Monthly Archives: June 2013

An Insider’s Look at the New Pottery Barn Store in Sydney, Australia

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 6 Replies

On May 2, Pottery Barn opened its first store in Australia, on the same strip of prime Sydney real estate as sister brands Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids and west elm. The opening was met with great excitement by customers, many of whom had only ever been able to browse product online.   




The new store is absolutely stunning, and visitors loved the experience of getting to interact with the wide variety of Pottery Barn products in person.




We talked to Theresa, the store manager at the new Sydney Pottery Barn store, to get an insider’s perspective on the new store’s opening day.

Favorite item at Pottery Barn’s new Sydney store: “Customers love the cool-weather throws, such as Fur and Essential Cozy.”

Most fun overheard comment:  “This is a magical wonderland!”

What customers love about Pottery Barn in Australia: “That it’s a new and exciting retailer in Australia here for the first time. Customers thought the merchandising was amazing — esspeically compared to anything here yet.”

Fall item that’s flying off the shelves: “Australians love to entertain — the drink dispenser and stand combinations, we can’t keep them in stock!”

Most far-flung visitor to the store: “We had customers fly in from Perth to shop with us on opening day.”




Have you visited our Sydney store? We’d love to hear about your experience shopping there!



A Pottery Barn Rug Adds Texture to This California Seaside Home

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


We love the look of our flatwoven  rug in this California home. — Design Sponge

A Pottery Barn armchair looks great in this breezy cottage. — House Beautiful

Strawberry balsamic and goat cheese salad — it’s what’s for dinner. — Sweet Paul

An English professor and a novelist create a gorgeous Brooklyn garden. — Gardenista

Great beachy accents for your summer home. — PopSugar Home

4 easy and need-to-know gardening tips. — Refinery29

A Father’s Day Flower Bouquet

Decorating, DIY | | | Leave a comment

We love how The Naked Bouquet made florals look Father’s Day worthy, thanks to the addition of a Pottery Barn vintage leather trunk and mercury glass vases (available in store).


Kiana from The Naked Bouquet writes,

Ok, so maybe flowers aren’t the first thing that come to mind when it comes to Father’s Day, but I found this cute vintage leather trunk at Pottery Barn, and thought that it would make a great gift for dad (I happen to know that both my dad and father-in-law appreciate flowers very much). I’ve added to it some flower-filled mercury vases, as well as a little something to help dad celebrate his special day. If you didn’t want to use flowers, you could always fill it up with some of your father’s favorite things – whiskey, wine, books, clothes or anything else he might enjoy.


We think that this handsome update to the flower bouquet is just what’s needed to enhance Dad’s gift experience this year. Are you giving your dad flowers this year? Maybe it’s time to consider it!


Be sure to check out all of the Father’s Day florals on The Naked Bouquet.

Happy Flag Day! Some Fascinating Facts About Our Grand Old Flag (and How to Win a Flag Pillow For Your Home)

Uncategorized | | | 238 Replies

Today marks Flag Day in the United States, a time to reflect on and celebrate the flag. As part of that process, we wanted to share some noted dates in history that pertain to the flag, as well as offer you the chance to win one of these American beauties. (We’re giving away 10 of the American Flag Lumbar Pillows in all.)



Here are five American flag dates in history that might intrigue you:

  • In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.
  • In 1795, the flag gained two more stars and stripes, thanks to the addition of the states of Kentucky and Vermont.
  • In 1820, the flag was up to 23 stars, (though the number of stripes returned to 13), thanks to the additions of several more states, including in that year the state of Maine.
  • Jumping ahead, in 1942 President Roosevelt passed the Federal Flag Code (36 U.S.C. 171 et seq.), which provides uniform guidelines for the display and respect shown to the flag.
  • The last star on the flag was added in in 1960, after Hawaii was added as a state on August 21, 1959.

To enter the contest, simply fill out the form below. Official rules can be found here.

Thank you for reading. This contest is now closed.

Dream Destination: Franklin Fountain and its Sweet Treats

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

We’re excited to present a post from the new issue of Sweet Paul, out today!  You can find this article, “Candy is Dandy,” written by Aimee Swartz and photographed by Alexandra Grablewski on page 40 of the new issue.




Since opening The Franklin Fountain in 2004, brothers Ryan and Eric Berley, each clad in vintage suits, plucky suspenders, and tie-your-own bowties, have established themselves as Philadelphia’s premiere purveyors of all things sweet and the go-to duo for unique treats steeped in history. Their latest venture, Shane Confectionery, located just a few doors down the block, pays homage to the store’s namesake, who had operated the store for generations, and their hometown’s love of candy, in a beautifully and authentically restored shop in Old City.




Seeking a cold-weather counterpart to their ice cream shop, the Berleys bought the store (formerly known as Shane’s Candies) in 2010. The sale included recipes, scribbled on the back of an envelop by the founder himself, for its famed hand-crafted buttercreams, peanut butter cups, caramels and other turn-of-the century candy—each of which has no more than 10 ingredients. With the sale also came the country’s largest collection of intricate Victorian-era molds—from foxes, swan and a menagerie of others to steam locomotives and sailing ships—to make clear toy candies, an old-timey confection brought to Pennsylvania by German settlers and today made by few others. These are just some of more than 600 treats, from the traditional to the whimsical, that are for sale at Shane’s.


For the Berley brothers, it’s not just the candies that are nostalgic–it’s the experience, too.  A look around the pristine storefront shows an antique cash register and pay phone, walls lined with memorabilia and ephemera of eras gone by, and apothecary jars stocked with penny candy (think Abba Zabba and Bit-o-Honey). The duo, along with head confectioner Davina Soondrum, use period tools and equipment like hand-fused copper kettles and bowls heated over a manually-fired gas stove, to keep the production experience as authentic as possible.




