Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pinterest Board of the Week: True Blue Focuses on Our Favorite Color of the Moment

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Guilty as charged: we can’t stop pinning. This week, we’re excited about our board True Blue, which features decorating ideas, decor moments and stylish food shots all in beautiful, deep shades of blue.

We’re sharing dozens of fun ideas on the Pinterest board True Blue, including these four Pins.

From top left, clockwise:

  1. This blue bedroom, featured in House to Home, is inspiring us to look to architectural salvage for a headboard  alternative. The gorgeous shibori throw adds a beautiful deep blue feature to this room.
  2. Blue on blue on blue: this plate vignette from Souvlaki For the Soul has us craving a berry dessert.
  3. Our Calista Duvet Cover and Sham are made from a cotton linen bland and feature a bandana-inspired design.
  4. This still life by Caroline Arber Photography creates a lovely tonal balance between blues and yellows.

Are you decorating with blue in your home? Share your ideas with us in the comments, or let us know what you’re pinning, too!

Chris and Alyce’s Rustic Elegant Wedding

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Photographer Julie Christman recently sent us these gorgeous photos of newly wedding couple Alyce and Chris Youngblood. While Alyce and Chris were married at a rural, rustic setting, some of the details of the wedding, including establishing their own hashtag on Twitter, also reflected the couple’s social media-rich background. Keep reading to hear about what Alyce has to say about her rustic elegant wedding day and check out all of the absolutely stunning photos!

Can you tell us about you and your husband? 

“Chris and I met on Twitter in 2010, which seems strange to some, but felt natural to us. At the time, I was an editor and social media manager for a magazine in Orlando, FL, and he was a communications director for a non-profit on the coast. After we met face-to-face, it didn’t take too long for us to begin dating and took even less time for us to begin dreaming about the rest of our lives together. I’ve now joined him on the coast, as well as in his office, where I’m the organization’s new editor.”

 

 

How did you get engaged?

Chris made me wait for a while — after we had already looked at rings! But it was worth it, because it could not have been a more ‘us’ proposal. We both love New York City, and while I was spending a weekend there with my best friends, he flew up to surprise me. He walked up behind me while I was taking a photo in Bryant Park, my favorite spot in the city, and proposed with a gorgeous ring from the 1920s.

 

Where were you married?

“We were married in late October in my small hometown of Ocala, FL, at the private farm residence of a family friend. They have a beautiful home, garden, pond and barn, so we were able to host both the ceremony and reception on the property.”

 

 

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

“Though Chris and I have left our homes and crave skylines more than back roads, our roots are in the South. I grew up in a Florida horse town, and he and his charming accent hail from Georgia. We knew early on we wanted our wedding to reflect that, and we aimed for what we called ‘rustic elegance.’  Barn weddings can easily drift into hoedown territory, so we did our best to add more sophisticated touches with lace, gold accents, market lights and more.”

 

 

What was most important to you when planning the wedding?

“Honestly, the thing I stressed most about was wanting people to just have FUN. We’ve been to weddings with awkward lulls when guests don’t have anything to do or eat, a playlist that’s tough to dance to, a lack of seating arrangements, or details that were more about luxury than the enjoyment of the friends and family. So when it came to planning our wedding, every decision — from the menu to the lighting to the bridesmaids’ shoes — was filtered through a desire for people to be comfortable and happy.”

What details really stood out at the wedding?

“When I was young, the only thing I knew I wanted at my wedding was an abundance of sunflowers. We made that dream become a reality, and I think the hundreds of sunflowers were a stunning backdrop for nearly everything else at the wedding. They tied in well to our navy/gold theme and made the cloudy, windy October day seem bright.

Other details I loved were the ribbon canopy inside the barn and the twinkle light ceiling over our dance floor. They were simple, but required the most construction (many thanks to the friends who put these together for us!), and without them, those settings would have been lacking. Another personal favorite of mine were the miniature pumpkin favors, which I hear came in handy for Halloween just a few days later.”

