Monthly Archives: July 2013

Behind the Design: The Maddie Pillow’s Intriguing Story

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Ever wonder what inspired the design of some of your favorite Pottery Barn products? In our Behind the Design series of posts, we talk with Pottery Barn designers to learn how they were inspired to create Pottery Barn pieces. You can read all of the posts in the Behind the Design series here. Today, we’re learning more about the Maddie Beaded Lumbar Pillow Cover.


The Maddie Beaded Lumbar Pillow cover features hand bejeweled design crafted of metallic beads, and is sure to add glamour to a loveseat, chair or sofa in your home.



We spoke with Pottery Barn textile designer Jenn about the Maddie. She told us, “The Maddie Beaded Pillow is inspired by an antique ikat pattern, but done in beads for a modern take on this type of pattern. The front panel is done all by hand.”

Want to read more about the thought behind the designs at Pottery Barn? Read more Behind the Design posts here.

Make Your Table Even More Beautiful With the 16-Piece Isabella Set in Blue

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Today, we’re giving readers the opportunity to win a 16-piece set of Isabella dishware in blue. The set includes four dinner plates, four salad plates, four bowls and four mugs.img85o
The Isabella dinnerware collection resembles hand-thrown pieces a potter might make for her own table. Each weighty piece is glazed with traces of the terra cotta showing through at the edges. The blue shade will add a pop of color to your dining table, and serve as a worthy complement to your homecooked meals.

Want to win a set of these beautiful dishes? To enter, just fill out the form below. (Find the official rules here.)

Thank you for reading. This contest is now closed. 

Let’s Play Games! Summer Inspiration From Folk Magazine

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We’re excited to share an article from Folk Magazine!

This summer we wanted to offer our readers a look at some of our favorite summer pastime games that the citizens of the New England colonies and later states would’ve also played. Early New England pioneers may not have had the most time to play outside with their children, but it’s apparent that these are the types of games that their children would’ve played. From Boston to Philadelphia, New Englanders would’ve known about the sport of Bocce as passed down through the centuries by Egyptians and Romans, would’ve played a simple game of ring toss at local fairs and celebrations and would’ve cleared their lawns for a quick game of croquet in the later 1800s. So, take an opportunity this summer to play some of the sports of our ancestors and enjoy your free time in the same way they would’ve enjoyed theirs.

IMG_0252Bocce Ball The object of this game is pretty simple. There are four balls per team and one tiny white ball called a jack. Each team gets a chance to throw the jack to the center of a lawn and the closest to the middle gets to gofirst. Each team then takes turns trying to pitch a bocce ball, underhanded, toward the jack in an effort to get their ball closest to it. After each pitch, the team with the ball closest to the jack forfeits their turn to the other team so that they may try. Each team should try to get their ball closest to the jack and can knock the opposing teams ball out of the way to do so. After all of the balls have been thrown, the team with the ball closest to the jack wins.
Ring Toss Arrange 9 bottles of varying sizes and colors in a 3×3 square. Taking turns with three rings each, have participants stand ten paces away and try to ring as many bottles as possible. Best in 5 rounds wins.
Croquet The word “croquet,” referring to the game we now play today, first appeared in the registration of a document containing its rule in England in 1856. The game however traveled across the ocean with European citizens and became a beloved pastime in the New England states. The rules of this game are somewhat difficult to explain so after you pick up your croquet set, we suggest you visit
Lawn Darts We used a vintage set, often available at vintage fairs. The rules are simple and very similar to Ring Toss. Two competitors throw two darts each, at three round targets on the ground placed 15 paces from throwers. The rings are arranged much like a Mickey Mouse shape, with one large ring closest to the throwers—worth one point, should the thrower land one inside—and two smaller rings that should lie diagonally behind and to the left and right of the larger hoop—these rings are worth 3 points each. The best of 5 rounds wins!

Lawn Bowling Ten bottles are arranged in a triangle just like in regular bowling, the rules and scoring system is the same. We like to use a spare bocce ball to bowl.


Learn more about Folk Magazine on their site and make sure to subscribe to the print issue, too!

Our Linen Hemstitch Runner Gets Transformed For a Charming Bath

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We love to feature small spaces that have been transformed into something special thanks to thoughtful touches and creativity. When we saw Jenny Steffens’ Hobick’s charming small bathroom, featured on her site Everyday Occasions, we loved many elements of the space, including her clever use of a Pottery Barn product usually seen on a dining room table. Keep reading to see how she used it in the bath!

