Monthly Archives: January 2013

Love Your #PBPets? Share Your Favorite Four-Legged Friends on Instagram

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration and tagged , | | | Leave a comment

We can’t get enough of Pottery Barn pieces, especially when they’re accompanied by an adorable four-legged friend. Today, we’re following up  on our first #pbpets post with some truly charming cats and dogs that are showing off their good taste by showing a preference for Pottery Barn products. Want to share your Pottery Barn favorite finds and your favorite pet? Tag your posts with #pbpets and you might just see your Instagram photo on our blog!

Instagram user ohmyowls posted this picture of her cat, noting “She looks so tiny up there! Well, she is tiny, but looks even more tiny on the big pillows!”


Instagram user justicejonesie writes, “The dog is making herself comfy on the new rug.”


Here’s a cozy kitty. Instagram user dlomb406 writes, “Mieka loves the Wesley Throw from #potterybarn.”


What kitty can resist a paper bag? Instagram user goldie232 shares, “Look what I got at #potterybarn today!”


We’re not sure who’s cuter, the pup or Instagram user courtkatphoto’s  baby belly. (We’ll call it a tie, and the Scroll Tile Rug will take second place.)

Amanda and Giorgio’s Modern and Romantic Toronto Wedding

Uncategorized and tagged , , | | | Leave a comment

One of the most memorable days in a couple’s life together is their wedding day, which is why we’re excited to provide inspiration for our readers and registered couples with our series of wedding posts. Our first featured wedding is from Giorgio and Amanda. Amanda is the co-founder and owner of The Hot Plate, where she provides food styling, recipe development and other online resources for food lovers. Given Amanda’s profession,  it’s no surprise that food and wine were two major considerations when she and Giorgio married in Toronto at sunset on November 3rd, 2012 at the Berkeley Field House. Let’s take a peek at their gorgeous ceremony and reception and hear what Amanda has to say about her wedding day.

Can you tell us a little about you and your husband?

“Giorgio is one of the most caring people I’ve ever met. When I met Giorgio, I knew that I’d never meet anyone nicer and more sincere than him. I’m very outgoing, definitely a big A-type personality here. Giorgio supports my ambition and entrepreneurial spirit, and helps to keep me grounded and balanced.”

How did you meet?

“Giorgio is from Peru and works as an associate at Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. I’m from Ottawa and I run an online cooking resource for food lovers and professional recipe development and food styling company called The Hot Plate. We met at a Halloween Party in 2010. I was dressed as a zebra and Giorgio was the most interesting man in the world. After walking off the elevator, Giorgio was the first person I met, and we’ve been together since that night.”


How did you get engaged?

“A week I’ll never forget . . . Giorgio and I are two peas in a pod so he knew that with my keen sense for surprises, I would probably guess what he was planning. Anticipating this, he sent me a week of calendar invites. Starting on Saturday Giorgio organized full days and nights of events. We visited art galleries, went to incredible restaurants and even revisited the first place we said ‘I love you.’ I started to think that just maybe he would ask. Four days in, I was pretty sure, but night after night no BIG question. Finally, Thursday night I came home to find Giorgio there with a drink in hand. He said he’d booked us a table at SPiN Toronto for a game of ping pong and then a surprise dinner at an intimate restaurant. Giorgio had intended to hide the ring box in the basket of ping pong balls, but when we were assigned a table next to a rowdy office party, Giorgio had to reconsider. Minutes later, Giorgio said that ping pong wasn’t a good idea and rushed us out into the alley. Unable to contain the nerves/excitement, he looked around anxiously in the alley. Although it was raining, Giorgio got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Excited, teary-eyed and all smiles we headed to an intimate French restaurant. On the table was the most impressive bouquet of roses and orchids I’ve ever seen. The husband and wife who owned the restaurant  asked if it was my birthday and when we told them we’d just gotten engaged they brought out champagne for all 25 patrons. It still makes me smile when I think of the care and thought he put into planning the proposal.”



What was your inspiration for the feel and look for the wedding?

“I’m not a lover of fall foliage. So when we opted for a November wedding we wanted to skew winter. Giorgio and I wanted a downtown wedding with a modern yet rustic twist. We opted for birch bark and pine cones because of their versatility and elegant look.”

What was most important to you when planning the wedding?

“Food! Well, food and culture. Giorgio is from Peru and food is definitely a big part of their culture. Also, my work in the food industry meant that we wanted to impress guests with elegant food that appealed to the season. Our mains included cornish hens with bourbon mash and braised beef short ribs with glazed root vegetables.”

What details really stood out at the wedding?

“I’ll have to thank my mum for this. My mum hacksawed 100 pine cones so that we good use them as place card holders. Everyone loved them, and people even took them home as keepsakes.”



How did your occupation affect the menu and décor at the wedding?

“My work at The Hot Plate is all about making cooking fun and simple for home cooks. For the wedding, I wanted to keep decor simple and seasonal just like the food. Our menu included phyllo wrapped brie, foie gras with pickled scapes and other tasty bites. Our mains included cornish hens with bourbon mash and braised beef short ribs with glazed root vegetables. We were lucky with decor. The Berkeley Field House is renowned for its seasonal dishes as well as its impeccable service, gorgeous whitewashed walls and vintage looking chandeliers.”



What fun details did your guests really enjoy and respond to?