 

 

How did your personal values or interests as a couple affect the look and feel of your wedding?

“As I mentioned before, both of us knew we wanted to have a laid-back, Southern-inspired celebration. But beyond that, there were a number of subtle ways our personalities, backgrounds, and interests were evident, from the Madeleine L’Engle quote I worked into the program to the classic Georgia peach cobbler Chris wanted for the dessert table. I think our ceremony songs were also a good representation of us as a couple—bluegrass, hymns, The Beatles, the Up soundtrack… It felt special and true to us. We also really value family, and they were very much involved throughout, with my father even officiating the ceremony.”

 

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

“Early on in our relationship, Chris and I bonded over the fact that we both could always win the peg game at Cracker Barrel. As a nod to that, we placed one on each table as part of the centerpieces. Chris also customized some corn hole boards for the wedding, and those seemed to go over well with the guests. We bought a ton of bottled sodas, which were pretty much gone by the time dinner started, and for the coffee and cider, we had custom cup sleeves made with our wedding logo on them, which was an easy way to literally put our stamp on things. Also, a wedding trend you absolutely need to incorporate is setting your own hashtag for people to follow and post to. You not only get a great mix of photos to look back on, but it makes for something fun that guests can keep track of and participate in during down time.”

 

 

Did you have a live band or a DJ? How did you make this decision and make the music work at the wedding?

“My brothers are musicians, so they performed a hymn at the ceremony, but for the reception, we skipped having a band or DJ and made our own playlist. Part of our reasoning was that we didn’t plan music until the end and weren’t up for another major expense, but we also wanted some control over the song selection. We hand-picked favorite songs, and a family friend managed the iTunes for us the evening of.”

 

 

What do you think is important to splurge on? What about where you can save money?

“I know there a number of ways to save money on a wedding with DIY projects and thrifted finds — more power to you if you are able to. But personally, I work full-time, live more than two hours away from where the wedding took place and am a horrible crafter, so it was absolutely worth it to me to spend a little more here and there if it meant saving both time and stress. Splurge on dish rentals if you aren’t able to thrift vintage plates for each guest. Spend more on a good florist if you’re not up for the effort it will take to craft bouquets out of fabric and brooches. Be frugal, yes, but don’t feel bad if you’re not a DIY bride!

Another splurge we were comfortable with was food. Feeding more than 200 people was costly — but it was important to us to provide a substantial, delicious meal. A local favorite restaurant called The Ivy House took care of us and catered a gourmet feast of country food that my family and friends are still talking about. Your guests are flying, driving, and spending hours out of their weekend to celebrate with you, so feed them well! Just make sure a coordinator or family member is willing to go fill a plate for you so you don’t miss out.

Some things I thought would have to be incredibly expensive ended up being very affordable. I know letterpress printing and elaborate invitations and programs are very popular — but they’re also really pricey. Instead, we emailed a digital save the date and then relied on my talented brother’s design skills and a cheap online printing service for all of our invitations and programs. What would have been a couple thousand dollars ended up being a couple hundred, and our printed goods still looked awesome. This also ties into my next tip, which is to think of the services and goods your circle might be able to help out with or provide at discounted rates. Don’t take advantage of them, but don’t be afraid to utilize them either. So many people who love and support us were able to contribute something to our big day, from hair and make-up to film and furniture pieces.”

 

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

“The way I see it, all of the other little, beautiful details won’t matter so much if you don’t have quality photos and video to remember them by! Make photography and videography one of your first decisions, even before you know what the rest may look like.

As far as how you approach planning itself, work together and enjoy the process. For the most part, our engagement was stress-free, and we really tried to treasure that time between the proposal and the altar. Make decisions together, don’t get stuck on trivial stuff, and just keep reminding yourself that when all is said and done, you’re marrying your best friend, and that’s the most important thing. We also went to extensive pre-marital counseling—not just a handful of sessions, but a couple months of consistent visits with a psychologist, and it was one of the most rewarding things we’ve done as a couple, especially during such a significant period of life”

 

What advice do you have for couples that are establishing a registry?

