Monthly Archives: May 2013

A Serene Guest Room Sanctuary

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 4 Replies

We’re excited to share a beautiful bedroom makeover from Stephen St. Onge. Stephen took a catchall room that was cluttered and unkempt and turned it into a summer-inspired, inviting room that any guest would enjoy spending time in. We love the feel of this room!

 

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Stephen established the room’s serene feel by introducing a warm and inviting color to the walls.Stephen used Benjamin Moore “Jute” for the walls and his go-to favorite for trim, Benjamin Moore “Simply White.”

 

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Bedding and curtains in tonal whites contributes greatly to the serene feel of the room. A jute rug echoes the wall color, while a vintage headboard painted in a crisp white adds to the serene color palette. We love the painting above the headboard — as does Stephen: “The painting above the bed of a landscape at twilight is my favorite painting! Love that time of day. Artist Jonathan MacAdam captures it beautifully!”

 

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Stephen used Pottery Barn bedding for the bed, including the Pottery Barn Linen Duvet Cover and Shams, noting that “the various textures of Pottery Barn’s bedding add depth and layering that every bedroom needs.”

 

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We love how Stephen used artwork all around the room, propping it on shelves as well as hanging it on the walls.

 

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Stephen introduced nature elements to the room by adding driftwood and shells. These touches contribute to the relaxing, serene feel of the guest room.

 

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For the desk area, Stephen used a repurposed desk and chair. To keep costs low for a project like this, Stephen notes that it’s smart to reuse what you have already.

 

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Thank you for sharing this room, Stephen! We know it’s certainly inspiring us to redecorate our guest rooms.

You can learn more about Stephen at Designer Dad Studio. Designer Dad and the Designer Dad Studio are the Stephen Saint-Onge brand.  Stephen is known as a celebrity home designer, author, photographer, artist and television personality that is focused on all things surrounding the family-focused home and lifestyle.  As a husband and father of two boys, he understands personally the life of a typical family and he brings that keen, personal understanding into everything he does.

 

A Visit to Leyden Glen Sheep Farm

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

We’re happy to present this article, written and photographed by Rikki Snyder, which is running in the current issue of Folk Magazine. You can subscribe to Folk Magazine here.

 

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Tucked away in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts is a place so unique and beautiful that it seems like it was pulled straight from a fairytale. I remember the very first time I drove down the windy and desolate dirt roads leading up to the Leyden Glen Sheep Farm. Spring was in full bloom and my good friend Sarah was behind the wheel. I kept thinking to myself, where is she taking me? Talk about the middle of nowhere!

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When we finally pulled up to the farmhouse we were greeted by eager sheep dogs, so full of energy and ready to play. Sarah had told me how beautiful this place was and as soon as I got out of the car I fell in love with everything. The wooden swing tied to a tree in the front yard, tufts of wool covering the ground in certain spots, grass greener than any I’d seen before and sheep by the hundreds feeding on it with enormous, tree covered hills as their backdrop.
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Kristin Nicholas came out from her charming farmhouse to greet us and I was first introduced to the incredible woman who calls this place home. Kristin is a true and talented artist best known for her knitting and stitching patterns. But it doesn’t stop there, her tremendous talents include knitting, crochet, embroidery, dyeing, painting, decorative and interior painting and pottery. She lives in this picturesque 1751 Antique Cape Cod farmhouse with her husband Mark and their darling daughter, Julia. Together they run their Leyden Glen Sheep Farm which now consists of over 300 sheep, 20 chickens, 10 cats, 3 border collies who work the sheep, 1 Great Pyrenees Guard Dog, a Guard Donkey and a Guard Llama. Kristin explains how when you live on a real working farm, the farm becomes your life. The animals are in need of constant attention, food, water and are always being moved around from field to field. “I talk to animals more than I talk to people!” she says.

The reality of Kristin and Mark’s unique lifestyle as sheep farmers is this: long days and intense labor. The lambing begins in January and lasts through March. During this time lamb upon lamb is born and in need of constant care. March is the mud season which Kristin describes as pretty awful! “No one is happy- humans or lambs.” The grass starts to grow in April and weaning lambs starts when the pastures are dry and ready. When May rolls around different flocks of sheep are moved to different pastures and are continually moved throughout the grazing season. Sometimes the sheep are moved by truck but sometimes Kristin and Mark move them many miles by foot depending on the location and traffic on the roads. Harvesting hay soon begins in June and lasts until October when the grass stops growing. Mark cuts and bales all of the hay that their sheep eat during the winter. In November, after the harvest, the sheep are ready to be moved back to their winter quarters where they are kept in a couple barns for cover. And then…it starts all over again.

