Author Archives: PB Editors

Behind the Design: Our Watercolor Bunny Pillows

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 4 Replies

Easter is still a couple months away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make room for these little bunnies in our homes. We love the handpainted style of our new Watercolor Bunny Pillows — it makes these special Easter items welcome in our homes year round.

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Although many of our items are made at PBHQ, we worked with local fine artist and printmaker Ellen Heck (through Cathy Heck Studio) to develop the initial illustrations for these beautiful pillows. Read on to learn about Heck’s inspiration and take a sneak peek at some of her sketches.

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“For this particular collection, we wanted a light feeling to go with the springtime theme,” says Heck. “So I sketched a lot of rabbits quickly and freely, applying a few loose washes.” Heck’s fine art background and emphasis on gesture and figure drawing resulted in each bunny’s unique expression — doesn’t it look like each one has a personality? Take a look at some of Heck’s in-process pencil sketches, below. “I thought these were particularly sweet and expressive,” she says.

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“It’s been a lot of fun to see this group translated on different materials,” says Heck. “The choice to print a layer of white over the darker linen fabric, and then soften the images with the neutral watercolor gives the group a natural look that is both sweet and works well in the home.”

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Take a look at our entire Easter collection here.
See more of Ellen Heck’s work.

Two Easy Valentine’s Day DIYs from Shop Sweet Lulu

Decorating, DIY, Holiday | | | 6 Replies

Valentine’s Day is a playful holiday by nature. With a color palette of pink and red and a theme that revolves around kisses and candy, how could it not? We love how Valentine’s Day encourage us to have a little more fun.

These two adorable DIYs from the Shop Sweet Lulu Blog certainly embody this vibe. Try your hand at one of these easy Valentine’s Day DIYs to bring a little love into your life this February.

Photography: Stevie Pattyn for Shop Sweet Lulu

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Make Mini Valentine Balloon Lollies for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day. All you need are a couple heart shaped balloons, balloon sticks and some basic craft supplies (streamers, ribbons or any other type of fun flair).

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Put it all together for a festive trinket that will make your sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day even more special.

 

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This Candy Ring Tutorial is the perfect DIY for jewelry lovers with a sweet tooth. Stock up on some red, pink and white candy of your choice (if you haven’t already) — we recommend the rock candy for this particular DIY.

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Ring blanks and a hot glue gun are all you need to create these sweet looking baubles for the most lovey dovey day of the year. Keep in mind that they’re not edible — so you may want to keep some extra candy on hand for when that sugar craving kicks in.

You might also like: 5 Tips to Help You Throw a Classy Valentine’s Day Party

6 Ways to Set Up a Gallery Wall

Decorating, How-To | | | 9 Replies

For many of us, the road to a complete gallery wall is a long and tricky one. It often starts with a blank wall and comes to an abrupt stop with a pile of frameless art and photography.

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Finding the perfect frame is often the point where many of us give up on designing a gallery wall.  Our recommendation? Stick to something simple (like our Wood Gallery Frames) and let your art shine.

Once you’ve (finally) framed your art, it’s time to move on to the hard part: hanging it.  I know, it sounds easy — just hammer a nail into the wall, right? — but prep and planning is key to a successful gallery wall. Once you start hammering away, there’s no turning back.

We’ve pulled together six of our favorite styles to setting up a gallery wall — from the simple grid to the step-by-step staircase style. Take a look at our detailed diagrams of each style, below, along with our favorite Pottery Barn examples.

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Spiral: Start with a center frame, and spiral out the rest of your frames from there.

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Don’t forget to maintain an even amount of space between each frame for consistency.

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Centered: This simple layout requires minimal effort. Just choose one or two frames to center and align the left and right sides with one another.

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We think this works particularly well if you’re trying to highlight particular pieces of art.

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Outer Align: You’ll want to make sure all of the outer frames are aligned for this layout.

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Note that the center frames will meet slightly closer together at the right and left sides.

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Reflection: Create order out of chaos with this arrangement!

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Don’t worry about arranging by size — when everything’s matched up and aligned at the center, the display makes perfect sense.

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Staircase: Staircase gallery walls require a slightly different approach.

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Hang your frames following the same upward angle of the staircase.

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Nine Square: Don’t dismiss the simple grid.

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It’s a basic arrangement, but it makes a big impact.

Read more about how to set up your gallery wall in our digital guide.

5 Tips to Help You Throw a Classy Valentine’s Day Party

Entertaining, Holiday, Parties | | | 2 Replies

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Contrary to popular belief, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for kids or sappy couples. Like any holiday, it’s an excuse to celebrate with people that you love! We talked to entertaining expert Kelly Lyden to learn how to host a classy, grown-up version of the Valentine’s Day parties we’re used to.