“Take into account your current home—not just your ‘dream home’—when registering (especially for the kitchen!). Looking back, we aimed a bit high with some of our choices and ended up not having enough space for some of the amazing gear we got, which is piled high in our laundry room now so the counters don’t get cluttered. I wish I had registered for more creative storage solutions, like shelves, baskets, and other containers. And don’t worry about feeling pressure to register for and receive all of your main purchases and statement pieces at the start of your marriage. As far as decor goes, Chris and I went very basic and classic, as we know both our living arrangement and our style will change in the coming years, and we wanted some items that would grow with us and work with a number of settings and colors. Finally, give yourself time to register — start early in your engagement and add to your registry, both in-person and online, throughout the process. There are so many things you may change your mind about later or simply forget the first time you register, so it helped to build our registry gradually.”

 

You can also watch a video of the couple’s wedding day here.


VENDORS:

Photography: Julie Cate Photography http://www.juliecate.com/

Cinematography: Dustin Miller of Flesh Profits Nothing  http://www.fleshprofitsnothing.com/

Flowers: Heritage Flowers http://www.heritage-flowers.com/

Catering: The Ivy House http://www.ivyhousefl.com/TheIvyHouse/Welcome.html

Cake: Ms. Debbie’s Sugar Art

Event rentals: Party Time http://www.partytimerentals.us/

Make-up: Denise Sarko of The Cherished Bride http://www.thecherishedbride.com/

Hair: Katie Gilligan, bride’s sister-in-law

Event design: Heather Sibinski, friend of bride

Event planning: Debbie DeLoach, friend of bride

Location: Private residence

Ceremony musicians: Josh Gilligan, Lee Gilligan, Cody Quistad

Officiants: Tim Gilligan, Jim Hoyle, Sean Forte

Invitations and programs: Lee Gilligan, bride’s brother

Bride’s shoes: Kate Spade

Bride’s dress: WToo from Solutions Bridal, Gainesville http://www.solutionsbridal.com/

Bride’s jewelry: Gold and sapphire family heirlooms

Bride’s hairpiece: Anthropologie

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Their own finds, from thrift stores to Anthropologie!

Bridesmaids’ shoes: DSW

Groom’s suit: J. Crew

Groom’s shoes: Cole Haan

Groomsmen’s clothes: J. Crew

All Photos Courtesy Julie Cate Photography

Happy Valentine’s Day! Win One of the Rio Leather Cosmetic Bags

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To celebrate the holiday, we’re offering 20 Rio Leather Cosmetic Bags to our readers. The Rio Leather Cosmetic Bag is the perfect size to slip in your purse and will hold your favorite lipsticks, brushes, blushes and other daily necessities. The Rio features hand-stitched leather trim and a bright red color — perfect for Valentine’s Day as well as any other day of the year.

 

Want to win one of the Rio Leather Cosmetic Bags? Simply fill out the form below by 11:59 pm PT tonight and we’ll pick 20 winners at random.  (You can read the official rules here.) Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Thank you, this contest is now closed.

How-To: Build Kyle Schuneman’s Pipe Shelving

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Interior Designer Kyle Schuneman‘s apartment was recently featured in Sunset magazine, and we fell in love with his cool style — as well as his ingenious wall shelving, seen here. Kyle DIYed the shelf out of plumbing parts, and ever since the article ran, he’s been getting questions about how exactly he built it. We reached out to Kyle to find out the steps for this DIY. Check out Kyle’s directions for the DIY below.

 

 

Supplies

  • 24 – 3/4″ Galvanized Pipe Flange
  • 12 – 3/4″ (18″ long) Galvanized Pipes
  • 5 –  2″x10″ (8′ long) wood lumber
  • 96 – 1″ Screws
  • 6 – 2″ Casters
  • Phillips Head Screw Driver
  • Wood Stain
  • Rag
  • Tape Measure
  • (Optional: 3 1″ L Brackets and Screws)

 


Step 1:

In a well ventilated area stain all sides of your 5 long wood boards and let them dry. Wipe on the stain along the grain and with a dry rag wipe off the excess. The more layers of stain you put on the darker it will get.