 

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Kristin and Mark sell their lamb meat all year long at local Famers Markets as well as the vegetables from Kristin’s garden in the summertime. The sheep’s wool also proves to be invaluable as Kristin uses it to make yarn. She learned how to hand spin wool at a night class during her time in college at the Oregon State University where her and Mark first met. They both grew up on the east coast, Kristin being from the suburbs of New Jersey and Mark, ironically enough, grew up on a dairy farm only 5 miles from where they now live. They bought their first 4 Romney sheep in 1980 before they were married. As Kristin’s mom said, “Some people get engaged; Mark and Kristin bought sheep!”.

Just before their daughter Julia was born, they found their current farmhouse. It was love at first sight; they gave a full price offer and it was accepted in a matter of 5 hours! Kristin started telecommuting instead of going into her job at the time, as the Creative Director of Classic Elite Yarns. “It was a chance for us to build our farm and our family,” she says. In 1998, their daughter Julia was born with a life threatening condition, hydrocephalus. Kristin became the primary caretaker and in her words she, “..decided to ditch the full time gig and go freelance.” She started writing knitting books, then stitching books and was even asked to illustrate a couple of knitting books. She used gouache, a technique of painting with opaque watercolors and soon realized that she could draw or paint anything.

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Since then, Kristin has taken her art to a new level. Her home is a blank canvas that she has transformed into a work of art with her numerous free-form wall murals that she hand paints. The mural in the dining room is dressed with chickens, birds, flowers, leaves, guinea hens and peacocks. A second one can be found in their TV room that Kristin created by cutting shapes out of FedEx boxes, layering these shapes on top of each other and hand painting each one. Her beautiful oil paintings can be found hung throughout the house as well as other handmade items such as her colorful pillows that are displayed on the window bed between the kitchen and living room.

“I think every art or craft I learn adds to the others I know,” Kristin says, “They all ‘inform’ each other. The common thread of my work has always been color. I love color! Working with color, mixing color together when I paint or dye, and then combining colors in a canvas or on a piece of fabric or in a knit wear design is such fun and joyful.” Kristin has also taken inspiration from her grandmother who was from Germany. She was always making something with her hands which fascinated Kristin and when she was 9, her grandmother taught her how to crochet. After that, she never looked back. Ten books later, Kristin is still going strong with her artwork and is constantly creating. She also writes a blog called “Getting Stitched on the Farm”, which is a way for her to communicate and connect with the outside world. It allows her readers to enter into her crazy yet captivating lifestyle that is always satisfying and never boring and shows a little slice of what it’s like living on a working sheep farm.

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It’s been two years since that first day I stumbled upon the Leyden Glen Sheep Farm and after many visits back, through each season, I have fallen in love with this place even more. The beauty of it all continues to amaze me as does Kristin’s artwork. Never have I found such inspiration with color and pattern as I do when I’m in Kristin’s home. I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with her for lunch on those colorful chairs with her paper lanterns swaying above our heads and the view of the pastures outside the windows where subtle baas can be heard from the grazing sheep. They’ve become some of my most memorable days and I always look forward to my next trip back where I travel off the map and step into their unique world once more.

To read more stories of this, check out the current issue of Folk Magazine. You can subscribe to Folk Magazine here.

 

5 Ways to Decorate With Flowers, Inspired by The Great Gatsby

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 7 Replies

Opening on Friday, The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann, promises to delight lovers of both beautiful design and tragic love stories. Set in 1922, the sets are packed full of gorgeous Jazz Age costumes and sets, provided by Catherine Martin. While we’re in love with all of the photos from the film (you can find them on the Warner Bros. Great Gatsby site), we were particularly struck by the floral arrangements shown in the film. See how we’re inspired to use florals in our decorating arrangements this season.

Create a living wall with florals. Use a mix of cut blossoms, ferns and potted orchids to create a dramatic backdrop, perfect for wooing your true love.

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Use matching bouquets of mixed florals as bookends to a side or console table. To create another point of visual interest, use the space in between the bouquets for a taller vignette.

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Mix pastels with kelly green topiaries for a beautiful effect outdoors. While most of us don’t have a lawn large enough upon which to race a polo pony, we can all definitely take notes on the color palette

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Think beyond the table. Use wall-mounted vases to add another dimension of floral decorating to your home.

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And of course — everything’s sweeter with flowers. Consider using cascading bouquets of flowers to highlight a dessert table or tiered dessert trays.

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Photo Source:  Warner Bros. Entertainment

Monica Pedersen’s Top Entertaining Tips: Ideas For Graduation Parties, Mother’s Day and More!

Entertaining, Parties | | | Leave a comment

Last week, Monica Pedersen joined us for a Facebook chat on the Pottery Barn Facebook page, where she shared her entertaining tips with our fans. If you missed the chat, no worries — we’ve rounded up Monica’s entertaining advice below. Make sure to also check out all of her great party ideas in her book, Make it Beautiful. Whether you’re looking for tips on throwing a kids’ party, graduation gathering or something else altogether, Monica has you covered!

