Author Archives: Pottery Barn

5 Spring Decorating Tips from Our Latest Catalog

Decorating, How-To | | | Leave a comment

To us, spring is less about the weather and more about a feeling (especially this year). Without fail, the end of February feels like the end of winter — even if Mother Nature doesn’t agree — and we want to jumpstart spring decorating in our homes so it feels fresh, clean and bright.

This year, we’ve encompassed that same ambiance in our spring catalogs. Pattern, color, print and plenty of light fill each and every page. Are you ready to start spring decorating? Take a look at some of our favorite tips from our latest catalog.

PS: Pick up a copy yourself from one of our stores to see even more spring decorating ideas!

Spring Bedding Tip 2

Tip: Be brave with patterned pillows — the angles in these two geometric patterns makes them work together despite their opposing hues.

Dining Table Display Spring Tip

Tip: Use hurricanes to add height to your dinnertime display — just make sure they’re not too tall to talk over.

Spring Living Room Display Tip

Tip: Mix and match new and old, expected and unexpected for a surprisingly beautiful display. We love the staggered heights of these found bottles.

2 Spring Gallery Wall Mixed Frames Tip

Tip: There’s no need to keep your gallery wall uniform. Use different frame finishes and sizes for an eclectic, collected look.

2 Spring Bedding Tip

Tip: Use stripes as a neutral — especially when it comes to bedding.

Need more decorating advice? Check out our free design services, and get personalized advice at our free class in all stores on 3/22/15 at 10:00AM, where you can learn simple and affordable ways to refresh your home with new accessories.

See our favorite decorating and design ideas from our Fall catalog.

A Coconut Cake Recipe Inspired by Our Latest Catalog

Behind the Scenes, Entertaining, Recipes | | | 11 Replies

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When the weather starts to get warmer (I know — for some of us it feels like it might never move past freezing), the heavy desserts we once craved during the holidays don’t seem quite right anymore. That’s why we love this light, airy and fluffy coconut cake recipe from Melina of Sugary & Buttery — inspired by this cake on our Vintage Carved Wood Cake Stand from our latest Spring collection:

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Orange Coconut Cream Cake

For the cake:
2¼ cups cake flour
¾ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of teaspoon salt
1½ sticks butter, at room temperature
6 egg whites
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean

For the Frosting:
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 pack (8oz) cream cheese
1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups shredded coconut

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Make the Cake:
Preheat oven to 350° F and grease two 8-inch round cake pans; set aside.

Sift the cake flour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed for 15 seconds to combine.

Cut the butter into pieces, add to the batter and beat on low speed for 1 minute, or until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, condensed milk, orange zest and shredded coconut until combined.

Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the mixture and whisk.

Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat on medium-high for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the remainder of the wet ingredients and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds, or until the batter is well-mixed, light and fluffy.

Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are firm and golden brown and spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Let the cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.

Make the Frosting:
Beat the cream cheese with the electric mixer on high speed for about 5 minutes, scrape down sides.

Add sifted powdered sugar and keep beating on medium speed, then add the milk.

Cut the butter into pieces.

Turn the mixer back up to high speed and add the butter pieces. Keep beating for at least 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

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Assemble the Cake:
Cut off the tops of the cooled cakes if necessary and layer them with the cream cheese frosting.

Frost around the cake, about ½ thick, and cover the cake with shredded coconut.

See more of our favorite recipes here. 

How to Throw a Bridal Shower: The Perfect Party on a Budget

ADVICE, WEDDINGS | | | 8 Replies

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Written exclusively for Pottery Barn by Christy Hulsey, Colonial House of Flowers + Camp Makery
Photography by Izzy Hudgins

I’ve totally reached that part of the year where every single person I know is engaged — and that means bridal showers and parties aplenty. When it’s my job to host one of these parties, I always aim for something effortless, intimate, and relaxed that anyone can do on any budget.

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The secrets to styling party perfection on even the eenciest allowance are right here in a way that’s stylish, chic and easy. Which is no surprise, since Alva & Austrie and The Glitter Life, joined Colonial House of Flowers to illustrate the fine points, with Izzy Hudgins capturing every whimsical, fun and beautiful element.

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Flowers. Want to get a dream bridal shower look for less? Save on fancy decor and stock up on flowers. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy — pick some from your backyard, or pick them up from the grocery store. Arrange them yourself — even make garlands from backyard clippings. That’s what we did here!

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Or use a favorite object to create a centerpiece with your friends. This colorful number on the Pottery Barn Vintage Wood Carved Cake Stand is handmade with a bunch of girlfriends. Darling, right? Plus it can be a hostess gift.

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Decorations. There’s no need to buy new decor — find stuff you have around your house for your perfect  party. Forget stressing over matching china. Instead, mix and match plates, bowls, glasses, vases and votives. The effect is a totally approachable kind of charm that’s warm and inviting.

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Signage. Adding signs gives a crisp, modern and refined element to your party environment. Everyday items like Kraft paper and paint offer an artistic flair that doesn’t break the bank.

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Dress up things by putting the writing on the wall and accenting with cut plants from your backyard — we loved displaying them in the Riddling Rack Succulent Stand, here.

