Monthly Archives: January 2013

New Ways to Decorate With The Color Terra Cotta

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

One color that we’re particularly excited about this season is terra cotta. And for good reason. Just ask MJ, one of Pottery Barn’s textile designers.”It’s the color of the earth, and it’s very grounding. It’s also one of the oldest decorating colors. The Greeks and Etruscans used it, and its history in home decorating goes back thousands of years,” MJ told us.Decorating with the color terra cotta may be have an ancient history, but the hue is just as vibrant today as it was thousands of years ago.

For the paisley pattern used in the Fresco Paisley Duvet Cover, shown here, MJ told us that they used two main inspirations for the pattern, and combined them to create something new.”We used an old antique Indian shawl for the original inspiration,” said MJ, “and then layered a very textural abstract painting created by one of our designers over the shawl to create a unique digital image. From that, we came up with the pattern for the textile.”

Besides the color’s grounding effect, terra cotta is also a great layering color. Think of it as a neutral, much as you would white or black. Terra cotta layers beautifully with a variety of colors, including creams, whites, reds and yellows. Look through the slideshow for more decorating inspiration.

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Friday DIY: Learn the Steps to Force Bulbs

Decorating, How-To | | | Leave a comment

When it’s snowy and dreary outside, a pop of living color in the form of flowers is one of the best ways to breathe life into your winter home. While there’s always the option of cut flowers, we also recommend trying to force bulbs as well


Forcing bulbs is a fun project that you can try alone or with friends or family members. We also love the idea of throwing a DIY party where you can force bulbs with a group of your friends this weekend. Ask each friend to bring one supply needed for the project, and then pool your resources to create multiple vessels. A few weeks down the line, the payoff will be huge.

Supplies Needed

  • Paperwhites or hyacinth bulbs in different varieties
  • Marbles, stones, or glass pebbles
  • Vases, jars or other container
  • Water
Forcing Your Bulbs
  • To force paperwhite bulbs, start by adding a layer of pebbles to the vase of your choice. Then, nestle the bulb, bigger (root-)side down, in the pebbles. Add enough water to just reach the bottom of the bulbs. Replenish water as needed.
  • To force hyacinth bulbs, place a bulb just above, though ot touching the water, and store in a dark, chilly space, around 50 degrees, for around 8 weeks. Change water as needed, and after eight weeks you can move your hyacinth out into bright, indirect sunlight.

For a special Valentine’s Day surprise, start your paperwhite bulbs now, and then present your friend with the blooming or near-blooming bulbs as a special present.

We’ve rounded up some supplies below. Will you be trying to foce bulbs at your home this weekend?

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Source: Flickr User katerha

Sneak Peek: The Easter Bunny Makes an Early Appearance at Pottery Barn

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

Pottery Barn just added a selection of Easter decor to the site, and we are crushing over all of the absolutely adorable bunnies. From table runners to egg cups, there are a variety of themed choices to create a woodland fairytale of a table this Easter.

 

Like many of you, we were curious as to how rabbits became associated with the Easter holiday. According to History.com, “The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called ‘Osterhase’ or ‘Oschter Haws.’”

Over time, this charming custom spread across the country, until the legend included the Easter Bunny’s delivery of candy and gifts to children. However this tradition evolved, we’re happy to add a variety of rabbits, in the form of cotton, ceramic, and metal to our table. See the slideshow below to shop for some of our favorites rabbits for your Easter table.

 

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Tips For Creating an Art Collection From One of Our Experts

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Have you resolved to add more artwork to your home in 2013? It’s an admirable resolution. Artwork adds personality to a home and reflects the homeowner’s sensibilities, style and passion. But if you haven’t yet begun an art collection, it often seems a bit intimidating to start. Luckily, we brought in an expert to help you discover the easiest way to add artwork to your home.  Alexia, one of Pottery Barn’s art buyers, has provided her favorite tips and tricks on starting a collection of art.

 

Artwork is Personal. “It’s an expression of who you are. It gives any room a personal touch as art often evokes a memory, emotion and certainly becomes the conversation piece of any room! I think the personal connection to art is what makes it so important to invest in and collect.”

Alexia’s biggest tip. “The biggest tip is to buy what you love and art naturally finds its place in your home. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match.”

Styling several pieces or art at once. “If a customer is trying to create a gallery or themed moment, here are some great tips.

 

When to decorate with calming art: “For a bedroom or living room space it’s best to decorate with calming art as those are the more peaceful rooms of the home – landscapes or images of nature work well here.

When to decorate with more frenetic art. “For the dining room or kitchen, which are usually the hub of bustle and conversation, I like to take more risks there with both color and theme – abstract art or pops of color are always fun in these rooms, as well as travel-inspired imagery.”

