99) Technically an outdoor table, this solid mahogany side table features a slatted top. When the outdoor season is over, bring this table inside to entertain in the rumpus room. Since it’s sealed for moisture resistance, it will stand up to spilled juice boxes or melting popsicles. We recommend it for the busy mom who loves double-duty furniture pieces.





20 Questions With Nathan Turner

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Inspired? Find out more about Nathan’s favorite things . . .


Source: Photo of Nathan Turner and book courtesy Abrams Books, photo of roses courtesy Rose Story Farm

Tipis, Mustangs and Rustically Luxurious Decorating Moments

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Nevada ranch owner and Pottery Barn customer Madeliene Pickens recently sent us these gorgeous images from her Nevada ranch. Pickens is set to launch Mustang Monument, a wild horse eco-resort, this coming spring. The new eco resort will cater to guests interested in seeing wild mustangs in their natural habitat, with guests staying in a range of chic outdoor accommodations. Mustang Monument is located on a sprawling property that encompasses two ranches. Counting the public lands combined with the ranches, the property spans an unbelievable 900 square miles.

While some of the accommodations will include safari tents from South Africa that will be used for base camp, Pickens told us that tipis have been the most popular choice with visitors. “As I got going with the project I realized we have the best response with the tipis,” she told us. “It is American, and we also show you can have your creature comforts [with the tipis].”


Pickens had all of the tipis custom painted. The unique patterns and colors add a vibrant touch to the landscape.


In this photo, visitors to the ranch head out on a wagon ride. When the eco-ranch opens, Pickens told us that this will be a regular part of the guests’ stay. “We’ll have teams of mules and teams of horses and take the people out to have lunch and see the horses run and play,” Pickens said.


An outdoor dining area with style to spare takes advantage of the great vistas at the ranch. When the ranch opens, there will be several outdoor areas like this in which guests can socialize. Pickens also plans on expanding the ranch’s food production to include growing organic vegetables and making cheeses, breads, and other food for the guests.


Layered wool rugs and plush bedding make the interior of this tipi the furthest thing from roughing it. Pickens turned to Pottery Barn to outfit most of the tipis.


A visit from  a mustang is a perfect way to end the day. Pickens told us that while many people go on safari in Africa to see wild animals, they often overlook the wild animals here in the States. “They’ll truly get the feeling of what wild is like when they come to Mustang Monument,” she told us. Judging from these images, we’re inclined to agree with her.

Source: All photos by Michael Partenio 


The Curious Case of the Gold Cocktail Shaker

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The design for the Gold Stripe Cocktail Shaker was based closely on a shaker that Pottery Barn designer Tony was gifted by his grandmother, Phyllis. “It has a lot of personal and sentimental meaning to me. It’s a family piece that my grandparents had and was actually gifted to me. The cocktail shaker is a more ephemeral piece that is striking and has that elegance that I really wanted to bring to the brand.”

The shaker was gifted to Phyllis in 1937 as a wedding gift and became a cherished family object that Tony remembers from his grandparents’ home. Over the years, the shaker took on special meaning, and became synonymous with Tony’s grandparents’ love story and his memories of the couple.

When imagining the new design for the Gold Cocktail Shaker, Tony relied on memories of his grandmother’s original shaker. “I can see my grandmother actually washing it, and every time it went into the sink and got washed after a party, a little of the gold is missing, and that adds to the distressing of the piece, which makes it more special. It has that patina that Pottery Barn is about. It’s the celebration of the imperfection that is seen here that really makes sense for the brand and that’s why, when I brought this to Pottery Barn, I thought it would be a great thing to replicate, on top of all the historical relevance it has for me.”

The resulting shaker has a vintage-inspired glamour that will withstand the test of time — just as Tony’s grandparents’ cocktail shaker has held up through decades of gatherings and libations.

The Gold Cocktail Shaker is a perfect holiday present for those loved ones in your life, whether they’re family in name or in spirit. We suggest gifting it with a bottle of your favorite vodka and vermouth, and then lingering after the present has been opened for the official first cocktail mixing. Cocktails, anyone?


Try This at Home: Chic Autumnal Vignettes

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On a recent lunch stop at Napa’s gorgeous new restaurant The Thomas, we couldn’t help but linger at the restaurant’s windowsill displays, which boasted a bounty of autumnal decorating inspiration.

The sills were filled with a mix of cut glass vessels, antique blue books, and seasonal plants in orange, white, and wheat colors. The puffy dried florals in this photo are actually artichokes that have gone to seed. The orange pods may be more recognizable to most readers — they are Physalis alkekengi, more commonly known as Chinese lantern plants.

The color scheme for these vignettes is simultaneously a departure from and a reflection on traditional autumnal palette. The orange and wheat tones are classically fall, while the white and navy blue add modern pop to the look.


To try this look at home, we suggest the following

  • Head to the farmer’s market or local grocer to discover some unusual squash or pumpkin. Try turban, Lakota or Baby Boo squash, and white pumpkins such as the Casper pumpkin.
  • Try elevating the pumpkins or gourds in glass dishes, or framing them under one of our Glass Domes.
  • Purchase a bouquet of Chinese lanterns from the florist.
  • Take a walk in your neighborhood to find grasses or bushes that have gone to seed, and turned that delightful wheat-like color.
  • Stack similarly colored books together for your tablescape vignette or window display. You don’t have to stick with navy blue. Try black books for a more Halloween-themed vignette or add girly contrast with bright pink volumes. We also love the idea of purple, turquoise or deep brown books.


Source: Photos by Elka Karl