Author Archives: Pottery Barn

Win One of Our Paris Prints to Celebrate Chuck Williams’ 99th Birthday

Behind the Scenes | | | 22 Replies

Happy Birthday, Chuck! We’re celebrating the 99th birthday of Charles “Chuck” Williams, the founder of our sister store Williams-Sonoma, with giveaways of our favorite Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma product all day long.

Did you know? The inspiration for Williams-Sonoma began when Chuck took his first trip to Paris in 1953. “It is a city that is a delight to get lost in—one that gives me pause and causes me, at any given moment, to think how lucky I am to be in Paris,” he says.

To celebrate Chuck’s love for Paris, we’re giving away one of our Red Balloons in Paris Framed Print by Rebecca Plotnick to a lucky fan!

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See official rules here. 

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Happy 99th Birthday Chuck Williams!

Behind the Scenes | | | 5 Replies

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Charles “Chuck” Williams, the founder of Williams-Sonoma, is often called a pioneer of the American kitchen. Today, we’re celebrating his 99th birthday with a tribute to our absolute favorite cook, chef and founder.

PS: Don’t forget to check out our giveaways all day long, to celebrate Chuck’s birthday!

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Although he always had a love and affinity for food and cooking, this love turned into a more defined passion after Williams’ first visited Europe in 1953. He immediately fell in love with Paris, and was greatly inspired by the French cooking culture — wandering around the city’s tiny cooking shops helped stoke the fire that created a true culinary destination.

“I never really got over that trip,” Chuck says. “And all these years later, I know that every trip I have ever taken … has been an extension of that first trip to Paris in 1953.”

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After moving to Sonoma, California, Chuck met a group of friends that all shared a deep love for cooking — beyond the typical processed or no-prep foods that were common in post-war America. After purchasing an old hardware store in downtown Sonoma, he turned part of it into a little shop of his own, and added some kitchen and cooking tools to the stock. “That was the real beginning of the business,” he says. “A kind of accident.”

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He kept the store’s name simple: Williams-Sonoma. “If you stop to think about it, it wasn’t a good choice,” he says. “A lot of people did have trouble getting it right. Some called it Sonoma-Williams, and even more call it William Sonoma and think my name is Bill Sonoma.”

The now iconic pineapple logo was developed by a local artist in Sonoma, which he had seen atop the gateposts of grand houses and interpreted as a symbol of hospitality.

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Chuck’s business, which set a standard for customer service, took off and helped fuel a revolution in American cooking and entertaining that continues today.

Today, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a multi-channel specialty retailer of high quality products for the home that now includes Williams-Sonoma, the Pottery Barn brands (Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen), West Elm, Mark & Graham and Rejuvenation.

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Happy 99th Birthday Chuck!

 

Easy, Chic Styling for Small Console Tables

Decorating, How-To | | | 3 Replies

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Styling is harder than it looks — somehow, even copying a catalog photo move for move still doesn’t always turn out right. We love Interior Designer Jana Bek‘s approach to styling — relax, and have fun with it! When you take a happy, natural approach to styling your home, it’ll feel natural and happy — even if it’s not catalog perfect.

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Take a peek at Jana’s easy styling tips for small console tables in an entry — one of the hardest parts of the home to tackle. Then, start stocking up on decor so you can practice and play in your own home!

(Photos by Meghan Cavanaugh Photography)

Easy Chic Styling for Small Console Tables

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Even if you have a petite console you want to style, it can still pack a pretty punch!

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Height always adds interest, so with a narrow table, a tall plant, (like the orchid seen in this Wichita Falls client’s home) accomplishes that without overwhelming the table, as a lamp might. Pottery Barn frames are another go–to of mine for height, as they have a few beautiful styles with interesting borders, like the pearl inlaid one seen here, which adds additional height to an 8×10 frame.

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If you are buying items online for a smaller space – pay close attention to dimensions – this Pottery Barn mercury tray is actually a vanity tray; just large enough to stash keys and small clutter.

Suggested decorative items:
Mother of Pearl Picture Frames, Brynn Mirrored Tray, Live Orchid, Clementine Homescent Collection

See more of Jana’s tips here. 

A Simply Beautiful (and Quite Charming!) Fall Tabletop + Win a Set of Our Cambria Dinnerware!

Decorating, How-To, Inspiration | | | 8 Replies

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Out with the old, in with the new! With the first day of fall officially behind us (adios, summer!), it feels like the perfect time to switch out our outdoor dinnerware for rich autumn hues. We love how deep olive green, bright pumpkin orange and a splash of sunflower yellow define the color palette for this lovely tabletop by Joelle Charming.