 Why you should invest in original art. “With original art you are truly investing in something that is one of a kind, and that makes it very special. It also creates a sort of relationship between you and the artist as an artist puts so much of themselves into a piece when a buyer responds to it and purchases it that bridge is built between them. I think Stephanie’s video on original art speaks to buying art you love well,  and the connection between artist and buyer is well said by Michal Venera.”

 

 

Why Alexia loves Pottery Barn’s artist partnership. “What is great about our artist partnership is that we are creating a sort of art community within our brand, providing a platform for both new and emerging artists and seasoned artists we love to share their inspiration with our customers and come together to create a really well curated collection of eclectic art for our customers. We span across multiple subject matters and mediums to hopefully provide a diverse and exciting experience!”

You can shop a selection of Pottery Barn’s current art collection, including original art from our featured artists, in the slideshow below.

 

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Pottery Barn Instagram Photos: Customers Show Off Their Homes and Style

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

We’re big Instagram fans, and are always happy to find images from Pottery Barn customers and fans posted through Instagram.  If you’re an Instagram fan, too, we’d love it if you followed Pottery Barn on Instagram. Want to share your Pottery Barn favorite finds? Tag your posts with #pbstyle and you might just see your Instagram photo on our blog! Here are a few Pottery Barn Instagram photos from our customers that are wowing us this week.

 

Instagram user ilonajoy shared this gorgeous photo, writing “North bedroom wall complete.” And how!

 

Instagram user wrote stef__adams wrote “A little mid afternoon snack!” We think it looks delicious! Can we pop over for a snack, too?

 

Instagram user mooch37 wrote “What are the chances of finding a dog pillow that looks like me? Thx #pbstyle for offering it!.”

 

Instagram user benna77 wrote “A selection of my favorite bracelets in this new antique-silver jewelry box from #potterybarn.”

 

Referring to her new chandelier, which her darling husband installed for her, Instagram user clairecab wrote “It’s gonna be gawgeous!!” (We couldn’t agree more!)

 

Instagram user amandamclark wrote “The only place I wanna be when I have a million things that need to be done…yet I can’t get myself to #sleepin when I have a chance.”

 

Instagram user aimeeolsen wrote “Loving my new stag decanter courtesy of some great friends!”

 

Want to share your Pottery Barn favorite finds? Tag your posts with #pbstyle and you might just see your Instagram photo on our blog!

A Dog-Friendly Sun Porch Fit For All Members of This Family

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 3 Replies

We’re happy to share this gorgeous post from Lindsay at The Milkweed Pods blog. Lindsay, a high school art teacher and artist, is passionate about decorating, flea marketing and creating beauty in her world. She lives in the Midwest in an American traditional-style home built in 1938, with her husband and three dogs. We caught up with Lindsay to learn more about her decorating style as well as her lovely and dog-friendly sun porch.


How do you use this space?

“The Pooch Porch is the sun porch located at the back of my home. It is the perfect spot for the three dogs to lounge in the sun and stare out the windows, while watching squirrels and chipmunks in the backyard.”

 Your dogs are adorable! Can you tell us a little more about them?

“I have three little, black dogs that love attention! When we are on walks people always ask if they are related, but they are actually mixes of different breeds. Pepper is eight years old and is a Yorkie-Shih Tzu mix. She is the boss in the house. Bruce is the smallest and is a Poodle-Shih Tzu mix. He loves lying in the sun and barking at anything that walks in his view. Clarence is the largest of the three and is a Scottie- Schnauzer mix. He is the most shy of the three dogs around people, but loves making new dog friends. We love to see their heads pop up on the Pooch Porch couch with excitement when we arrive home!”

How do you maintain such a beautiful and tidy home as a pet owner? Any tips or tricks?

“Having three dogs does require more cleaning, but it is totally worth it! In the Pooch Porch I installed vinyl plank flooring, which is a cheaper alternative to hardwood or laminate, and is a really durable solution for pets. When they spill or drip water, you can just wipe it right up, no problem. I try to buy fabrics that can be easily washed, like Pottery Barn pillow covers for the couch and dog bed covers. I also try to layer surfaces. For example, I will buy a twin-sized Pottery Barn quilt and use it for a coverlet for myself while I am lounging around and also use it to help protect my furniture from the dogs. The quilt can easily be thrown into the laundry when it gets dirty, and with three dogs it gets dirty frequently!”

How would you describe your home decorating style?

“I would probably use the term ‘modern country’ to describe my style. I like a neutral palette, layering textures and patterns, and using pieces that can provide multiple functions. My home is very relaxed and lived-in with objects and furnishings that tell a story or have meaning. I am an artist, so my walls are full of my artwork or the artwork of my close friends. Because I have been an artist longer than a homeowner, I typically start a room with artwork and then build around it. Plants and nature heavily influence my artwork and my decorating. I love to go antiquing and to flea markets, and I find joy in reusing and recycling old things.”

