Monthly Archives: May 2013

Celebrate Picnic Season — and Win a Picnic Basket!

Entertaining | | | 10 Replies

Erica at HonestlyYUM shared these lovely picnic photos on her blog recently, and we’re eager for an invite to her next picnic celebration. (Strawberry Basil Shortcake anyone?) After poring over the menu, we’re also resolving to start a regular picnicking tradition of our own, full of recipes from Erica’s picnic.

 

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When we asked Erica why she’s a picnic fan, she told us, “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate summer than with a picnic. Whether is it’s enjoyed after spending an afternoon in a park, enjoying an outdoor concert or relaxing after a daylong excursion, a well prepared picnic can definitely be the highlight of any occasion. And putting in that extra effort to assemble homemade sandwiches, salads, desserts and cocktails, using seasonal ingredients, makes all the difference!”

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If you love the look of this picnic, you can replicate it with a few items, including our Rattan Picnic Basket, a Gingham Tablecloth, a set of  Gingham Napkins, and the Paros Tray.

 

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In celebration of the picnic season, we’re offering a Rattan Picnic Basket For 2 — the same one Erica used at her picnic —  to one lucky winner. To enter, just fill out the form below (you can find the official rules here).

Thank you for reading, this contest is now closed.

Images by HonestlyWTF

Make Your Memorial Day Gathering Memorable With These Entertaining Tips

Entertaining, Parties and tagged | | | Leave a comment

This week, we were thrilled to host a Facebook chat with Pottery Barn’s entertaining expert, Tony, who provided fans with a wealth of tips for Memorial Day entertaining. Did you miss the chat? No worries, we’ve rounded them up here for blog readers who might not have been able to join the chat. Keep reading for Tony’s top tips!

 

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Easy, low-calorie drink that will look good in a Mason jar? “Try using a citrus vodka with soda water and a splash of cranberry to add a bit of color. You can garnish with mint and blueberries for a patriotic twist. It’s light and refreshing; don’t go too heavy on the booze, unless you want your guests hanging around all night! To cut more calories, you can use diet cranberry juice, too.”

Using an American flag quilt as a tablecloth? “You might not want to risk getting any stains on your quilt, and I think it would look great as a wall hanging or use it as a throw on your outdoor furniture instead. This will lend that patriotic look to your outdoor event.”

Effectively and easily elevating a drink dispenser? “There are several ways. We offer a number of drink dispenser stands online and in stores. Another way, is to elevate a plank of wood with books or found objects like terracotta bricks depending on your decor. This way you can line up several drink dispensers giving a dramatic, colorful display!”

A Memorial Day-appropriate hostess/hospitality gifts? Try filling the Bronson Caddy with your favorite summer brews and then wrap the Gingham Napkins through the handle. This is a great hospitality gift you can enjoy with your hosts!

 

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Must-have for an outdoor dinner party? “My must-have for an outdoor dinner party is candlelight and lanterns. The food will of course be wonderful, but the decor must be stunning. Battery-operated and flameless candlelight won’t be thwarted by evening breezes and won’t interrupt your entertaining. The Bristol lanterns have great coastal charm that really set the mood for outdoor dining.”

Bringing an outdoor event inside but still making it bbq? “If you don’t have access to a grill, there are plenty of southern barbecue joints that will deliver the mains with all of the fabulous sides. Order your food in, take it to the roof and have your guests wear a little seersucker. Tis the season!”

Decorating for an indoor July 4th party without resorting to stars and stripes?There’s two ways to do it. You can update it by just doing red and white or blue and white. If you like our Cambria dinnerware, you can use that to bring in a patriotic feeling. Also, adding some galvanized serving pieces lends an outdoor touch to an indoor party without feeling contrived. If you want to add a little pop of additional color, look at our red outdoor flatware or use strawberries and raspberries to add a pop of color in your food. This way, the only stars at your party will be your guests!”

Politely switching out guests’ contributed bowls or pans if it doesn’t match my theme? If you have great serving pieces that you’d like to show off, I think your guests wouldn’t be offended if you switched out the dish they bring. If you think the guests might be offended, you can always wrap the container in burlap, patriotic ribbon or other fabric that matches your theme. This ensures that you won’t end up with a mismatched buffet.”

Good favors for a kids’ party over Memorial Day weekend?  Try using our melamine Oceana Outdoor Drinkware filled with a refreshing fruit salad. It’s a great snack for kids and adults alike, and the kids’ parents can take the glasses home as a favor.”

 

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Keeping perishable foods safe at an outdoor gathering?  “I suggest putting it in a bowl with ice to keep it fresher throughout the party. If you haven’t already, you might want to consider getting one ofour fabulous umbrellas for our dining table to keep your food further out of the sun.”

On-trend look for the summer (on a budget)?  “The nautical look is really hot this year. An easy way to get this look without spending too much money is to go to the local hardware store and find different thicknesses of rope. Wrap the bases of our bosphorus vases with rope and then pair them with a couple of the Hyannis lanterns to get your party decor in ship shape!”

