Monthly Archives: November 2012

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane . . . It’s a Cocktail Shaker!

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes and tagged , , | | | Leave a comment

Add a shot of Art Deco-era style, a dash of Mad Men suave and a generous twist of imagine — courtesy of our in-house Pottery Barn designers — and mix carefully. The resulting concotion? The Plane Cocktail Shaker.

The Plane Cocktail shaker founds its original inspiration in European cocktail shakers from the early 20th century, which featured similar shapes and expert craftsmanship. When it came to designing our Plane Cocktail Shaker, we sought to embody the same spirit of the original, as well as the level of craftsmanship. What resulted was a shaker that serves as the perfect masculine object for a home bar or office desk — it’s easy to imagine it on Don Draper’s desk at the offices of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce on the set of Mad Men.

We love the graceful curve of the cocktail shaker stand, as well as the movable spinning propellers. When you’re not using the shaker and strainer to mix a martini, it blends in beautifully amongst books, artwork and framed photos. Don’t just call this a cocktail shaker: it’s a decidedly cool sculptural piece and conversation starter as well.

The Story Behind Pottery Barn’s Holiday Catalog Trees

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes and tagged , , | | | 22 Replies

Over the past few weeks, Pottery Barn fans have taken to Twitter, Facebook and the blog to inquire about the type of trees used in this year’s holiday catalog. To answer your questions, we went straight to the source. Silvertip Tree Farm, located outside of Yosemite National Park in California, provided the trees for the holiday catalog. Gena, who runs the farm along with her husband, Jim, graciously shared some background on the trees. If you’re interested in purchasing a tree, you can visit Silvertip Tree Farm’s local tree stand in North Fork, CA, or order a tree online — Silvertip Tree Farm delivers to all 50 states.

How did you get connected with Pottery Barn for the holiday catalog? “We received a phone call from your senior art director, who wanted wanted 10- 12 foot trees for your catalog shoot. It was very exciting to be asked to supply the Christmas trees for the Pottery Barn catalog. It was a wonderful experience to work with [your team] to pick out the perfect trees.”
What was it like to cut Christmas trees in June for the Pottery Barn catalog shoot?  “Cutting tree in June gets us in the Christmas spirit for the rest of the year. We are getting used to it; a lot of folks are planning Christmas year around. We have delivered somewhat wilted trees in July to hot Las Vegas for a Christmas demo, we provided trees for another catalog shoot, for Christmas commercials and for the Brothers and Sisters  TV show. . . Your catalog shoot was the most exciting and we really wanted you to be happy with the trees. We were very happy to hear how pleased [you and your customers] were.”
Can you tell us a little about why it was important to you to become a sustainable tree farm?
“I’m very proud of the fact we are a certified Family Forest with the American Tree Farm Systems. I consider myself a conservationist and believe in the wise usage of our natural resource. It comes from my upbringing. This area we live in is my ancestral home, home of the North Fork Mono [Tribe]. My grandfather instilled values of conservation that he was raised by, but also the fact that we can utilize our resources and still improve the property.”
Why do you think silvertips are such great trees? “Silvertips are a beautiful ornament tree [that can] stand out on its own with its natural beauty and only a few special ornaments. They are very hardy and a slow growing tree that grows at high elevation of the Sierra Nevada and lower Cascade Range. They have sturdy limbs for heavy ornaments. I love the silvery tips, which appear after a cold frost. John Muir gave the California Red fir the name Silvertip because its new growth turns silver after it gets very cold.”
Do you have any great tips for making your Christmas tree last longer? “Watering your tree is the most important thing you need to do to preserve your tree through the holiday season. We cut our trees and then immediately put them in water the very same day, this helps to keep them fresh.”
What tree from the Pottery Barn holiday catalog is your favorite?
“My favorite Pottery Barn Christmas trees are the Arctic and the Jewel! [I love] the Arctic tree with the little white owls, and the Jewel tree is so beautiful — it reminds me of when I was a child, with all the colorful ornaments.”
Interested in ordering a tree? Order a tree or wreath from Silvertip Tree Farm today! Or, if you need a little more background on finding that perfect tree, check out our tips.

A Potentially Awkward Corner is Transformed Into a Cozy Staircase Nook

Decorating, Inspiration and tagged , , | | | 5 Replies

Pottery Barn customer and avid home designer Jonathan Stiers recently shared images of this staircase nook from his home. We loved how he decorated it, and reached out to him to talk about how he made this potentially awkward space work.  The area around a stairway is often difficult to decorate, given space limitations and traffic flow. How did you hit upon using this chair here? “I decided to not be afraid of filling the space. It would be easy to put a small table lamp here but I felt something with presence would give the space life. The size of the chair was important: it’s not oversized and it’s not too small so it doesn’t interfere with traffic flow. Yet the chair is accessible enough that it may be pulled out when hosting guests, if needed.”

We love the pendant lamp in this area. Was it installed especially for this space, or was it there already? “I installed the pendant especially for this place. I felt with the column and the open space between it and the wall, it needed something to fill the space in a subtle way. The clear glass pendant light does just that. Combined with the filament bulb, it adds just the right amount of character.” Your chair is styled so beautifully. What are your tips for using throws and pillows when accessorizing? “I specifically chose warmer throw and pillow colors because of the lighter chair. Mixing textures is important, which is why I felt the leather pillow cover provided a nice contrast against the chair and throw. The warmer colors also tied back to the hanging print, completing the overall look.”
What are you inspired by when decorating challenging spaces like this one? Creating a space with warmth and character. Something that feels cozy. I want to create something that if in a picture, I’d want to jump right in.” Why do you shop at Pottery Barn? “Pottery Barn has the traditional style that I love but with just the right amount of contemporary touches. The pieces are timeless, not dated. Everything has character and comes with a unique feeling of home, versus items that feel more generic and sterile, from a traditional department store. I’ve come to love doing easy pillow updates, for example. With the beautiful assortment of covers, it’s easy to give your room a refresh, simply by changing out a cover.”