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Drinks. Alcohol is a major expense. Instead of buying bottles of different varieties, pick a signature drink for the night. That way, you only have to purchase one or two types of alcohol that are within your budget. I love Cameron Hughes Wine for exactly this reason — exceptional price and high quality that’s appealing to everybody.

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Side note: cocktail parties are less expensive and versatile compared to sit-down affairs that require meals, dishes, flatware, linens and serving pieces.

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Food. Filet of beef? Please. Instead of serving full size entrees, try offering an array of small size eats — you’ll save a lotta dough on your food budget. Consider labeling the party a “recipe exchange” where guests bring salads and desserts while you provide the main dish to limit costs.

By using these tips for your own, getting creative with food, decor, friends and flowers you can throw party a that is all that of a pricier fete!

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Vendor Credits:
Photography: Izzy Hudgins Photography
Location Selection & Hand lettering: Alva & Austrie, https://www.facebook.com/alvaandaustrie
Flower Selection: Mark Jackson, Cutflower Atlanta
Flowers farm: Rosaprima Roses
Flower Garland, Centerpiece & Halo: Amanda Currier & Christy Hulsey Colonial House of Flowers
Floral Supplies: Syndicate Sales
Hand poured candles: Southern Soy Candle
Models: Maggie Buckley, Marley Jones, Halei Jo Sessum, Ashley Usry & Misty Williamson all of Georgia Southern University
Wardrobe:  Cobbler’s Bench
Wardrobe Styling: The Glitter Life
Ribbon: Lion Offray
Wine Glasses: Dish
Wine: Cameron Hughes
Small Bites: Brownie Brittle

Celebrate The Lunar New Year with These Recipes

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 3 Replies

Written exclusively for Pottery Barn by Jonathan Stiers of The Stiers Aesthetic.

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Chinese Lunar New Year or Spring Festival as it’s also known, is the single, most important social and economic holiday in China. It is a time of celebration — gathering together with family, relaxing and most importantly, feasting! So, what better way to join in the celebration than with a few, classic Chinese recipes and of course, a signature cocktail?!

Lucky Cat Martini (Makes 1 Martini)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Smirnoff® Vanilla Vodka (or other brand of choice)
  • 0.5 ounce Chambord Liquer (inspired by raspberries!)
  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice
  • Bamboo skewers, fresh raspberries & pineapple leaves for garnish

Directions:

1. Using a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice; combine the vodka and pineapple juice, and shake vigorously until combined – about 20 seconds.

2. Strain into a chilled, Schott-Zwiesel martini glass, topping glass off with leftover foam. (Martini glasses may be chilled in the freezer, 30 minutes prior to serving)

3. Sink Chambord to the bottom of the glass. To do so, hold the cap, spout or jigger up against the inside of the glass and slowly pour, letting the Chambord sink to the bottom.

4. Using a bamboo skewer, garnish with a fresh pineapple leaf and raspberry.

5. Serve on the Harrison bar tray, sprinkled with Chinese fortune cookies.

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Chicken & Broccoli Stirfry (Makes 4 Servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breast (about 2 breasts), cubed
  • 3 scallions, whites only, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 -inch piece peeled fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon, plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • About 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 to 6 cups broccoli, trimmed sliced stalks and medium florets (keep the 2 cuts separate)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • Garnish: toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the scallion whites, half of the garlic, half of the ginger, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch (you’ll use the remaining TABLESPOON later), 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1 tablespoon of sherry, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. Mix the remaining cornstarch with 1/3 cup water and set aside.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat. Add the broccoli stems, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds (make sure your broccoli doesn’t have any excess water to avoid a lot of unwanted popping ‘n such when you add to the pan). Add the broccoli florets and the remaining garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons of water, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

4. When the skillet is HOT again, heat 2 more tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken and chili flakes and stir-fry, until the chicken loses its raw color and gets a little brown; about 3 minutes.

5. Add the hoisin sauce and return the broccoli to the pan, tossing to heat through. Stir in the reserved cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil to thicken. If needed, add a little water to thin the sauce.

6. Taste and season with salt and pepper and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions; serve with Jasmine rice. (Try serving it on something super colorful, like this turquoise Cambria Dinnerware.)

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Sauces

Plum, chili garlic, hot mustard and of course, soy round out this must list of dipping sauces, perfect for these classic, Chinese Pork Dumplings; recipe below.

Dumplings

Chinese Pork Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 rounded potsticker wraps – OR – wonton wrappers cut in to circles
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger root
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons thinly slice green onion
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 cups, finely shredded cabbage

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the pork, ginger, garlic, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, egg and cabbage, stirring until well mixed.

2. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of pork filling onto each wonton skin. Moisten edge of ONE HALF with water and fold edges over to form a half-moon shape. Roll edges and pinch slightly to seal in filling.

3. Meanwhile, fill a wok, 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a boil.

4. Place dumplings in a bamboo steamer, lined with parchment paper.

5. Place steamer on top of wok and steam dumplings for 20 minutes (No peeking!).

6. Serve immediately.

Check out more of Jonathan’s entertaining tips and recipes here, and more of our favorite recipes here.

