Author Archives: PB Editors

A Bright and Beautiful Breakfast Room with Our Benchwright Table

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 4 Replies

Megan of Honey We’re Home knew she wanted her new breakfast room to be both comfortable and beautiful. Most importantly, it had to be durable — a must for a mom of a three-year-old boy. Finding the right table was key, and after some serious searching, she settled on our Benchwright Dining Table. Take a look at her new room, below, and learn more about the design from Megan herself.

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Q: Tell me about your design style: What kind of look do you gravitate to?
A: I like a clean, restful space that I can relax in. I’m drawn to modern spaces with a little bit of glam. I’ll add some color and pattern for interest and I have a mirror in every room!

Q: How did you approach designing your breakfast room? What were your main priorities?
A: Our breakfast room is open to the rest of the main floor, so it needed to blend with the living room and kitchen. We had a baby when we bought the table and wanted something that would last us through the toddler years and beyond. I needed something that I didn’t need to treat delicately or be worried about scratching, denting, etc.

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Q: Why did you choose the Benchwright table and benches? What about this design appealed to you?
A: The table is rustic and sturdy and the bolt detailing is unique. It seats six on the benches, but you can also add a pair of chairs to the end, or swap out the benches for chairs (like we did in the photo). The benches are perfect for kids to climb onto and they wipe clean easily. I love the shape of this table (especially the thickness of the wood) and the benches. The dark, rich brown color with some variation is beautiful too. It goes great with our dark hardwood floors.

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Q: How has the table held up so far?
A: The table has held up great! We have had it for four years now and we eat there daily (multiple times a day) and gather with friends and family frequently. My son and I do projects at the table and I just wipe it clean with a sponge and soapy water. I love that I don’t have to handle it with “kid gloves.” That would get old very fast!

Q: How did you decide on a size?
A: I chose the largest table that would fit the room with people still being able to have space to walk around and through the room, since it’s a passageway to the kitchen, living room and garage.

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Q: What came first: The table, or the rest of the decor in the room? Why?
A: The table was the first thing we chose for the room and the decor evolved around that over time. When we moved into this house, we needed a table to eat on, so it was the biggest priority. Also, while changing the curtains and rug are relatively easy when we’re ready for a new look, the table will stay.

The Secret to a Perfect Taco from Tacolicious in San Francisco

Behind the Scenes, We Love SF | | | 2 Replies

Today, a taco can be whatever you want it to be. It can be seaweed with a Korean-spiced filling. It can be a chocolate wafer stuffed to the brim with ice cream. It can even be a orange, cheese-flavored chip shell with ground beef inside. But whatever a taco is made out of, there’s a trick to making sure it’s as delicious as possible. This week, we popped into one of our favorite taco shops — Tacolicious in San Francisco — to learn how to make the perfect taco. Learn their executive chef’s best tips and take a look at some favorite Tacolicious items, photographed on our Great White dishware.

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Telmo Faria, Tacolicious’s executive chef, runs the kitchens and plans the menu for all three of the restaurant’s highly successful locations. We caught up with him at the Valencia street location in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood to get his best tips for putting together the perfect taco.

Pictured above: Three of Tacolicious’s staple tacos on our Great White Couple Dinner Plate.

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“The key to a great taco is in the tortilla and the salsa,” says Faria. “You can have a great cut of meat, and put it in a terrible tortilla and have okay salsa, and it just won’t taste good. But if you have a so-so cut of meat — even a bland piece — and put it in a great tortilla with flavorful salsa, the taco will still be delicious.”

According to Faria, a tortilla is only great if it’s fresh. “It should be soft when heated, and have a toothiness but not fall apart,” he says. “The key ingredients in a tortilla are corn, water and salt. The more you deviate from that, the more you get away from what a tortilla should taste like.”

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While Tacolicious is famous for its signature tacos, it also dabbles in a variety of other dishes, including these raw tuna tostadas (which were once on 7×7 Magazine‘s infamous Big Eat List). We thought these tasty bites looked perfect on one of our Great White Square dishes.