A Feminine, Flirty Master Bedroom

Decorating, Inspiration and tagged , , | | | 1 Reply

We love a beautifully executed ensuite master bedroom, and when it comes to creating a gorgeously modern yet feminine design, San Francisco-based designer Melanie Coddington of Coddington Design has this style perfected. Let’s take a tour of this inspiring bedroom, and learn her tips for creating a relaxing bedroom sanctuary at your own home.                             Did you design the headboard? “I designed the headboard especially for the room. I wanted a bed that had a strong presence without taking up a lot of precious space. It is inspired by 1940s style – one of my favorite eras.”
What are your tips for layering bedding and creating a rich look that still feels cohesive? “I like to use layers and textures to create a luxe look. On this bed I paired a silky cream coverlet with a custom reversible textural blanket. The pillows add a fun pop of pattern and color.” What do you think is important when styling a bed? What makes it pop? “I like a bed to look comfortable and inviting, for that reason you generally won’t find wooden tassels, glass beads or anything that looks like it would be uncomfortable to rest your head on in my work.” How did you choose the bedside table accents and books? “I love to stack fashion and art books and place interesting objects on top. The antler is a subtle nod to the wine country location. Although fresh flowers on a nightstand are gorgeous, I opted for a lower maintenance air plant in a simple glass bowl. They look great and last forever.”
The color blocked legs on the bedside table are fantastic. Tell us about your decision to color block these. Could readers try this at home? “I would love to take credit for this, but the desk is actually vintage! Readers could certainly try this at home. Cream and black is classic combo but they could experiment with other colors–dove grey with citron yellow socks  would be stunning. Gold or silver would be chic as well.” The wall treatment in the bathroom is incredible. Is it fabric? How did you choose the window treatments in this room? “Thanks! It’s a wallpaper created to look faded. The colors played off the stone and wood beautifully. The bathroom shade is a ‘relaxed roman’ style in the red and blue colors of the wallpaper and the adjoining bedroom. It’s a classic style that has a little more femininity than a flat shade, but the tailored trim keeps is fresh and gives it a touch of prep.”
What do you look for in terms of fixtures when choosing bathroom hardware?
This bathroom is petite, so I put the focus on the mirror and sconces. You wouldn’t necessarily think of hanging a gold decorative mirror in the bathroom but I think it instantly dresses up what could easily become a utilitarian space. Wall-mount faucets are also great in small spaces. Where did you source the unicorn statues? How do you integrate quirky pieces like this into an overall design? “I found the unicorns at one of my favorite vintage shops in San Francisco, Monument. They were called ‘magical unicorns’ on the web listing. I simply couldn’t resist! The day my assistant sent me a calendar request ‘magical unicorn delivery’ I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Every room can benefit from a highly personal, quirky or funny element. You don’t want to put so many quirky items in a room that it becomes a joke, but if you find something a little ‘off’ that you love, feature it prominently and don’t apologize.” The seating area in the bedroom is so chic. What are some ways that one can introduce a seating area to even a small bedroom space? “I designed this mohair sofa without arms so that it opens up into the space and feels larger. Readers could place a pair of vintage chairs (which are generally smaller) with a stack of books between them, add a throw and floor lamp and voila, a little nook becomes special. Even one small vanity chair or dining chair tucked into a corner can finish off a bedroom beautifully.” “We love the indoor-outdoor access to this room. What do you think is important about adding an element of nature to a room?  I grew up in Northern California among redwoods and pristine beaches, so I think natural elements are very important. We don’t all have the luxury of waking up to vineyard views but everyone can benefit from bringing nature in. I look for animal, sea or forest themes in my accessories. In this bedroom I have literal references like the bird print on the bed and more subtle references like the limestone topped coffee table and succulents scattered throughout.” [portfolio_slideshow size=large exclude=”759″]

The Season’s Best and Brightest Holiday Cards

Entertaining, Holiday and tagged , , | | | 1 Reply

Are you still looking for the perfect holiday cards? We’re happy to share some lovely designs that are available on the market from independent designers and small letterpress companies. Whether your style is classic or modern, retro or playful, we think you’ll be able to find a favorite amongst these choices. Whichever card you send this year, we’d like to encourage you to reach out to your loved ones this holiday season. Send a card, and slip in a photo of you and your family while you’re at it. If you have the time, we also recommend including an update of your yearly highlights in the card. It doesn’t have to be complicated: just type up a month-by-month list of your highlights from January through December. Need help with ideas? Think about favorite trips, any beautiful weddings or family gatherings you attended and other meaningful events. If you’re on Facebook, it often helps to review your timeline or photos to see if that helps jog your memories of the past 12 months, too. We’ve included links to the cards, as well as a few of our Pottery Barn cardholders, below. Find a favorite when you click through. [portfolio_slideshow size=medium click=openurl exclude=”747″]

A Rustic-Chic DIY Advent Calendar

Decorating, DIY, Holiday and tagged , , | | | Leave a comment

Source: Photos via The Marion House Book

Letter Perfect Gift Giving

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes and tagged , , | | | 1 Reply

Pottery Barn prides itself on its selection of beautiful monogrammed pieces. From silverware to linens and everything in between, you can find a way to personalize your gift giving with monogramming. This season we encourage you to add your Secret Santa pick’s initials to a handpicked gift. Or, if you’re so inclined, add your initials to a few of your favorite items as well. Click on the your favorite item below to start shopping. [portfolio_slideshow size=large click=openurl exclude=”730″]