While Shane’s undoubtedly delights in yester-year, in recent years it’s come into modern-times with a website that allows to candy lovers everywhere to enjoy its sweet treats.  Visit for more.


What are some core values of your business?  The local sourcing of ingredients, with honesty and transparency, has become an obsession for us. The maintenances of historical traditions and rediscovery of confectionery traditions once lost. We value employment of human hands to make things again in this great country. Integrity in all things.




What are some of the challenges in tweaking your confections for modern palates and other preferences?  Shane’s is famous for their buttercreams, which are very sweet by nature of their ingredients.  The modern palate, for finer chocolate anyway, has actually become less sweet. Contemporary interest in dark chocolate with higher cocoa content and the foodie scene has encouraged us to experiment with savory inclusions like salt, bacon and herbs paired with the sweets. But you still have plenty of folks who like an old-fashioned buttercream!


What were your fears in making the leap into the candy business? The complete renovation of a hundred and forty-eight-year-old building was a larger commitment than anything we’d undertaken before. The building was still functioning with 19th century technology in many ways; for instance, the heating system consisted of firing up the gas candy stoves in the morning to warm the kitchen.  Then, we had to restore all of the antique machinery, learn how to use it and make candy with methods from the early 20th century.



And what are its biggest rewards?   Knowing that confectionery will continue to be made onsite, using human hands and local ingredients fulfills our most basic mission. Having older customers come into the confectionery and reminisce about their parents and grandparents bring home Shane candies for the holidays is also very rewarding. And when folks thank us for saving a piece of Philadelphia history, my eyes get watery.




What do you like most about your work?  My favorite part of the job is the working with period confectionery tools, antique candy molds, glass display jars, and ice cream ephemera for redesigning our menus. I really enjoying handling and talking about these objects, teaching and telling stories through them.  Antiques allow me to channel our confectionery predecessors from decades gone past.




What kind of experience do you want visitors to Shane to have?  We would like visitors at Shane Confectionery, both in-store and online, to experience a world long gone. To feel the cold, polished marble and press one’s nose to the curved glass window.  To smell the chocolate being tempered upstairs and dream of its deliciousness. To delight at the colorful clear toys and candy canes in the mirrored display. For children young and old, a place where all sweet dreams can come true; this last bit is sappy, I know, but we do tend to sugarcoat everything.

Thanks to Sweet Paul for sharing this story! Make sure to read the entire  new issue of Sweet Paul, out today!

All photos courtesy Alexandra Grablewski

8 Camp Getaways to Take With Dad, for Father’s Day and Beyond

Holiday | | | 1 Reply

Have you found the perfect gift for Dad yet this year? If you’re still searching, here’s a cheat sheet — our top 10 picks for Dad. However, if your dad is more of a camp guy rather than a gift guy, we’ve gathered some ideas for getting away with your dad on an upcoming weekend or week this year. Here’s to making more family memories!



  • Attend a wine camp that sparkles. Head to the Napa Valley for Camp Schramsberg, where you’ll  enjoy a hands-on experience of the sparkling wine process. Camps occur in the spring and fall, and include ample sparkling wine sampling paired with California cuisine.
  • Enjoy the art of wooden boats. Whether you’re sailing a catboat or learning how to paint the Maine coastline, Wooden Boat School, located out of Brooklin, Maine, will provide Dad with the opportunity to explore the building process, maintenance, history and art of the wooden boat.
  • Unplug and unwind in nature.  Tucked away in California’s Anderson Valley, Camp Grounded — officially sold out, but new sessions are being added — requires participants to park their cell phones, iPads, Kindles, laptops and every other possible wireless or electronic device at the door. Located on a 1970s-era boy scout camp, this week will allow both you and your dad to be kids again.
  • Bike and tip back a glass of wine. Love bicycle touring? Why not add a few glasses of wine with your pedaling? Backroads offers a number of outdoor experiences across the world, but we’re favoring the Santa Barbara Wine Country Weekend Bicycling Trip.
  • Dust off your oboe. Was your dad a band geek? Send him on a trip to the upper midwest in August for Adult Band Camp at Michigan’s famed Interlochen Center For the Arts.
  • Test your survival skills. At Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS), your dad can prep himself for the next season of Man Versus Wild. With courses ranging from 14-Day Primitive Living to Hunter Gatherer, your outdoorsy dad will take his love of the wilderness one huge step further.
  • Brew some cold ones. At Chicago-based Brew Camp, your dad will learn the basics of homebrewing, thanks to a series of hands-on classes led by skilled, beer-wise instructors.
  • Relive summer camp, complete with cocktails and kids. At Camp Wandawega, guests can stay in accommodations ranging from an army tent to a treehouse. This family-friendly camp is perfect for the family looking to capture summer memories, whether it’s a cocktail happy hour by the lake or a bonfire on the beach.


Decorating with the Red, White and Blue, for Flag Day and All Summer Long

Decorating, How-To | | | 1 Reply

While not an official federal holiday, Flag Day, which is commemorated in the United States on June 14, represents an opportunity to celebrate the American flag. The day honors the adoption of the flag of the United States, which occurred on June 14th in in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation officially establishing June 14 as Flag Day. Thirty-three years later in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.


Whether for Flag Day, Fourth of July or every day of the year, the unique stars and stripes design of the American flag provides great decorating inspiration. The red, white and blue color scheme is also an easy way to add bright pops of color to an otherwise neutral table or sofa. We’ve rounded up 10 designs below that would work either as a permanent addition to a room or as seasonal accent pieces. See if you can find a new favorite.

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