Author Archives: PB Editors

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.

Event Recap: Celebrating Our New Wedding Blog!

Behind the Scenes | | | 2 Replies

Have you heard? We have a brand new place to get even more inspiring ideas to make your life beautiful. This time, we’re talking all about weddings, engagements and happily ever afters on our new blog, Have & Hold.

To kick off the launch of Have & Hold, we hosted a great party at one of San Francisco’s premier wedding planning studios: Blu Bungalow. 5 talented, local stylists set up stunning tables full of Pottery Barn product. Each table models one of our specific wedding styles.

Need inspiration for your wedding? Take a peek at each table, below, and don’t forget to check out Have & Hold.

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Global Bohemian

Jamie Chang, owner of Mango Muse Events, used our Global Bohemian wedding style as inspiration for her table and vignette. Our new Sevilla Plates were the star of the show, but we love how she cleverly used our Vintage Keys as place holders, too.

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Modern City

Bold colors and mixed patterns set the tone for this Modern City table, designed by Susanne Capello of Chantal Events. Our Decadendron Sculpture usually lives on coffee table vignettes, but Capello put a creative twist on it for her table’s centerpiece.

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Classic Traditional

This elegant, timeless vignette proves that simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Kaella Wilson of Kaella Lynn Events stuck to a basic color palette of whites and subtle metallic. The silver edges of our Caroline Dinnerware really helps to make this table setting shine.

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Rustic Elegant

The talented planners at Every Elegant Detail took a more earthy approach to their table, inspired by our Rustic Elegant wedding style. We love how they left the table uncovered — the exposed wood complements our bright turquoise Cambria cups and plates perfectly.

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Inspired Romantic

Elizabeth Bainbridge of 2 the 9s Events used bird motifs from our new Spring collection as a guide for her Inspired Romantic table. Our Bird Cage Drink Dispenser Stand feels right at home, and looks particularly festive when filled to the brim.

Don’t forget to visit Have & Hold for more details on our event, beautiful real-life weddings, inspiration and more.

10 Decorating Tips from Interior Designer Nicole Gibbons

Decorating, How-To | | | 1 Reply

Whether you live in a massive mansion or a tiny urban apartment, decorating your home usually isn’t as easy as it looks. Everything from choosing pillows to painting walls requires attention to detail and a lot of work — it’s not for the faint of heart!

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Photo courtesy of Nicole Gibbons

But interior designer Nicole Gibbons has mastered these challenges with excellent taste and a flair for the unexpected. That’s why we chose her for our In the Spotlight designer for February. This week, Gibbons did a Facebook chat with our fans to help them out with their design dilemmas and share some of her top decorating tips. We’ve compiled some of our favorite tidbits below — take a look and get inspired for your own home!

1. Don’t be afraid to mix materials in your kitchen. “Just make sure you contrast colors. For example, you could use a dark black granite on your counters and a white quartz on the island. If you’re going to use two different materials, use the same color on your cabinetry.”

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2. Design your wall display to suit your style. “You can take different approaches when hanging a gallery wall. One is to hang your photos so that they’re all aligned in a symmetrical fashion. I like a more eclectic approach so I left a 3-inch width between each photo on at least one side in my living room.”

Tip: “I like to leave at least 10 to 12 inches of space from the top of the sofa to the bottom of the frames.”

3. Get creative when decorating a rented home. “I love stenciling walls in rental homes and apartments particularly because it’s super easy to do and paint over later, unlike wallpaper.”

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4. Don’t toss an old chair — reupholster it! “When choosing your fabric, don’t be afraid to do something a little out of the box! Look at the color palette of your room and try and pull out one or two colors that work with your space. Or do a solid, fun, punchy color that’s a nice contrast to the rest of your decor.  If you’re afraid of color, you can never go wrong with a neutral. Try adding fun details like nailheads!”