 

Step 2:

Lay one board on the ground and measure halfway from the end of your board (48″) and make a mark. Place and screw your first flange there. Measure 2″ from either side of the ends of your board and place and screw on 2 other flanges. Do this same treatment to one more board. These will be your top and bottom shelves.

 

Step 3:

Do the same to the remaining 3 boards. However, with these you need to attach flanges to both sides of each board.

 

Step 4:

Once your flanges are all attached is time to screw in your pipes. Connect the boards by screwing in the pipes.

 

Step 5:

Attach the 6 2″ casters (2 under each flange) to the bottom of the bottom shelf


Step 6:

If you’d like to attach your bookcase to your wall for extra support, you can screw in 3 L-Brackets (centered and on the sides) to the top of the top shelf.

All photos by Joe Schmelzer

5 Reasons to Get Tangled Up in Blue This Season

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  1. Blue is a soothing color. Deeper blues are said to aid clear thought, while softer blues calm the mind.
  2. It’s a neutral that goes with nearly everything.
  3. Blue is a great choice for either men or women — it has been shown to appeal equally to both sexes.
  4. It works well in every room of your home.
  5. The color of the sky and sea, it’s a natural hue that brings the natural world into your home.

 

Shop some of our favorite blue selections below.

It’s Officially Nap Time: The Latest Instagram Snaps of #PBPets

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We can’t get enough of Pottery Barn pieces, especially when they’re accompanied by an adorable four-legged friend. Be they cat, dog or other domesticated animal, we love it when they demonstrate their good taste by showing a preference for Pottery Barn products. (Personally, we’re hoping to see a llama, horse or hedgehog in the #PBPets Instagram stream soon.)

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. Today, we’re sharing a myriad of decidedly sleepy pets. It doesn’t get much cuter than this!

 

Instagram user delyte16‘s adorable labradoodle Finn is taking a snooze on her “Thank you #potterybarn for the tutorial on how to make the perfect bed . . . And finally, thank you Finn for putting your own finishing ‘touches’ on it.” (Love her bedding? It’s the Victoria Duvet Cover and Shams.)

 

Instagram user andirn97 caught her 18-year-old Siamese cat nestled into the Assesandra Duvet Cover and Shams taking an, um, cat nap.

 

Who could resist that face? Instagram user gill347 reassures her Wheaten Terrier, “Yes, it is okay to lay on the bed when your bone blanket is there.”

 

Instagram user pixelimpress has an exhausted pup on her bed, too. She notes that Pixel is enjoying a nap on the Vanessa Duvet.” Looks like a perfectly welcoming and cozy space! 

 

Aw, this sweet little pup looks like she’s tired out, too. Instagram user kristenschaff shares, “I am so glad Maya likes the new #potterybarn pillows.”

 

Share your favorite Pottery Barn finds and pets by taggin your Instagram pictures with #pbpets. We can’t wait to see them!

Valentine’s Day DIYs and Decorating Tips

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Create a rustic Valentine’s Day vignette with these tips. — Folk Magazine

Easy Valentine’s Day mantel decorating ideas. — The Inspired Room

Before you buy the paint, read these tips on painting French doors. — Centsational Girl

20 projects for a DIY Valentine’s Day. — Apartment Therapy

DIY a wall of 3-D paper hearts. — How About Orange

An easy and adorable cupcake topper! — Sweet Paul

Everything you need to host a Chinese new year bash. — CasaSugar

Behind the Design: Caroline Dinnerware Collection

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While every Pottery Barn dinnerware collection is special, we have a major crush on the new Caroline Dinnerware Collection, available in silver or gold in our registry collection. We recently featured the silver Caroline dinner and salad plates in a Valentine’s Day tablescape, and they looked fabulous when dressed up with pink florals. That’s one of the great things about these dishes: however you accessorize them, they rise to the occasion. We stopped in and chatted with Pottery Barn designer Tony, the creative force behind the Caroline dinnerware design, to find out how he came up with the look.