 

Behind the Design: Quil Diamond Rug

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

Ever wonder how our Pottery Barn designers create the patterns, designs and special pieces we carry? Our Behind the Design blog series of posts let you in on the stories behind these pieces. Today, we’re featuring the Quil Diamond Rug.

 

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Woven from synthetic fibers, this rug is the perfect layering piece for all of your outdoor entertaining needs. The unique pattern has, as you might expect, a rather fascinating story. We talked to Pottery Barn in-house designer Jenn to find out what went into the rug’s look.

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“This rug was inspired from some really old, 200-year-old antique raffia pieces that were from Kenya,” Jenn told us. ” These pieces were so rare we couldn’t even buy them outright, we had to borrow them. They were very small, just tiny swatches. Based on this, we created the patterns as if it were a woven rug. It was cool how it went from something so tiny to something so large. The rugs were then woven in Belgium on  huge looms.”

Thanks for the story, Jenn! Make sure to check out all of our Behind the Design posts for more stories behind our Pottery Barn pieces.

Summer Decorating Inspiration From Instagram

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

Right now, we’re inspired to redecorate our outdoor spaces for the summer months, so of course we’re turning to Instagram to see how Pottery Barn fans are decorating in the great outdoors.  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.

 

Looking for a gorgeous way to set an outdoor table? Look no further than this gorgeous outdoor table setting from sarah_kapitz.

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Instagram user candicesimons calls this nook on her porch her sanctuary — for reasons that seem quite obvious. What a lovely spot to relax and unwind!

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natistrickland writes, “Oh yes it is that time of year again!”

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Instgagram user whitspicss writes, “Outdoor set is here!” We can just imagine the summer parties she’ll be throwing on her deck in the months to come.

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

5 Simple Tips For Styling a Summer Outdoor Space

Decorating, How-To and tagged | | | 3 Replies

Whether you’re decorating a sprawling lakeside lawn or a petite metropolitan patio, there are plenty of simple tips for styling your outdoor space for summer. Keep reading to see what we think you should add to your outdoor decorating scheme this summer.

Define your entertaining space with an outdoor rugChoose an outdoor rug that complements your sense of style as well as your chosen color palette. By using it as the base for a dining set or outdoor sectional, you define the outdoor space in which it’s being used and create more of a room-like atmosphere on your deck, porch or lawn.

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Create a sanctuary with outdoor curtainsFeel the need for privacy? Outdoor curtains can create a special oasis anywhere, from a patio to the end of a pier — it’s up to you to decide how to use them. Crafted from weather-resistant, easy-care polyester canvas, they’ll stand up to the elements. We also love that they’re a great way to protect yourself and your guests from  the glare of midday sun.

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Set the stage for nighttime entertaining with handsome lanterns. Cluster lanterns in various sizes around your entertaining spot of choice to create a gathering spot for guests that will be irresistible. Get creative: tie some lanterns from trees or from an umbrella — as seen below — to offer even more variety to your lighting.

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Add pop with outdoor pillows. You can’t go wrong with a neutral upholstery on an outdoor sectional, especially when that upholstery is highlighted with outdoor pillows that offer brilliant colors and seasonal pattern. Beautiful summer blooms, as seen here, are a surefire hit, as are our new line of sea-life outdoor pillows.

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And finally, remember that even the  littlest of touches can make a huge impression. By adding a few well-chosen seasonal decorating elements, such as our Whale Cocktail Shaker or some of our great melamine tabletop pieces, you can make a major impression when entertaining guests outdoors.

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Do you have a favorite tip for styling a summer outdoor space? Leave your favorite ideas in the comments!

 

Tour a Handsome, History-Filled Home

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

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We love how this chic home is filled with history and stories! — Apartment Therapy 

Tour the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. — PopSugar Home

We love this chic Chicago apartment. — The Everygirl

Make it this weekend: cinnamon chocolate chip pancakes. — Folk

DIY these vintage-look prints with . . . mushrooms? — Sweet Paul

Bobby Flay’s top 5 foods you should be grilling. — Taste

Tour a garden worthy of The Great Gatsby. — Gardenista

A Kitchen Refresh Featuring Pottery Barn’s Seagrass Chairs

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 2 Replies

Blogger Jennifer Rizzo recently shared the kitchen renovation she assisted her mom with on her blog JenniferRizzo.com. We can’t believe the amazing transformation that took place in Jen’s mother’s kitchen. As part of the renovation, they added the Pottery Barn Seagrass chairs to her mother’s existing dining table.

 

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Jen writes, ” There was a discussion about a new kitchen set, but they were expensive and my Mom’s table was in really good shape and sturdy. We updated it by buying six new chairs from Pottery Barn. It’s like a whole new table. I think they make a ton of difference.”

 

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Make sure to read about the entire renovation on Jen’s blog, JenniferRizzo.com!