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The restaurant’s three salsas (Watch out for the yellow one — it’s extra spicy!) were a perfect fit for this condiment dish. We’d love to take some home in our Great White Chip & Dip, too.

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Each of Tacolicious’s restaurants has a distinct ambiance that still feels cohesive. For example, the colorful floor tile is just a bit different in each location.

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Next time you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to check out one of Tacolicious‘s four locations (we recommend trying one of their margaritas, too).

 

DIY: Glitter Champagne Bottles for Awards Night

Entertaining, Parties | | | 6 Replies

Are you hosting an Awards Night party tomorrow? We suggest adding some glitz to set your gala apart from the rest. These ombré glitter champagne bottles from Camp Makery are easy, adorable and will bring some glam to your party.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

DIY: Camp Makery
Photography: Haley Sheffield

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

Atlanta makeup artist Andrea Carter designed these playful champagne bottles for a party with girlfriends, but we thought they’d add a perfect touch of sparkle while watching red carpet this Sunday.

Here’s what you’ll need:

 Bottles of your favorite champagne

Glitter in two colors (Try to choose a color that matches the foil on your champagne bottle so it all blends in)

Foam art brushes

Mod Podge

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

 

1. Start at the end of the foil on top of the champagne bottle and coat 1/3 of the bottle with Mod Podge. Sprinkle the first color of glitter you’ve chosen on this part of the bottle.

Tip: We suggest doing this outside with plenty of newspaper to avoid glitter bombing your living room.

2. To create the ombré look, mix a little bit of both colors of glitter together, and repeat the previous step on the middle third of the bottle.

3. Finish off the bottom third of the bottle with your second color of glitter.

© 2013 | Haley Sheffield | www.haleysheffield.com

And that’s it! Place a group of these bottles on your buffet or bar so guests can pour themselves a glass when they arrive.

See the full DIY here.

Weekly Roundup: 2/21-2/28

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

Are you tired of the snow, sleet and rain? Us too. We’re ready for Spring! The weather isn’t cooperating, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your fill of all things fresh, colorful and new here at Inside & Out. Our seasonal cocktails, fun DIYs and an exciting new wedding blog will tide you over until Spring officially arrives.

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Event Recap: Celebrating Our New Wedding Blog!

DIY: Easy, Personalized Gift Bags

Behind the Design: Our Benchwright Dining Table

How to Set Up a Kitchen Work Triangle

5 Fresh, Fun Cocktails for Spring

We Love SF: Proxy Shipping Container Project

We Love SF: Proxy Shipping Container Project

Behind the Scenes, We Love SF | | | 2 Replies

Who knew shipping containers could look so chic? This 2-block project transforms the simple, steel shape of a shipping container into something truly worth visiting. Keep reading to learn more about one of our favorite design destinations in San Francisco: Proxy SF

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Proxy SF is located in Hayes Valley, one of San Francisco’s more central neighborhoods. The 2-block collection of shops and restaurants is an impermanent architectural feature, designed to pull together a neighborhood that the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake tore apart.

Short term leases on the empty plots of land left after the earthquake inspired the architects at Envelope A+D. The team put together an eclectic collection of renovated shipping containers and food trucks, with inspired vendors who were excited about rejuvenating the neighborhood.

Proxy’s design allows the vendors to change with time, staying true to the short term leases. Right now, the 2 blocks combine several restaurants and shops:

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Smitten, an ice cream shop that makes it delicious flavors with liquid nitrogen. Next door is Ritual, one of San Francisco’s best coffee shops. The Juice Shop (A Pottery Barn favorite!) and Casey’s Pizza park their trucks in one of the empty lots.

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The Biergarten serves beer and German food out of a shipping container to patrons lounging in its sunny outdoor space.

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Aether, a clothing store shown at the top of the article, stacks three different shipping containers on top of each other, in one of the site’s more permanent constructions.

Visit Proxy SF at 432 Octavia Street, San Francisco, California.