How did you get inspired to use the Linen Hemstitch Runner as curtains?
I went to my linen cupboard looking for inspiration from whatever I could find in there… old curtains, scraps of linen, etc. and noticed the runner — the rest is history!


How long would you say this project took? Were there any challenges?
It literally took me 5 minutes… only because I had to wait for the iron to heat up to press the seam before I sewed it. No challenges — sooooooo easy.

How did you decide to refresh your bathroom with neutral colors? (We love it!)

It is a small space. Tiny. I had tried a soft grey blue on the walls before, but it made the cramped space seem dingy. We wanted the bathroom to just feel clean and fresh — so I tried to keep it as simple and classic as possible… although it can be tempting to throw colors on the walls. I’m such a fan of tone-on-tone painted panelling, so painting the faux beadboard wallpaper cream to match the trim was an easy choice. I also think of “cream” as a color, so most of our house is a mixture of white, cream, ivory in all different shades, which is why I selected the white towels and curtains — I love to mix them.

Can you tell us a little more about the paintings in the bathroom?

I painted the “Seaside Seascape” while we were on vacation this spring in Seaside, Fl. It rained almost the entire time we were there, which made it difficult for our 1-year-old, Emma, to enjoy the beach, but it created the most mystical, misty views from the balcony of our house. Both my husband and I painted a piece – his hangs above our sofa in the living room.


What do you love about your bathroom since you’ve refreshed the look?

Since my husband and I both share the bathroom with our daughter, I needed the bathroom to be as simple and clean as possible. Though the colors are simple, I brought in rich details in the textured wallpaper, hemstitch trim on the cafe curtains (the runner!) and custom artwork. Now, we really do feel like it is a special part of our home — not just the tiny bathroom we have to share until we complete the new Master renovation next year. I’m crazy about the PB Newport Sink Console and hope to have two of them in our new Master Bath and one in our new Powder Room.

The Perfectly Adorable Pottery Barn Pets of Instagram

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How’s your pet enjoying the summer? Perhaps with a nap in a Pottery Barn outdoor chaise or lounging on a Pottery Barn desk? We were absolutely charmed by these Instagram photos, which feature a mix of Pottery Barn products captured with some truly adorable cats and dogs.

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!


This adorable little chihuahua belongs to ashleycarolgolly, who  found Pixie lounging on an outdoor chaise.




Are we seeing double? Instagram user ktnewms is getting the staredown from her boxers, Dexter and Gigi.




Why hello there, cutie! kristie_bee notes, “I think Benson likes my new Pottery Barn rug almost as much as I do!”



Getting work done might be a little tough with these adorable kitties lounging on your Graham Secretary Desk. Personally, we’re not sure if we believe the cincy_kitties, Paxton and Snider, when they claim that they’re “Getting work done on momma’s new desk.”



Want to see your precious pet in an Instagram roundup? Tag your photo with #pbpets and you may see your puppy or kitty on the blog!



Alaina From The Everygirl Tells Us Why She Loves the Carlisle Sofa

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We’re huge fans of must-read site The Everygirl and its co-founder Alaina Kaczmarski. Alaina recently shared photos of her beautiful apartment with us, and we were delighted to see that she chose the Carlisle Sofa as one of the main focal points in her living room. Let’s hear what Alaina has to say about her decorating style and why she loves this sofa.




Why did you choose this sofa?
The English roll arm has been my favorite style sofa ever since I saw it in Jenna Lyons’ Brooklyn townhome a few years ago. I love that it’s both comfortable and elegant.




What’s your advice for choosing an investment piece like this?
Go with classic styles and neutral colors you’ve liked for years. If you’re anything like me and want to switch things up every few months, know that an investment piece is there to stay and needs to transcend your ever-changing taste.




Why do you enjoy shopping at Pottery Barn?

I love the convenience of visiting the stores, the customer service, and the quality of the products!




How would you describe your style?
Preppy but fun! I gravitate toward classics — white, black, navy, a roll arm couch and clean lines. But I love my share of polka dots, neon and sparkle.




What’s most important to you when styling your living space?
Ample seating and a place for everyone to conveniently set their drink.




Make sure to read more about Alaina’s home on The Everygirl!