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5. Even if you love white, embrace a little color. “If you love all-white, choose white bedding that has an embroidered detail on it in a bright color. I love crisp, monogrammed white bedding with colorful embroidery. The Grand Embroidered Collection from Pottery Barn is great — I actually have it in Porcelain Blue, which is really soft but adds a subtle hint of color. It can really liven up a space. “

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6. Think outside of the box for wall art. “If you’re not into traditional artwork like paintings or photography, try framing a textile. That can be really interesting. It can be a piece from your travels or just something you love. Or you can use a sculptural art piece or a large mirror. Mirrors are great for brightening up a room because they reflect light and make a space look larger. “

7. Mix and match your furniture styles. “I like to balance traditional pieces with more modern elements. So when you’re decorating around your mother’s sofa, try incorporating pieces that offer a nice contrast in style with cleaner lines that help create balance to the more ornate details of the sofa. “

8. Switch it up! I love changing things around. I think it’s really fun to change things around pretty frequently. Even if you don’t change your entire arrangement, maybe you swap out chairs. Take chairs from your dining room and switch them with chairs in your living room. Or restyle your table top. I change my coffee table styling almost every week, with different books, flowers and trays.

At the minimum, I’d suggest doing something at least every couple years to liven up your space. Get new curtains or a couple new throw pillows to switch up your look.

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Photo courtesy of Nicole Gibbons

9. Mix silhouettes. “So if you have a more angular sofa, try to use chairs with a more rounded silhouette or vice versa. And vice versa. If you have an old roll arm sofa, try to choose chairs that are more angular. The contrast is much more interesting.”

10. Edit, edit, edit. “A little editing can never hurt! The less is more approach can often be more impactful. But, if all else fails, hire a decorator!”

Read more about Nicole Gibbons at Pottery Barn. Plus, check out her blog for even more great design tips.

We Love SF: Coffee and Toast at The Mill

Behind the Scenes, We Love SF | | | 6 Replies

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Photo c/o Josey Baker

There’s few foods more comforting than a slice of warm, freshly baked bread. Accompanied by a steaming cup of coffee, it becomes the perfect breakfast. This idea of comfort and familiarity is what helped found The Mill, a coffee and bread shop near San Francisco’s Alamo Square.

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Every morning, Josey Baker (yes, that’s his real name) puts loaves of dough made with flour he grinds himself into the oven. At 9:00, customers start to line up for their freshly baked loaf.

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Photo c/o Josey Baker

Luckily, there’s plenty of Four Barrel coffee while they wait. Baker also sells thick slices of the fresh bread, toasted, with a variety of daily toppings. (We love the homemade almond butter with honey drizzled on top.)

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Photo credit: Mathieu Thouvenin

While classic brick adorns the exterior, the interior of The Mill, feels fresh and contemporary. Custom wood shelves by Alex Palecko are filled with French presses and ceramic cups. People reading books and drinking coffee (rarely with laptops — The Mill is a plug-free, wi-fi free zone) sit at large communal tables.

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Photo credit: Mathieu Thouvenin

The beautifully designed space is also in the process of adding a parklet made of reclaimed wood to the front, so customers can enjoy their breakfast, lunch or snack outdoors.

Visit The Mill at 736 Divisadero Street, San Francisco

A Cozy, Contemporary Bedroom in San Francisco

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

Blessed with a bright and open bedroom in her new San Francisco home, interior designer Jennifer Jones completely re-approached her decor as soon as she moved in. “My husband and I were thrilled to have such a spacious, light-filled bedroom to work with,” she says.

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The new space required new furniture, and she started with our Raleigh Upholstered Square Bed. Jones took design cues from the room’s wood ceiling and chose a earth-inspired color palette of neutral fabrics and textiles. “Since I spend my days poring over colors and patterns for clients, I wanted a space that was neutral and calming to come home to,” she says.

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The tailored, clean look of the Raleigh bed contrasts with the warm wood and vintage detailing on Jones’s vintage, mid-century nightstands. “The nailhead detail on the headboard adds just enough interest without feeling busy,” Jones says of the bed. “I’m a huge fan of natural fabrics too. We chose washed linen cotton for the bed upholstery since it has the look of linen with less wrinkles.”

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The bed’s neutral color makes it easy for Jones to dress it up with whatever pillow, duvet or blanket she wants. “This bed is now our go-to spot for spending lazy mornings with our son and the family cat,” she says.

See more of Jones’s work at Niche Interiors.