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Looking for a great host gift?

“A pretty design or mixology book or a box of beautiful cocktail stirrers are great host gifts!”

Wedding wow factors — without breaking the bank?

“For me, it’s a tie between your table linens and your centerpiece. I’d start with spending more of your money on a striking centerpiece. However, table linens run a very close second. Something a bit more dramatic than a basic white linen can have so much impact not only on the table but on the space. A great linen can make even the simplest tableware really pop.”

A great take home gift for a Mother’s Day gathering?

“Buy a collection of inexpensive bud vases and then buy flowers or pick them from your garden. Add one stem to each bud vase, and you can then use each vase as a placecard for guests. Or, have the vases arranged on a tray on a table on the way out, so guest can take them home with them as they leave. Clear glass votive holders also work well for flowers as well.”

Making a kids party extra special? 

“Activities, activities, activities! Plan fun activities for the kids such as a craft or with bringing in entertainment. In terms of party design, bring in lots of color, but remember: kids are easy to please. Think color, ease and easy cleanup. Kids will remember the activities at the party more than the design. You can create a fun focal point with streamers or balloons.”

Good food for a first communion party?

“Since there will probably be kids there, try foods that are easy that kids like, too. SImple pasta for a late afternoon party is great, as are light salads. Trays of small sandwiches are a good option, too. Definitely play up the desserts to celebrate the communion child. Cake pops on sticks, cupcakes with crosses on them or a sundae station are all great options.”


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Most essential element to a table setting? 

“The most important thing for daytime is fresh flowers — they bring a table to life. Simple flower containers and fresh flowers can dress up any table setting. For an evening gathering, the most important element is candlelight. It creates instant ambience, is inexpensive and there are so many great options out there for candles and candleholders.”

A backyard graduation party for a young man?

“Find a spot in your beautiful backyard that has some shelter, just in case of bad weather. If your son is going off to college, incorporate the college’s logo into your design, such as with a flag or banner. This might also help to determine the color scheme for the party. Whatever you do, keep the party simple and masculine and serve food family style. Take advantage of some of the great neutral linens out there (Pottery Barn has some great ones). Accent the linens with galvanized metal drinking tubs and accents to keep things more on the masculine side.”

 

Creating  room for flowers on a table at a large party?

“When you’re hosting a large gathering is to put two tables together to make a table extra-wide. (Standard rental tables are 30 inches wide.) If you look at the party I shared on the Pottery Barn blog (http://blog.potterybarn.com/monica-pedersen-outdoor-party-tips/) this sixty-inch-wide table gave me plenty of room for featuring large, high-impact centerpieces as well as smaller arrangements. Having such a wide table gives you plenty of space for flowers as well as for food and drinks. When we served dinner, we simply took the large centerpieces off the table and put them by the bar area and inside the home. The smaller centerpieces and candles were left on the table and looked gorgeous.”

Celebrate Mom With This Spa-Inspired Giveaway

Uncategorized | | | 85 Replies

How are you celebrating your mom this Mother’s Day? (Psst, it’s this coming Sunday.)

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Are you celebrating with Mom at a brunch, family gathering or other special outing? Or are you shopping for a special gift this year? When we took an informal poll at Pottery Barn HQ, a majority of moms told us that they’d love to spend their days celebrating with their families — but they’d also appreciate an hour or two of relaxation and pampering at the spa.
Keeping that request in mind, here are a few ideas for pampering the special moms in your life this coming Sunday.

  • Book a massage for Mom with a well-reviewed massage therapist in your town. (Check Yelp for reviews, or ask friends for their recommendations.)
  • Curate a special basket of spa products for your mom, including items that you know are her proven favorites, including those that use her favorite scent.
  • Refresh the bathroom with new items that will turn the bath into a more spa-like environment. Think chic storage containers, flowers and luxurious bath products.
  • Present Mom with a package of gift certificates for manicures at her favorite nail salon.

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To encourage a spa-like day for mom, we’re giving away one of our Organic Spa Robes as well as a $100 American Express gift card to a special mom (find the official rules here). To enter, just fill out the form below!

Thank you for reading! This contest is now over.

Tour a Charming and Modern San Francisco Home

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

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Tour a charming and fresh San Francisco home. — Apartment Therapy

Just in time: how to make the perfect margarita. — Refinery29

9 fantastic natural cleaners that are made in the USA. — Country Living

Color us inspired: these wedding florals rock! — PopSugar Home

See why Charlotte Moss loves Pottery Barn baskets. — House Beautiful

Take a tour of horse country. — Folk Lifestyle

Spring cakes? Yes, please! — Sweet Paul

Is this the miracle cure for spring allergies? — Gardenista