 

 

Tony told us that the Caroline Dinnerware Collection was inspired by timeless registry designs, but given a modern twist.”We take classics and reinterpret them,” Tony told us. “We know that there are a lot of registry designs out there, but what we see that’s different is putting our twist on it. We wanted to put a more casual twist on a traditional feeling. It’s really about how people actually entertain and live. I think it’s a little more casual than having a very elevated sense of dishes that you only bring out once a year.”

 

 

The Caroline Dinnerware Collection is handcrafted with gently uneven rims  on the plates and bowls. Tony told us that the rims, and the metallic banding on them, was given a lot of consideration. “When we started we were hand painting the gold and silver,” he related. “We were experimenting with brushing the actual gold on the plates to get an artisan feel to the plates. We worked with the fabricators closely to get that hand painted feeling. ”

 

Whether used in a formal or casual setting, you can’t go wrong with the Caroline Dinnerware Collection. We know that if we were tying the knot, we’d be adding this collection to our registry posthaste!

How-To: Make Place Card Holders For Your Next Dinner Party

Decorating, DIY, Parties and tagged , , | | | 2 Replies

Did you fall in love with the place card holders featured in our garden party tablescape? You’re not alone. We’ve already received several requests from readers for directions on how to create them.

 

 

They’re perfect for weddings, dinner parties or other gatherings where a place card is needed. Karen Ondracek of General Taxonomy has all of the details for her DIY.

 

Supplies 

 

  • Small wooden blocks (toy blocks worked well – I chose them in the spirit of reuse. You can buy small wooden blocks at craft and hobby shops.)
  • Vintage clip on earrings and/or vintage pins. Larger brooches & pins can be used to make holders for menus, welcome signs, etc.
  • Spray paint (Needed only if you wish to alter the color of your blocks or jewelery. You may wish to use a spray primer as well.)
  • Masking tape (Needed only if you are spray painting and wish to retain some original colors.)
  • Hot glue gun & hot glue sticks

 

Step 1:

Spray paint the wooden blocks to coordinate with your color scheme. I chose white. If you have wooden blocks that look great as found, skip this step.

 

Step 2:

 

Spray paint vintage jewelry to coordinate with your color scheme. Mask off any jewels or other areas that you want to retain their original appearance. I spray painted gold tone, brass and pearl elements of my jewelry silver. If all your jewelry looks great as found, skip this step.

 

Tip: Try a few drops of eucalyptus oil mixed with a bit of hand lotion to remove any spray paint you might accidentally get on your skin, then wash with soap and water. Unless, of course, you are allergic or sensitive to eucalyptus.

 

Step 3:


Use hot glue to attach earrings and pins to woodblocks as shown.

 

For pins you want to create a narrow slot between the pin back and the block for the card. For large pins, you may need more than one block.

 

With the variety of jewelry styles & spray paints out there, these DIY place cards could work in many a tablescape. Have fun!

Thanks Karen! Make sure to check out her shop General Taxonomy for more arty and vintage goodness!

A Visit to Highclere Castle (Also Known as Downton Abbey)

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If you love Downton Abbey, chances are good that you are a major fan of the Crawley family’s incredible home. (Truth be told, the Pottery Barn editors tune in equally for the home decor inspiration as much as we do for the plot twists and Lady Grantham one-liners.)

The series is filmed on location at  Highclere Castle, the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, who are friends with Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey. In fact, Fellowes had Highclere Castle in mind as he wrote the series. We can imagine why — the castle is absolutely stunning.

 


While Downton Abbey fans are happily ensconced in the third season, it will end all too soon, leaving us longing for more tales of Downton and its family. For those of us looking to fill that gap until Season 4, we’d love to suggest the book Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, written by the 8th Countess of Carnarvon. The book explores the life and adventures of her predecessor, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess. Lady Almina’s life story is fascinating, and she was known for her generosity. This generosity extended to her decision to convert Highclere Castle into a Hospital in September 1914 (sounds like the television series, doesn’t it?) as well as funding her husband’s archeological pursuits: he discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun with Howard Carter.