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Use a classic color palette. Red with crisp black and white will always feel classy, not trashy. “Mix a pop of color in with traditional menswear fabrications, like a herringbone, tweet or pinstripe,” suggests Lyden.

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A grown up party calls for a grown up theme. Wine tasting parties are a great way to add a fun element to a Valentine’s Day get together. “You could have each couple bring a bottle of their favorite wine and do a blind tasting,” says Lyden. “It’s a great activity for the evening, and it helps provide the drinks for your guests, too.” But a grown up theme doesn’t mean you can’t have candy — turn your wine tasting into a chocolate pairing party for adults!

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Play with color in your table settings. Dress up basic white dishes with red and black accessories. “A fabulous red patterned napkin, a fun salad plate or colored glassware are great additions,” says Lyden.

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Mood lighting is a must. Dim those lights and light every candle (yup, every single one) you own. “Instead of traditional taper candles, scatter a bunch of gorgeous votive candles down the center of the table,” says Lyden. “It’ll look like twinkle lights!”

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Get creative with your florals. “I’m not a traditional red-rose-kinda-girl,” says Lyden. “I love mixing crisp white hydrangeas with red tulips for a Valentine’s Day arrangement.”

Weekly Roundup: 2/1 to 2/7

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

It still feels like winter where most of us live, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start dreaming about spring! This week on Inside & Out, we brought you a little taste of Spring photography, seasonal flowers and a favorite outdoor spot in San Francisco. Click the links below to read more.

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Set Your Table for Spring: Tips from Camille Styles

Q&A: Photographer Lupen Grainne

Bring Spring Into Your Home With These Flower Arranging Tips

We Love SF: Rapha Cycle Club’s Parklet

Behind the Design: Our Cambria Collection

Behind the Design: Our Cambria Collection

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 19 Replies

Each piece of our Cambria Dinnerware, from the tiny Tidbit Plates to the spacious Serve Bowls, starts out as a simple slab of clay in a Portugal factory.  Skilled employees — many who have worked in ceramics for all of their lives — take each piece of clay through a painstaking process to produce our beautiful line of dinner and serveware.

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Although much of the work is done with the aid of machines, each step also requires work to be done by hand. Cleaning the clay, applying patina and finalizing the shape by hand makes each and every piece of Cambria a unique piece of art. Take a look at the amazing process, from start to finish, below.

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First, large pieces of clay are cut to size for the press machine. Each piece of clay is sized to the type of dish it will create.

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The slabs are then placed on a press machine. Specialists carefully monitor the process to make sure the pieces are molded accurately and without defect.

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Once the clay is molded and pressed, extra clay is cut off, and the shape is fine tuned with a roller machine.

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Here, one of the Portugal factory’s many skilled workers finishes a shaped piece with a wet sponge to clean the edges.

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Then, the pieces are left to dry on racks.

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Once dry, patina is applied with a brush by hand to give each piece visual texture and depth.

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The Cambria pieces are then glazed with a machine for cohesive, continuous color and cooked in a kiln.

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Here’s a shot of the colorfully glazed complete product. The meticulous process makes each piece just a little bit different — a true piece of art.

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Every piece of Cambria is carefully inspected before its labeled, packed and shipped off to your home.

See more Behind the Design posts. 

We Love SF: Rapha Cycle Club’s Parklet

Behind the Scenes, We Love SF | | | Leave a comment

San Francisco is full of surprises. Although it’s a small city (just 7 miles by 7 miles), every nook and cranny brims with quirky people, places and things.

PBHQ is lucky to call this city our home, and we love to share our favorite finds with others. Our newest love? The Rapha Cycle Club’s Parklet.

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What’s a parklet? As part of San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks program, certain portions of the street outside restaurants, cafes and shops can be transformed into small seating areas called parklets.

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The parklet outside Rapha Cycle Club is made up of a Citroën H Van, built in the early part of the 20th century. Often, these vans would serve as sweeper vans at the end of early bicycle races. “If you got caught by one of these vans, you were out of the race,” says Dante Campanile of Rapha’s San Francisco Cycle Club.

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Rapha’s team found this particular van on a farm in France. Its years of hard work had left it gutted — it had no engine or working parts. But the team still loved it, and shipped it back to the US where they could decide what to do with it. After a few events and experiments, they partnered with San Francisco design firm ReBar to build a custom parklet outside the shop.

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The H Van was shipped out to Treasure Island, cut in half and carefully sealed and sanded to get rid of sharp edges and loose ends. Each half came back to Rapha’s Marina location to be put together once again — this time, with a custom deck, benches, planters and tables in the middle.

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“I’d say that this parklet really helps blend the cultural history of road racing with a contemporary cycling scene in San Francisco,” says Campanile. “It’s great to see it become a gathering place for group rides, cyclists passing by, and just people who live in the neighborhood.”

Visit Rapha Cycle Club and its parklet at 2198 Filbert Street, San Francisco, CA 94123.