Author Archives: Pottery Barn

5 Easy (and Affordable!) Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Anyone else feel those mid-winter blues this week? January’s half-way point has come and gone, and we’re just starting to realize how much cold weather we have left.

Have no fear — there are some incredibly easy and affordable ways to beat the winter blues until Spring arrives. Take a look at 5 of our favorites!

lemon

1. Eat something sweet and sunny. The bright taste of lemon is an instant pick-me-up. These 27 delicious (and gorgeous) lemony dessert recipes (Hello, warm lemon pudding cake!) are a great place to start. (via Buzzfeed)

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2. Bring a little life into your home. It’s a fact — having a little bit of plant life makes even the dreariest day seem brighter. Create your own indoor jungle with this guide. (via Apartment Therapy)

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3. Play with pops of color. Just because it’s dull and gray outside doesn’t mean your home has to match. Paint one bright accent wall in one of your living spaces! Don’t want to paint? Try something temporary and super playful to brighten your mood, like this paint swatch wall! (via Poppytalk)

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4. Organize it! Clearing out all of the old junk from last year and starting with a blank slate is a lot of work, but well worth it, considering how it will make spending time indoors that much more enjoyable.  Use these expert tips to organize your home room by room.

avocado face mask

5. Treat yourself. Everyone deserves a little luxury! Take an hour to give yourself a little spa treatment — we love this easy avocado face mask. (via Sincerely, Kinsey)

Tell us: How do you like to kick the winter blues? 

Behind the Design: Botanical Prints Inspire our Favorite Birds, Butterflies and Flowers for Spring

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 2 Replies

Piles of 17th, 18th and 19th century botanical books litter the desks in our textile team’s studio at PBHQ. Each book is a confetti explosion of Post-Its, bookmarking inspirational images for our talented team.

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This Spring, these scientific and botanical illustrations served as inspiration for our new Fauna Duvet. Our designers used select illustrations from these books (just like the ones below) as a base for our custom patterns. After hand illustrating new birds, butterflies and flowers, our designers scanned in each illustration and blew up the size and adjusted the image for new details and colors.

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Once the right size is determined, the team creates a pattern including each icon (birds, butterflies, flowers and plants in this case). The pattern has to repeat correctly without looking like it’s actually repeating, which is incredibly difficult.

After a lot of hand-done work and computer magic, our San Francisco team designed what’s now our signature pattern for Spring. The mix of colors and the slightly whimsical note has made it one of our most popular patterns this season, and a welcome break from the snow, rain and sleet outside.

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5 Brilliant Before and Afters: Our Top Pottery Barn Home Makeovers

Decorating, Decorating Inspiration, Inspiration | | | 3 Replies

Whether it’s Pretty in Pink or Extreme Home Makeover, everyone loves a good before and after — including us! We love getting inspired by home makeovers — it’s amazing to see what elbow grease, paint, and great taste can accomplish. Take a look at 5 of our favorite home makeovers and before and afters, below.

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1. Bedroom Makeover: Luxurious Neutrals with Erin Gates

TIP: Want to spice up your neutral color palette? Mix and match patterns to make things interesting without having to repaint any walls.

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2. Before and After: Sarah Dorsey Design’s Entryway Makeover

TIP: Make the most of awkward spaces. Sarah didn’t let her entryway’s sloped ceiling get in the way of storage — these built-ins maximize square footage.

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3. Before and After: Jonathan Stiers’ Breezeway Refresh

TIP: Don’t be afraid of giving an outdoor space the same luxuries — curtains, fluffy pillows and rugs — that you would give an indoor space. When you purchase the right materials, it’ll last you for many summer seasons to come!

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4. A Family Room Makeover Fit for Chic Fun

TIP: If you have a thing for white sofas, slipcovers are the way to go. Just wash them when the spaghetti sauce strikes! Plus, we love the way they look extra shabby-chic as they wear.

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5. Before and After: Jonathan’s Incredible Kitchen Renovation

TIP: Having open shelves were high on Jonathan’s priority list, so he used an over-sized clock to break up all of the lines in the space.

 See more of our favorite spaces here. 

Our 5 Favorite Detox Recipes for a Healthy New Year

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 2 Replies

Hello, Monday! It’s the second week of 2015 — are you still sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions? We’ve rounded up 5 of our favorite delicious detox recipes to help you stick to your goal of healthy eating this year. From green smoothies (yum) to salads to soups, this menu is perfect for a veggie-packed weekly menu.

Detox Recipes for the New Year

These 8 Green Smoothies from The Glitter Guide sound like a delicious way to start easing into eating more greens.