How To: Decorate a Coffee Table for Spring

Decorating, How-To | | | 3 Replies

Even if it’s still snowing outdoors, you can help spring get a head start in your home. Last week, two of our amazing in-house designers, Brett and Trudy, hosted a live video event to help you refresh your home for spring. [See a recorded version of this live event here.]

The talented duo had some fantastic tips for decorate a coffee table for spring — some of them illustrated in this video!

Want to decorate your coffee table for spring? Keep it simple and stick to a mix of 5 items:

A decorative box: For storage and height.

Botanical element (flowers, branches, plants, or even shells and stones): Something organic helps pull the entire look together.

Books: Stack them horizontally or vertically for visual interest.

Unique treasures: Mix textures, colors and metals for visual tension. Use something unexpected!

A tray: Gathering things together in a tray sets them apart and makes them feel special. Plus, it makes it easier to clear the coffee table when company arrives.

See more of our video how-to guides here.

The Ultimate Pottery Barn Dream Bridal Shower!

REGISTRY | | | Leave a comment

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Often, a bridal shower is the first time the bliss of happily ever after sinks in for a new bride-to-be. Unlike a bachelorette or even an engagement party, it’s really the first time she gets to see what her new future is going to look like, thanks to her family and friends.

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We believe that just like the big day itself, a shower should be everything a bride-to-be dreams of — and more. That’s why we paired up with the talented Leslie Kaplan of ENCORE EVENT DESIGN to put together the ultimate dream Pottery Barn bridal shower for the newly-engaged (and Pottery Barn registered!) Jenny Bernheim of Margo & Me.

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This dream shower was set in the historic Los Angeles venue Vibiana. Leslie used the marble and Roman architectural backdrop to host a Parisian-inspired shower for Jenny, her fiancé Freddie and Jenny’s sidekick French Bulldog — Margo.

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Scroll down to dive into this dreamy bridal-shower shoot — plus, get Jenny and Leslie’s decorating, entertaining and wedding registry tips, too!

Designer/Producer: ENCORE | LESLIE KAPLAN EVENT DESIGN/ Model: Jenny Bernheim, Margo & Me/ Venue: Vibiana/ Photographer: Brian Leahy Photography/ Rentals: Revelry Event Designers/ Florist: Petals LA/ Stationery: Emily Devitt Designs/ Macarons: Vanilla Bake Shop/ Hair: Karen Barajas/ Makeup: Melanie Mills

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Blush, soft grays and creams with metallic accents combine in an elegant Parisian-style tablescape. Leslie chose tapered candles to add just a slight touch of formality to the table.

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The cascading ribbons and vellum placecards add just the right amount of whimsy, don’t you think?

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Our Mirror Faceted Chargers actually inspired the table’s entire look — Leslie used them to bring a modern edge to the feminine design.

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Piles of Pottery Barn wedding gifts wrapped in satin bows — we’ll take them all, please!

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We love how Jenny brought her fashion expertise to the table in this stunning shoot. The soft pinks and creams in Leslie’s tabletop design inspired Jenny’s chic look.

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Cocktail anyone? Both Jenny and Leslie know that having a signature cocktail takes any event to the next level. Vibiana created these fresh lemon and lavender infused creations served in some of our favorite glassware on our Great White Tray.

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Want to make one for yourself? Mix gin, lavender infused simple syrup, lemon, crushed ice, lemon peel and lavender greens.

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Jenny registered for a perfect mix of classic and playful Pottery Barn items. We love the approach she took to registering: Everyday essentials with a few fun items (like our stylish Antique Silver Wine Cooler) mixed in, too.

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Our classic silver frames make a great bridal shower gift — take a tip from Jenny, and gift your frame with a photo of the couple already inside.

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Your wedding registry is a great way to stock your bar so you can entertain together in style. Our classic Library Barware was one of Jenny’s favorite picks.

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Wishing you and yours a happily ever after!

Get more wedding and registry advice here.

Easy, Last Minute Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipe from The Vegan 8

Entertaining, Holiday, Recipes | | | 1 Reply

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Did you forget Valentine’s Day is tomorrow? It’s okay, we’ve been there! Don’t worry, we have a last minute Valentine’s Day Dinner recipe that will make your significant other think you’ve been planning for weeks — or, that you can enjoy on your own.

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This Poblano Pepper Cream Sauce and Pasta from The Vegan 8 looks particularly delicious in our Cambria Footed Bowl don’t you think? We love how Brandi from The Vegan 8 creates delicious, simple recipes that only use 8 (!) ingredients. Best of all, this comforting, decadent recipe comes together easily for a last minute Valentine’s Day dinner — the only serious prep requires soaking the cashews in boiling water for a couple hours.

Cashews? That’s right — this creamy decadent sauce is entirely dairy free. Trust us, you wouldn’t know it from the taste — but your body will thank you for it.

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Sweeten the deal with another ridiculously simple recipe — 1 bowl peanut butter chocolate chip cake (easily split between two people, but could happily be eaten by one).

Check out the full recipes + printable recipe card for both here.