All photos courtesy Stoffer Photography

Tour a New Home With Old-Fashioned Heart and Soul

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Step inside a newly constructed home with beautiful, antique-inspired character. — Country Living

Tour an easy, breezy Ojai home. — Apartment Therapy

Turn your home into a beachy getaway this summer with these tips. — PopSugar Home

Great decorating tips from the book Heirloom Modern! — Refinery29

Make this tonight: vegetable enchiladas. — Taste

You won’t believe what these plastic bottles were used to make. — Sweet Paul

Behind the Design: The Saybrook Outdoor Furniture Collection

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Outdoor furniture season is in full swing, which is why we recently visited Ted, a Pottery Barn furniture designer, to find out more about one of our favorite outdoor furniture collections — The Saybrook Collection.

Ted told us, “The inspiration for this collection originally came from an antique wicker chair from a Belgian antiques dealer seen in Paris.  It was from the Belgian colonial period.  Distinctive features of this collection are the scoop shaped arm, the squared off (but still soft) shoulders of the backrest, and the egg-shaped woven feet. We also captured the weathered gray look of the aged wicker.”


The furniture style was also inspired in part by the classic porch furniture from the American South, which was  influenced by this Belgian colonial period.


Another reason we love the Saybrook Collection? Two words: maintenance-free. That’s right. Since the Saybrook Collection is crafted from a durable synthetic woven material and rust-proof aluminum frame, you don’t have to occupy precious summer hours with tedious furniture upkeep. So, while the Saybrook Collection replicates the look and feel of wicker, it’simpervious to sun, rain, heat and cold.

Do you own any pieces from the Saybrook Collection?

Prized Boards: Summer Barbecue Recipes and Decorating Inspiration

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Just because the Fourth of July holiday is past doesn’t mean you need to slow down on your barbecues. In fact, we recommend that you amp up your barbecue and backyard get-togethers at least through Labor Day! Summer is all about outdoor entertaining, which is why we can’t get enough of our Summer Barbecues by Pottery Barn Pinterest Board.


We’ve rounded up four of our current favorite images from the board. To learn more about them, keep reading.

  1. We love this idea for making individual drinks for your next barbecue from Material Girls. Just pre-mix them and serve in Mason jars! We recommend trying some spiked agua fresca for a refreshing summer cocktail treat.
  2. We love these charming barbecue invitations that Southern Curls and Pearls created for her best friend’s wedding shower. Elements like this can elevate a standard barbecue to something extra special!
  3. While the focus may be on the grill, don’t forget about dessert! With this recipe for this Mixed Berry Shortcake Parfait, your guests will finish the evening on a sweet note. (Just don’t tell them how easy this is to make!)
  4. Tablecloths can dress up even the most ho-hum of picnic tables. We love the layered look of this table, featured on 100 Layer Cake. To get this look, we suggest mixing patterns with our tablecloths and runners.

How are you continuing outdoor entertaining this month? Make sure to check out our Summer Barbecues by Pottery Barn Pinterest Board for more inspiration!

Dreamy Destinations: A Summer Stay in an Italian Home Rich With History

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Today, we’re dreaming of a vist to Tuscany, Italy, at the charming Villa Organi. Built on the ruins of the Roman fort of Cornelius Sulla in the first century. BC, the villa features a medieval tower built of stone, a museum inside and is immersed in the lush Tuscan countryside. Step inside for a quick tour of this beautiful property!



Guests can relax in the swimming pool located on the property. Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses!


The property is owned and hosted by Massimo and Monica, a couple that lives on site, and who, according to reviews from prior guests, are the perfect hosts.



The home is within easy driving access to Florence, Piestoia, Lucca and Pisa. A rental car is recommended, as the location is rather remote. Good restaurants are within a few minutes, and the hosts are also available for hire to cook four-course meals for guests.


Imagine eating breakfast under this leafy pergola.




One guest wrote, “The highlight is undoubtably the organic garden which just teems with butterflies and gorgeous flowers as you are followed by the heady scent of jasmine in the evenings. The pool is wonderful and for those lazy hot Tuscan summer days it is hard to beat a glass of prosecco after a quick dip to cool down.”



Relaxing, rustic interiors will help you to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing (and likely, eating amazing Italian meals).



To book a stay at Villa Organi, contact Massimo and Monica through Airbnb.