 


Highclere Castle has been Carnarvon family’s home since 1679. Designed by leading Victorian architect Sir Charles Barry, the home is filled with incredible furniture, paintings, tapestries and sculpture.

 

And while a vist to the castle is exciting enough, the idea of getting married at Highclere Castle has us positively thrilled. The saloon, pictured below, which lies in the heart of Highclere Castle, is licensed for civil ceremonies Brides can prepare for their wedding in a bedroom in Highclere Castle.  Imagine walking down the aisle from the gallery above the guests and then down the oak staircase (as Lady Edith and Lady Mary did in the series).

 

 

For those of us not planning a wedding, a simple visit to the castle is thrilling enough. You can visit the House and Grounds  during the Easter  holiday and in the summer. It’s also open during bank holidays as well as open for certain special events. Pre-booked tickets for the summer opening will be available starting this month.

 

 

All photos used by permission and copyright Highclere Enterprises LLP 2013

 

Outdoor Tablescape Inspiration: A Garden Party For Your Favorite Girlfriends

Entertaining, Parties and tagged , , , | | | 6 Replies

The spring and summer seasons are perfect for celebrating the important people in your life, so why not throw a garden party for your favorite girlfriends? We also thought it would be a great time to try out Pottery Barn’s Caroline Dinnerware in a less formal setting.

We teamed up with Diva Pyari of Linea Carta and artist Karen Ondracek of General Taxonomy to throw a fun garden party, perfect for reuniting with friends over refreshing drinks and an English picnic-inspired menu. (Special thanks as well to Tom Tomkinson Weddings for photographing the entire affair.) We hope our outdoor tablescape inspires one of your own as well!

 


To try something similar, move your party to a lush lawn — it doesn’t have to be at your home, either. Try a regional nature preserve or a neighborhood park if you don’t have a lawn of your own. And while our folding chairs and teak table were sturdy and easily transportable, there’s no need to go to such measures. A picnic table in a grove can be just as good of a staging surface for your gathering.

 

To create an elegant yet relaxed and artful look to this table,  Pottery Barn’s new Caroline Dinnerware was the perfect choice. We love these dishes’ mix of vintage elegance and handmade appeal, thanks to the silver banding and organic, uneven rims. We layered the dishes over kraft paper runners, which were arranged horizontally over the PB Classic Linen Tablecloth.

 

 

Karen Ondracek created the place card holders using vintage clip-on earrings (we’ll have her DIY for them on the blog on Friday).

 

 

Diva Pyari’s Tiny Heart Linen Napkins added a pop of pattern to each setting, while heirloom silver set off the banding on the Caroline dishes nicely. Pyari also handpainted the garland around each dish in place of a charger.

For flowers, we chose a mix of hot pink spray roses, mixed with wax flowers and displayed in small vintage vases. We also took advantage of our California climate, sourcing additional florals and botanicals from our home gardens. Clustered together, these mini arrangements created a gorgeous focal point for the table.

 

 

Diva also created the hand-calligraphied table menu, displayed on one of Karen’s place card holders. If you’re inspired to try something similar, Diva offers starter calligraphy kits for sale in her shop.

 

 

Chances are good that you’ll need extra room for your drinks station, as we did. We hung tassel garland from The Flair Exchange above an antique wooden ironing board, which we decked out with a cake stand, silver tray, vintage glassware and bottles of  favorite cocktails. Bouquets of florals rounded out our drinks station. Diva made hand-lettered drinks tags for the bottles as well — this is a great way to add a special touch to your drinks station.

 


However you deck out your table, we hope that you choose to share your garden party with good friends. There’s nothing quite like a good meal, enjoyed in the outdoors and shared with some of your favorite people in the world.

All photos courtesy Tom Tomkinson Weddings

Special thanks to April, Magnolia, Diva and Dani for modeling!