Camille Styles’ Detox Green Smoothie looks pretty amazing, too.

Or, start off the day right with Oh She Glows’ Oatmeal Power Bowl! It only takes 5 minutes (yup) to prep.

Tales of a Kitchen’s Massaged Kale, and Millet Salad might just make us forget about that grilled cheese we wanted for dinner (emphasis on might).

We’re in love with the comforting flavors of Vegan 8’s easy, clean, healthy recipe: Hearty Italian White Bean and Basil Soup.

What are your favorite recipes for healthy eating? 

PS: See more of our favorite recipes here and here.

Easy, Clean, Healthy Recipe: Hearty Italian White Bean and Basil Soup

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 4 Replies

Be honest — you’re feeling the effects of all those holiday food comas right now, aren’t you? We sure are — which is why clean and healthy eating sits at the top of our New Year’s resolution list for 2015.

But cooking and eating healthy isn’t always as easy as we’d like — or so we thought, until we came across the incredibly simple 8-ingredient recipes by Brandi Doming at The Vegan 8.

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Each recipe uses only 8 ingredients (with the exception of water and salt) that can be found in any grocery store. They’re easy, hearty, and delicious. This white bean tomato basil soup looks like just the right way to ease us off our holiday sugar rush — it’s filling, and takes minimal prep and cook time. Plus, we love how Brandi served it in our Vintage Wood Bowls with our Paros Chargers, Belgian Linen Hemstitch Napkins and Great White Dinnerware. It looks gorgeous!

White Bean Tomato Soup 2

Hearty Italian White Bean and Basil Soup
4-5 servings

“This soup is full of Italian herbs and fresh basil and is super hearty thanks to protein-rich white beans and filling brown rice,” Brandi says. “This soup is extremely healthy and low-fat, yet it is so filling thanks to the protein and carb content. No need to sacrifice flavor to eat healthy. This will have your house smelling absolutely amazing too!”

White Bean Tomato Soup 5

Ingredients

Rice:
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth (240 mL)
1/2 cup dry long grain brown rice (72 g)
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Soup:
6 cups low sodium vegetable broth (1440 mL)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (160 g, you will need 1 cup)
4 large garlic cloves, minced (you will need a heaping tablespoon)
2 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper (I added 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
2 15 oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Note: Brandi used an Italian spice blend that you can find at any grocery store — a combo of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, savory, fennel, sage and marjoram. Some versions have red pepper, so  would avoid those as it could make the soup really spicy.

White Bean Tomato Soup 3

Instructions:
In a medium pot, prepare the rice first by bringing 1 cup broth to a boil and then add the rice, salt and stir and immediately turn to the lowest heat setting and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until all the broth is evaporated. Return the lid and let it sit covered 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, chop your vegetables. Add the 6 cups broth to a large pot with only the onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and chili powder. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to medium-high and cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Now add the tomatoes, cover and cook on medium-low for another 10 minutes.

Lastly, add the drained beans, fresh basil and cooked rice. Stir well and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, let it cook on high for 5-10 more mins until heated through. Taste and add any additional spices if necessary, I didn’t add anymore. Serve immediately and garnish with more fresh basil, if desired.

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Get a recipe print out for this yummy white bean and tomato soup plus more of Brandi’s delicious cooking tips on her blog, The Vegan 8.

New Year’s Resolutions: How To Organize Your Home Room by Room

Decorating, How-To | | | 2 Replies

Who doesn’t feel extra motivated to organize your home come January 1st? But as the month wears on, it’s easy to lose steam, and let all of the home organization to-do’s slip to the bottom of the list. This year, we’ve gathered our favorite organization tips and tricks to make sure you can organize your home room by room — and actually (yes, actually!) make it happen. To top it off, our experts share how to make sure your home is organized year round. Read on to get their tips!

(PS: You can see more of the entryway makeover pictured below here.)

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1. Stay Organized: How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

TIP: “Agreements we make with ourselves are easy to fudge: Find someone to commit to your decluttering goal with, whether it’s one person or a group,” says Professional Organizer Jennifer Phelps. “Everyone should set a goal — whether it’s a similar or different project — and hold each other accountable. Encourage each other, confess when you fall behind, and share rewards and celebrations!”

living room

2. Refresh, Renovate and Organize Your Living Room

TIP: “Often, I recommend clients remove everything from the room that isn’t essential, like the couch or TV,” says Professional Organizer Liz Jenkins. “Then, they can group together the decorative items, and donate or discard anything that doesn’t really speak to them or their current style and ‘shop’ from what’s left. Once things are back in place, you can identify holes in your décor and purchase accordingly.”