The simple but statement making arrangement features our Cambria Dinnerware (in a new Olive hue),  Perotti Flatware and Cliff Wood & Metal Lanterns.

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Plus, we LOVE this delicious, fall-inspired rum cocktail recipe she whipped up with Ron Zacapa 23 Rum:

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Ingredients:

Spoonful of raw sugar (to taste)
A few dashes of Angostura bitters
2 oz. of spiced rum
Orange peel

Instructions:

Muddle together the sugar and bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass and add the rum. Mix together with a spoon and add ice. Squeeze the juice from the peel of an orange on top, and serve cold.

Notes: 

You can also use sugar syrup or a sugar cube, if you prefer.

A Different Kind of Trick or Treat: Bloody Tomato Soup and Focaccia Fingers for Halloween

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 2 Replies

Post written exclusively for Inside & Out by Alison Strickland of Two of a Kind using our Periodic Table Cocktail Plates, Beaker Recycled Glass Tumblers, and Mr. Bones Cocktail Napkin Set.  

Take a break from Halloween sweets and dig into a bowl of “bloody”tomato soup with a side of cheesy focaccia “fingers,”(a fun alternative to your classic grilled cheese). Dunking is a must! And did I mention there’s bacon in the soup?

Creamy Tomato Soup and Cheesy Focaccia

Bloody Tomato Soup and Cheesy Focaccia Fingers

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS
Cheesy focaccia:
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh (or 2 teaspoons dried) oregano, divided
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

Tomato soup:
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh (or 1/4 teaspoon dried) thyme
1 bay leaf
1 15 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
1/4 cup heavy cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS:
Make the focaccia:

  1. In a large bowl, combine water and yeast, stirring until yeast dissolves. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous pinch of black pepper.
  2. Add 3 cups flour and stir everything until it comes together to form a shaggy ball. Then knead the dough by hand on a well-floured work surface for about 5 minutes. Flatten dough slightly, sprinkle on 1/2 cup cheese and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed, about 5 more minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. While dough is rising, combine remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) oregano in a small bowl.
  4. Oil a rimmed baking sheet. After dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to the prepared baking sheet; let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Using your fingers, stretch the dough so it evenly covers the bottom of the baking sheet. Cover the dough loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  7. With your fingertips, poke dimples at 2-inch intervals over the entire surface of the dough. Brush olive oil/oregano mixture on surface of the dough and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until golden brown, 18-20 minutes.
  8. Once focaccia cools, cut into 1-inch-wide “fingers”
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Make the soup:

  1. In a large pot, cook bacon on medium heat until fat renders and bacon crisps, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add butter, garlic, onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste begins to darken, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove soup from heat and purée. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Home Sweet Home: Turn Your Home Into a Haven with a Pottery Barn and Zillow Sweepstakes

Decorating | | | 1 Reply

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For most of us, a change in weather motivates a change in the rest of our surroundings, too. As fall slowly but surely arrives, and the air turns just a little bit crisper, it’s easy to start dreaming of piles of knit blankets, cozy pillows, shag rugs and fluffy duvets to stay warm.

This season, we’re here to help. We’ve partnered with Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen and Zillow for a sweepstakes that offers one lucky winner the chance to decorate their space with $15,000 in home furnishings from Pottery Barn.

Turn your home into a haven this fall — enter for a chance to win, here.

How to Throw a Mad Scientist Halloween Party

Entertaining, Holiday | | | 3 Replies

Make no bones about it! Our Mad Scientist Halloween Party has everything to help you get experimental this Halloween. Take a look at our creepy collection and our favorite Mad Scientist Party tips, below!

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Need an easy solution for sweet treats? Buy gummies and candies in creepy, crawly shapes (We love these!) to display on trays and in bowls. Deviled eggs get some serious ick factor when topped with cross-cut green olives with pimentos — don’t they look like eyeballs?

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Bar time! Use food coloring to make your cocktails bright slime green, or mix wine cocktails in a deep blood red for a spooky chemistry set bar display.

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We love this quirky alternative to your average olive and cheese plate. Use toothpicks to attach cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, olives and basil in a molecular-model like display. (You’ll want to serve them on our Periodic Cocktail Platter, of course)

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Add something sweet to your drink station, too! Snap off strips from a bar of white chocolate and use icing to attach a dried cranberry to the top — voila! A creepy, bloody finger that’s perfect for garnishing cocktails.

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Popcorn is a great casual snack for parties — make your batch seem a little fancier with a side of different spices and cheeses for toppings, and serve with our Alligator Serve Bowl and Condiment Set.

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Make sure every spot in your house look extra spooky — we love to fill up bookshelves with candles, glowing skulls and every sort of Halloween knick knack you can imagine!

See all of our Halloween parties here.