Photos by Roshan Vyas and Henry Zbyszynski

5 Fresh, Seasonal Cocktails for Spring

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 1 Reply

Along with sunshine, fresh flowers and some of our favorite holidays, Spring brings a fresh set of new flavors when it arrives each year. Gone are the rich, earthy tastes of winter — instead, we can embrace citrus, fresh herbs and a hint of berry. These 5 cocktails embody some of our favorite flavors of this season. Even if the sunshine hasn’t shown up yet, these cocktails may help Spring arrive at your home.

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Herbal Spritzer
Serves 8

1 bottle dry white wine
1 cup water
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
Zest of 5 lemons
1 bunch fresh lemon thyme or pineapple sage, plus more sprigs for garnish
Chilled tonic water for serving

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the wine, water, lemon juice and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the lemon zest and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the bunch of herbs. Let steep for 15 minutes. Pour the syrup through a sieve into a glass bowl, discarding the zest and herbs. Nestle the bowl in a larger one filled with ice water and let cool. Place in the freezer until the syrup becomes slushy.

To serve, fill a large glass, like our Mason Jar Mug, one-third full with the slushy syrup, then top with chilled tonic water. Garnish each drink with a small herb sprig.

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Strawberry Basil Margaritas
from The Kitchn
makes 1 pitcher, or about 8 servings

1 can (12 ounces) frozen limeade concentrate
10 strawberries
8 basil leaves
2 to 2 1/2 cups tequila

Put limeade concentrate into a pitcher. (We recommend our PB Classic Outdoor Pitcher so you can enjoy these outside.) Add 2 1/2 cans of water and 2 cups of tequila. Slice strawberries and put them in the pitcher along with the basil. Crumple the basil a little beforehand to release the flavor. Place the pitcher, covered, in the refrigerator overnight to turn your margaritas a beautiful pale pink.

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Lemon Blossom Spritz
Serves 1

1 ounce  yuzu-Meyer lemon cocktail mixer
1 ounce St. Germain or elderflower liqueur
Prosecco, to taste

Combine the cocktail mixer and liqueur and pour into a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco. We recommend using our Caterer’s Box Set of 12 Flutes, so you can serve a crowd with ease.

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Spring White Sangria
Serves 6 to 8

1 bottle fruity white wine, such as Chenin Blanc or Gewürztraminer
1 1/4 cups passion fruit juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup white grapes, seeded and halved
1 cup muscat grapes, seeded and halved
1 Asian or Bartlett  pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 can litchis with syrup
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
Ice as needed

Combine all ingredients and their syrup. We recommend making the drink in our Casa Recycled Glass Pitcher. Stir well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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Cucumber-Rosemary Gin and Tonic
from The Kitchn
Serves 1

1 cucumber
1 lime
3 sprigs rosemary
2 ounces gin
4 ounces tonic water
Ice

Peel one half of a cucumber, and slice a lime into eight wedges. In a high glass (we suggest our Schott Zwiesel Highball), add three slices of the peeled cucumber, 1 spring of rosemary, juice from a lime slice and 1 ounce of gin. Muddle this mixture with the back of a spoon, and strain into a second glass. Add several ice cubes, three slices of cucumber, top with remaining gin and tonic and serve garnished with rosemary springs.

 

Kitchen Layout: How to Set Up a Work Triangle

Decorating, How-To | | | Leave a comment

Have you heard of the kitchen work triangle? If you’re planning to do any work on your kitchen in the near future, knowing the basics of this ergonomic rule is a must. We’ll walk you through the concept and its pros and cons to help you decide if it’s right for your new kitchen’s design.

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What is a kitchen work triangle?

The kitchen work triangle was developed sometime during the 1940s, and has determined the layout of most kitchens built since then. This concept connects the three work areas in the kitchen: The sink, the range and the refrigerator.

The traditional rule states that the three “legs” of the triangle should add up to between 12 and 26 feet. Ideally, no traffic paths from other parts of the house pass through any party of the work triangle to keep the cooking area clean and clear.

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Why does it work?

The kitchen work triangle helps to ensure that everything is a comfortable distance from each other to improve efficiency. When the points of a kitchen work triangle are too far from each other, you’ll end up running around the kitchen trying to cook your dinner. When the points are too close, you and your kitchen will feel cramped.