What Pottery Barn products have you used in this space?

“The Pottery Barn piece that makes the Pooch Porch so functional is the Sawyer Console Table. I love the rustic look! It is the perfect size for our dog food bowls to fit underneath so they are somewhat hidden and out of the way. I adore the extra deep drawers that provide tons of storage. The console is a great landing spot for the day-to-day workings of a home, and it provides a beautiful space for holiday decorating, as well as serving as a buffet for entertaining; it is a truly multi-functional piece.

I use Pottery Barn pillows that I rotate seasonally (I love how they are machine-washable) and have a Pottery Barn Persian-style rug that is a wonderful neutral color that goes with everything and has held up beautifully for years.

Under the dog bowls, I have Pottery Barn cork-backed place mats that are easy to wipe off when the dogs spill a little water.

I adore the Pottery Barn vintage dog food container that I have in the Pooch Porch; it blends perfectly with the antique ceramic crock I use to store dog toys. Right after I purchased the PB food container, my dad was visiting and he couldn’t believe it was a lightweight reproduction because it looked so authentic! I also love that it comes with a heavy wooden lid and scoop as well.

I use Pottery Barn quilts in the porch and throughout my home to add color and warmth.

The Pottery Barn tabletop photo carousel is a great way to display photos that can be easily changed. Being an artist/art teacher, I also use it to store postcards and little artworks!”


Why do you think this space works so well?

“The Pooch Porch is a wonderful and relaxing place for the dogs to soak up some sun and relax while looking out at nature. Because the space has durable floors, a neutral color scheme, washable PB linens and practical storage solutions, it is a very functional and welcoming space.”

A Conversation With Pottery Barn Featured Artist Lee Cline

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

One of Pottery Barn’s exciting introductions for 2013 is our new collection of over 200 exclusive and one-of-a-kind works of art. We’ve partnered with a number of different artists to bring you a variety of beautiful works of original art. Today, we’re getting to know featured artist Lee Cline. Largely self taught, Lee splits her time between San Francisco and rural Maine. Pottery Barn is currently featuring Lee’s landscape series, which germinated over the course of a winter spent in a small Maine farmhouse. Lee’s gorgeous paintings bridge realist and abstract styles, and her landscapes are an absolutely lovely addition to a new or established collector’s home gallery.


Can you tell us more about the inspiration for your landscape series?

“I’m fascinated by the subtle color changes of sky, water and shadow through different times of the day and through the seasons. I want to better understand these nuances, so this series has a lot to do with that. Also, I’m not an abstract painter, but I think I see Rothko’s influence here. I love the meditative, transcendental experiences that Rothko created with color and composition. I’m interested in cutting away cruft and getting to essences, and leaving room for the imagination to wander.”

How are you inspired by both rural Maine and urban San Francisco?

“The contrasts between urban San Francisco and rural Maine are actually pretty intense. But travelling back and forth keeps both landscapes vivid for me; I feel a little like a stranger in each every time I return, so I see things with fresh eyes. When you see the same landscape day after day, at some point it’s easy to stop looking. I guess that’s why I keep moving around.”

You have literary arts degrees in addition to being a visual artist. How does your background in creative writing inform your paintings?

“Studying resonant themes of literature over the years I think I’ve gained some sense of what speaks to us universally . . . what we find beautiful or interesting, what makes us sad or angry or uncomfortable. What are our symbols, who are our heroes. And certainly how to set a tone or tell a story.”

“How has your experience been so far, as one of Pottery Barn’s featured artists?

“I’m impressed that Pottery Barn has taken an interest in showcasing original art by independent artists, and the presentation of the work is done very professionally — the art looks great online. It can be hard to get a sense of the tactility of a painting in a representation of it, but Pottery Barn has done a great job presenting the work.”


What are you currently inspired by in terms of medium, subject, or feeling in your art? 

“Above all, it’s not just about image-making. With every canvas there’s always a bit of a tussle between what I think needs to happen and what actually transpires. Letting go of some of that control and trusting the materials, and intuition, and maybe something else, is always part of the process. Authenticity to me means that these paintings should reveal something of the making of them — not hiding mistakes, for example. Part of it means letting the paint do its thing and be itself, so smudges and drips are all part of the story.”

What advice would you give someone who’s investing in original art for the first time?

“An interesting piece should reveal itself slowly over time, so you can look at it in a year and see something new. It may surprise you when you least expect it. Pretty is nice, but it’s not everything. A piece should resonate with you on a deep level — with your heart and with your mind — and it should inspire you to see the world more richly or think about things a little differently.”

See more of Lee’s art, available through Pottery Barn, below. Click on each image to shop!

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