“Our guests loved the pine cone place card holders and mercury glass vases. The woodsy touch added warmth to the room. Our guests also loved what is known in Peru as ‘hora loca,’ also called ‘crazy hour.’ Hora Loca starts about an hour into dancing and usually involves costume pieces and the music taking it up a notch. For ours, I’m an experienced sailor and grew up on sailboats so it was only natural that we embraced the pirate spirit. We passed around eye patches, fake parrots, pirate hats, hooks and plastic swords. Guests got really into the party.”


Did you have a live band or a DJ?

“Giorgio is the music buff of the couple. He organized a string trio for the ceremony and reception. Instead of classic music we opted for contemporary music like Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and even some Elvis Presley. For dinner and dancing we moved over to a DJ that kept the party going until 2 AM! Giorgio spent months organizing the music. We started by picking favorite Spanish and English songs and then broke it down to dinner and dancing. Every weekend, Giorgio and I would listen to the playlist while cooking for the week. We were able to edit down the list to favorites without any last minute stress.”


What do you think is important to splurge on?

“Definitely wine! The food was important, but when it came to wine Giorgio and I knew we wanted to go for quality. My parents, also wine lovers, had no problem indulging us in a number of tastings. We chose bottles that we loved, and would complement the food beautifully.”

What about where you can save money?

“We saved money with DIY invitations. With a little trial and error on Illustrator I was able to craft up a simple and elegant invitation that saved us hundreds of dollars. We also opted not to rent limos for the day.”



What advice do you have for other couples planning their wedding?

“Book the big stuff early to reduce stress. We booked everything early and enjoyed a stress-free summer. In September, we picked up where we’d left off and finalized last minute details. Also, make couple time. Even though you’ll be planning your wedding it is important that as a couple you carve out non-wedding talk time.”

[portfolio_slideshow size=large]


Photos by OliveStudio

Are You Making a Style Resolution This Year?

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration and tagged | | | Leave a comment

20 Unique, Romantic and Utterly Charming Valentine’s Day Cards

Entertaining, Holiday and tagged , , | | | 8 Replies

While everyone enjoys receiving a thoughtfully picked Valentine’s Day gift, sometimes a well-chosen Valentine’s Day card can be equally touching (especially if it accompanies a pretty bouquet).

Whether you have a special sweetheart this Valentine’s Day or are single and mingling, there’s always someone (or someones) on your list who deserve a sweet card. That’s just one of the many reasons why we love this set of Valentine’s Day cards featuring original hand-drawn illustrations from artist Melissa Baswell Williams. With these 10 eco-friendly cards, which are printed on recycled kraft cardstock, you can send cards to everyone from you best friend to your sweetest niece. All of the cards feature Melissa’s designs in black and red, with the inside of the cards left blank for your own special greetings. Choose from a mix of the cards shown, and if you like, you can even  specify a different card amount if you’re feeling extra generous this year.

We’ve rounded up a variety of cards for your perusing pleasure. Most are romantic, all are charming and a few are just the littlest bit cheeky. Can you find a favorite among these selections?


[portfolio_slideshow size=medium click=openurl exclude=”1464, 1477, 1535″]

Pinterest Board of the Week: The Big Game Features Our Favorite Football Pins

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

Like many of you, we can’t seem to stop pinning. This week, we’re excited about our board The Big Game, which features party decorating ideas and easy recipes for The Big Game.

We’re sharing dozens of great recipes and decorating ideas on the Pinterest board The Big Game, including these four Pins.

From top left, clockwise:

  1. These absolutely yummy-looking football-shaped cookies can be purchased from Yummy Delicious Cookies.  Baked by Debra Buker, they’re made with her special cream cheese/sugar recipe, and decorated with royal icing. This order includes two dozen football cookie favors that would be perfect for a tailgating party, NFL kickoff, and college game days.
  2. Need to entertain kids (or non-sports fans) at your big game party? Then check out this Bingo Game from Studio DIY. You can download and print out the bingo cards for free from Studio DIY — so fun!
  3. How delicious to these look? Better Homes and Gardens shares the recipe for these Mini Meatball Sliders on its site. Customize the look by making mini flags in your favored team’s colors for each slider.
  4. Speaking of customized big game gear, we think the major football fans in your life would appreciate sipping a favorite brew out of a mug from our NFL Glassware Collection.

Are you throwing a party next weekend? Are you pinning your ideas on your board? We’d love to hear about your favorite pins in the comments below.

Art That Speaks Volumes: Positive Messages For Your Home

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration and tagged , , | | | Leave a comment

To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, we wanted to inspire you with his words, as well as other positive messages that will help you to live your life in a spirit of love. In Dr. King’s words, taken from his 1964 Nobel Prize speech in Oslo, “When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response which is little more than emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality.”



We’ve rounded up 10 positive messages for your home, some of which can be attributed to Dr. King, and others which operate in the same spirit.


[portfolio_slideshow size=medium click=openurl]

Decorate With White Sofas For an Elegant and Casual Living Room Look

Decorating, How-To | | | 2 Replies

White Pottery Barn sofas anchor these cozy, inviting living rooms. — Country Living

Tour a preppy-kitschy home.  — Apartment Therapy

Read more about the idea of “successful failures.” — Folk Magazine

Feeling the winter blues? Brighten up with this sun salad. — Sweet Paul Magazine

Need more salads? May we offer 30 days of salads for your consideration. — The Blender

We are absolutely charmed by this sweet winter wedding. — PoppyTalk

Dazzling decor finds for the new year. — Refinery29

Give your sofa a winter-friendly makeover. — CasaSugar