Tip: Since you want your kitchen work triangle to be clear of traffic from other parts of the house, it’s often best to keep items like the sink and refrigerator (which are used by everyone in the house) on the outer points of the kitchen work triangle.

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Do I have to follow this rule?

The short answer is, no, you don’t always have to incorporate the kitchen work triangle into a kitchen’s design. Today, we use the kitchen much differently than the brains behind the kitchen work triangle did in the 1940s.

While it’s certainly worth it to keep the concept of the kitchen work triangle in mind, you may have to make adjustments and design decisions based on what you’re working with. If you have a single wall in a small apartment, for example, the kitchen work triangle just isn’t going to happen.

You might also like: Guest Post: Kitchen Update Tips for Any Budget

Behind the Design: Our Benchwright Dining Table

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 3 Replies

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The table in Stefano del Vecchio’s grandfather’s work room was perfect for the 20th century Italian artisan. Its sturdy construction could stand up to any type of work, and the dents and dings only added to its beauty.

When del Vecchio’s grandfather couldn’t use the table anymore, del Vecchio moved it into his personal home office. Surprisingly, the antique table felt right at home in the more updated space. Del Vecchio, a Pottery Barn designer, started thinking about its other applications — the worn patina, smooth surface and artisan construction felt like a natural fit for a dining table.

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Today, this family heirloom lives on as our Benchwright Dining Table, one of our best selling items.

When designing the new construction, del Vecchio and the Pottery Barn team made sure that the Benchwright design would have the same worn look as the original table. Each table has pieces that are fine-sanded by hand and finished with a 12-step finish for a deep, comfortable patina.

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“The mixed materials of the metal and wood really speak to the artisan heritage of this table’s original design,” says Pottery Barn furniture designer Brice. The metal turnbuckle in the middle supports the table’s slanted legs, and stays true to the original table’s hardware.

“This table is great because it doesn’t look like it belongs to a specific period of time, or style. It has clean lines, but it’s not modern. You could put this in a Napa house, a country house, a coastal house, or a city house,” says Brice.

Now, the Benchwright Dining Table is available in new sizes and finishes to suit every space.

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Watch this video to learn more about the Benchwright design from del Vecchio himself.

DIY: Easy, Personalized Gift Bags

Decorating, DIY | | | 2 Replies

For the launch party of our new wedding blog, Have & Hold, we worked with our Brand Packaging Department (who develop all of our amazing gift wrap) to create special gift bags for guests at the event. We were pleasantly surprised at how simple they were to put together, and how beautiful they turned out.

The idea behind these beautiful bags can be adjusted to suit any style or color palette. Take a look at how we put together these easy, customized gift bags below and get inspired to create your own personalized gift wrap at home!

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Here’s how the final result turned out. We filled these bags with white and gold tissue and a few special Pottery Barn goodies for our event.

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Here’s what you’ll need to create a similar look:

1. Paper gift bags in the color of your choice (we recommend using a lighter colored paper).

2. A stamp pad and stamp.

3. 2 pieces of poster board. One piece should be cut to size to fit inside your gift bag. The other piece should be cut in a grid to size to fit on top of your gift bag. You’ll use this top piece to make sure your stamped design is even and consistent on all your bags.

4. Gift tags and twine (optional).

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Step 1: Place the solid piece of posterboard inside your gift bag. This will provide an even working surface to help you get the best stamped design possible. Place the grid on the top of your bag, as shown.

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Step 2: Ink up your stamp. We recommend doing a few practice rounds on a piece of scratch paper, just to play it safe.

PS: We had this stamp custom made in the same design as our new Rayna Paisley print. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Step 3: Once you feel good about your stamping skills, it’s time to start your first bag. Carefully stamp your pattern into each hole that you’ve cut out on your grid. Notice, like this grid, that you may be stamping half of your pattern in some spots. That’s okay! It’s more important that the design and spacing stays consistent.

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Step 4: Repeat on as many bags as you’d like. (We hand stamped over 200!) If you have gift tags, tie them on with twine in a contrasting color.

Get more gift wrap ideas on our All Wrapped Up Pinterest Board. 

Read more about our Have & Hold launch party here.