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3. How to Organize Your Bathroom (and Actually Keep It Clean!)

TIP: Define problem areas. Under the vanity, drawers, medicine cabinets and bathroom shelving become automatic dumping grounds in many bathrooms. Take the time to sort through each space. “I recommend completely emptying the whole area, sorting what you have and then grouping like with like,” says Liz Jenkins. “You may find you have 8 bottles of hair spray but you didn’t realize it because they were scattered around in different spots.”

homeoffice

4. 8 Ways to Organize and Refresh Your Home Office

TIP: Paper is the biggest issue in home offices. Think about going digital as much as possible, but if you’d rather stick to hard copies, you’ll have to get organized. “Rarely does anyone enjoy filing and sorting through paper. But it’s a necessary evil,” Professional Organizer Amy Trager says. “Create paper systems that are realistic and reasonable. Don’t make a system that needs to be kept up on a daily basis if you know you won’t get to it more than once a week.”

entryway

5. Welcome Your Guests With an Impeccably Organized Entryway

TIP: Are you someone who leaves their mail to pile up for days, weeks or even months on the entry console? Try this trick: Put all of your (non-urgent) mail in a pretty basket in your entryway. Instead of stressing about it during the week, save it for a lazy weekend morning, when you can sort through it over a cup of coffee.

January Designer Spotlight: Victoria Smith’s Favorite San Francisco Spots

Behind the Scenes, We Love SF | | | 1 Reply

If you follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter, you know that we’re kind of in love with San Francisco — the home of Pottery Barn Headquarters. It’s hard not to love this city — great food, amazing design and wonderful people. Victoria Smith of SFGirlByBay can certainly relate — her passion for the city of San Francisco and her sophisticated style is part of why we chose her for our Designer Spotlight this month.

Victoria’s collected an incredible stockpile of must-do, must-see, must-taste, must-try activities after 20 years in the City by the Bay. Read on to learn about why she loves San Francisco — plus, get a glimpse inside her gorgeous Bay Area home. 

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PB: What do you think makes San Francisco different from any other city?

VS: Mainly the stunning Victorian architecture and geography of the city. I think most people think we’re nuts to live in such a hilly place. And I also think our proximity to nature makes us very fortunate. You can be fine dining in the city one minute, and take a 20 minute drive and be in Golden Gate Park, Crissy Field, or Lands End seeing the best and most stunning that nature has to offer.

PB: What made you fall in love with San Francisco?

VS: I used to come here every summer as a kid with my family on road trips from Los Angeles. I just thought it was the most magical, free and colorful place I’d ever seen. When I grew tired of life in Los Angeles I moved here (twenty years ago) and felt instantly at home.

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PB: What’s one thing people might not like about San Francisco, but you love?

VS: I think some people may find the weather cold and chilly, but I just find it refreshing. There’s beauty in the fog, and as a photographer it covers the atmosphere like a giant diffuser, creating the most perfect light to shoot in.

PB: How would you describe quintessential San Francisco style? Is that changing at all? 

VS: I’m not sure there’s just one definitive style. I think what’s so great about San Francisco is that anything goes, and the most interesting people and spaces are those with a unique look all their own. I think there’s trends, and there’s a “hipster” look, but the most creative people have sort of their own signature style that’s completely unique to them.

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PB: Where are some of your favorite places to get design inspiration in the city?

VS: I like walking around the city, by neighborhood depending on my mood. Each neighborhood has a unique personality and I’m mostly drawn to the older neighborhoods — like the Mission and its colorful corner stores and alleyways taken over by graffiti, like Clarion Alley. But I also love wandering around the pretty pastel row houses and surf shops in the Sunset District on a foggy day. Chinatown can be crazy and colorful when it lights up at dusk, too. The whole city holds a lot of inspiration for me.

Favorites:
Lunch spot:
Bar Tartine
Place for a girl’s night out: Royal Cuckoo
Local date night: Foreign Cinema
Kitschy tourist spot: Bimbo’s
Place to think and wander: Fort Funston
Secret about your city (secret spot, little known fact, etc.):  There’s a great tree swing at Billy Goat Park at the end of 30th Street in Glen Park. If you hike up the hill from 30th and Beacon Street you’ll see the swing up on the only tall tree in the park. Climb up there for the best view of Noe Valley, the Mission and Downtown beyond. It’s fantastic.

See Victoria’s full feature on PotteryBarn.com. 

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Plus, see more of Victoria’s style and San Francisco adventures on her blog, SFGirlByBay and her book, See San Francisco: Through The Lens of SFGirlByBay.