Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

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

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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.


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.


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.



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

Behind the Scenes, We Love SF | | | 2 Replies

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.


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.


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.

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 

victoria smith-25Plus, 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.


The Top 10 #PBPets of 2014

Behind the Scenes | | | 2 Replies

2014 was the year of the #PBPet on Pottery Barn Instagram. We love seeing how your furry friends love Pottery Barn as much as you do! Turns out, #PBPets love a lot more than just our pet pieces — they love getting cozy in their owners’ favorite Pottery Barn items, too.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.10.49 PM1. Two Copper Hounds‘s Mingus loves our holiday pillows (and our Chesterfield couch, too!).

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.10.58 PM2. Waiting on Martha‘s adorable pup looks right at home on our Sheepskin Rug.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.11.58 PM3. @Henri_the_Frenchi spends his Sunday mornings cuddled up in our cozy duvets.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.12.06 PM4. @Kelsey0Marie‘s cute kitten found the perfect hiding spot in our Antique Silver Serving Bowl.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.11.51 PM5. @Coop.Dog looks particularly playful in one of our rugs.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.11.37 PM6. @MrsBeems little rescue puppy loves to nap on big piles of Pottery Barn pillows.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.11.06 PM7. @Caymus2011 had to snap a shot of their sweet cat snuggled in one of our faux fur throws.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.11.17 PM8. @StyledSnapshots pup is almost camouflaged in our Faux Sheepskin Throw.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.11.24 PM9. Charlie‘s ready for bed, and has already claimed his spot on our Asher Duvet.

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 10.11.43 PM10. @VincenzoPepito — the cutest Frenchie pup you ever did see — spent many summer afternoons on our Torrey Outdoor Furniture.

PS: Don’t forget to submit your photos of your #PBPet on Instagram using the hashtag!

#InstaShop: Get Your Holiday Shopping Done on Instagram!

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We’ve made checking off your holiday shopping list dangerously easy this year — starting today, you can now  shop on Pottery Barn’s Instagram!

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

1. Follow Pottery Barn on Instagram!

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2. See something you like in a photo? (Like this one — pillows only — sorry, cute pup not included!) Click on the link in the Pottery Barn Instagram bio.

3. Tap on the photo that caught your eye in the grid — it’ll take you straight to the page where you can buy it.

Yup, that’s really all you need to do — now, let’s get shopping!

Paris, Je T’aime: Messy Nessy Chic’s Top Parisian Picks

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Once you visit Paris, it tends to make a place in your heart forever. Nothing quite beats the magic of this city — which is why it’s one of the places we love most. We asked one of our favorite Parisians, Vanessa Grall of Messy Nessy Chic, to tell us all about the little things that made her fall in love with her city.

Keep reading to learn about her favorite places in Paris. Plus, see all of our Paris items here.

Q: What do you think makes your city different from any other?
A: There’s just this constant feeling of nostalgia thrown at you every corner you turn, whether it’s recalling a favorite movie scene or just not quite being able to believe we’re not living in the 1930s or some other decade requiring a time machine. Woody Allen really did have that whole time-traveling thing on point with Midnight in Paris.

Q: Why did you decide to live where you live?
A: I’ve always been a big city girl (so far), but I think I need somewhere that doesn’t feel too competitive and fast-paced. In Paris, there’s room for the curious dilletante and the French are still all about perfecting the art of enjoying life. Honestly, sometimes I do wonder how this city manages to keep ticking though.

Q: What made you fall in love with your city?
A: I think it was my first ride on the back of my boyfriend’s scooter that did it.



  • Lunch spot – Marché des Enfants Rouge – a hidden market, the oldest in Paris and a foodie’s dream. The hardest part is choosing which eaterie to settle in.
  • Place for a girl’s night out  – Dinner & cocktails at Le Depanneur, then head across the street at midnight to Le Carmen for dancing in a sumptuous mansion that was once the home of the French romantic composer, George Bizet.
  • Local date night – If it’s special occasion, there’s an Italian restaurant called L’Etage, hidden above a deli in St Germain. But we love a good Vietnamese too and it’s cheap as chips– our local is Dong Huong.
  • Place to think and wander – Montmartre at dusk and on Sundays, along the old inner city railway, Le Petite Ceinture, closed since 1934.
  • Secret about your city (secret spot, little known fact, etc. — it’s okay if you don’t have one!) There’s a secret view of Paris and the Sacré Coeur on the top of a real vineyard in the middle of the city. Not many Parisians even know about it. It’s called Butte Bergeyre, a quiet hilltop village hidden in the 19th arrondissement.

messynessy1Don’t forget to check out Vanessa’s blog, Messy Nessy Chic!


Don’t Mess with Texas: Favorite Texas Spots from A Piece of Toast

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For those of us who have never visited Texas, it’s easy to imagine it as a dry, dusty place full of cowboy boots and hats. But of course, it’s so much more — and that’s why it’s one of the places we love in our City & State Shop this season. We decided to chat with two of our top Texas experts — Molly and Sally Miller from A Piece of Toast — to hear all about their favorite Texas spots and what made them fall in love with their state.


What do you think makes your state different from any other?
What makes Texas noticeably different is the state pride and friendly people. Dallas is comprised of locals and transplants (which we are!) and it makes meeting new people fun and interesting.

Why did you decide to live where you live? What made you fall in love with your state?
The Tex-mex is what made us first fall in love with Texas but the amazing friends and family we have in the state is what has kept us here. Dallas is a great place to live – easy to get around, fantastic shopping, and an artistic community of creatives – but we would happily live in Houston or Austin someday!

Lunch spot: Velvet Taco
Place for a girl’s night out: Bistro 31
Local date night: Fireside Pies or Cane Rosso (both are pizza spots!)
Place to think and wander: The Katy Trail
Secret about your city: The fashion scene is pretty amazing. Chanel Paris-Dallas anyone?

A_Piece_of_Toast_Alys_140723-15See more of these stylish sisters’ favorite things on their blog, A Piece of Toast.


It’s Starting to Feel Like Fall! Waiting on Martha Takes Over PB Instagram

Behind the Scenes | | | 2 Replies


1. The oh-so-talented Mandy Kellogg of Waiting on Martha (our most recent Designer Spotlight!) took over our Instagram last weekend. We had such a fun time learning about how she celebrates her favorite season: Fall!

2. “Fall to me is COZY,” says Mandy. “Getting all sorts of cozy with my PB chunky knit throw, coffee mug and Just Brew It spoon on this rainy fall day.”

3. “Fall to me means DECORATING. Finding lots of decorating inspiration today at my Lenox Mall Pottery Barn.”

4. “Fall means to me CINNAMON, SPICE and EVERYTHING NICE, including my homemade hot mulled wine. Grab my recipe on the Pottery Barn blog!”

5. “Fall to me means PUMPKINS! Picking up all sorts of fall goodies at the farm today.”

6. “Fall to me means FOOTBALL and FOOD. Prepping the table for a little Sunday football and a lot of homemade chili.”

7. “Fall to me means freshly baked DOUGHNUTS. Fueling up on cinnamon doughnuts and apple fritters while gathering inspiration for a little fall decorating this Sunday.”

8. “Fall to me means PUMPKINS. Oh wait did I already say that? Well these are pink so it doesn’t count. I mean pink pumpkins?!?!”

9. “Fall to me means PLAID. Placing my PB basket, faux pumpkins and vintage plaid blanket on the porch to create a festive cozy welcome.”

Win Our Favorite Williams-Sonoma Items to Celebrate Chuck Williams’ 99th Birthday

Behind the Scenes | | | 13 Replies

Chuck’s 99th birthday celebration continues! Did you ever wonder where the Williams-Sonoma pineapple came from? A Sonoma artist came up with the store’s logo, which Chuck had seen atop the gateposts of grand houses as a symbol of welcoming and hospitality.

Enter for a chance to win your own little slice of Williams-Sonoma hospitality with a pineapple hostess gift package, including their quintessential apron and kitchen towels.


1. Williams-Sonoma Solid Petit Adult Apron in Red/ 2. Williams-Sonoma Brass Pineapple Wine Pull/ 3. Williams-Sonoma Brass Pineapple Wine Bottle Stopper/ 4. Williams-Sonoma Logo Kitchen Towels in Red/ 5. Pineapple Wreath Hanger 

See official rules here.

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!


Win a Mauviel Copper Fry Pan to Celebrate Chuck Williams’ 99th Birthday

Behind the Scenes | | | 25 Replies

Did you know? On his first buying trip to France in 1959, Chuck Williams sought out Mauviel, a small, family-owned operation that uses traditional production techniques for its copper pots and pans. Today, Williams-Sonoma customers can still buy Mauviel’s French copper cookware.

Enter for a chance to win one an 8-inch Mauviel Copper Fry Pan from Williams-Sonoma, today!

fry pan

See official rules here.

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Happy Birthday Chuck! Win a Set of Williams Sonoma Cooking Tools

Behind the Scenes | | | 17 Replies

Did you know? In 1956, Chuck Williams opened his first store in Sonoma, California. Although it was originally a hardware store, he added kitchen and cooking tools to transform it into a culinary destination. “That was the real beginning of the business — a kind of accident,” he says.

Celebrate Chuck’s happy accident with one of our favorite Williams-Sonoma cooking tool sets, the All Clad Stainless Steel 7 Piece Cooking Set.


See official rules here.

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!