Category Archives: Entertaining

Liven Up your Halloween Bash with this Blackberry Smash

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TGIH – Thank Goodness It’s Happy Hour friends! This week we’re continuing our Friday Cocktail Series with a full-of-flavor Blackberry Smash crafted by Eden Passante from Sugar and Charm. Served in our Library Glassware, this refreshing sip is just too good to wait until Halloween to serve. We’re planning on whipping up a few this weekend – no skull accessories required, but they sure are fun!


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RECIPE: Blackberry Smash

For the blackberry simple syrup:

1 C water
1 C sugar
1 C blackberries

Put all ingredients over medium high heat until the blackberries start to burst and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat to cool. Makes 11 oz of simple syrup

1 1/4 ounce gin
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce blackberry simple syrup
crushed ice

Pack a rocks glass with crushed ice. In a shaker, mix the Gin, lemon juice and blackberry simple syrup together. Shake, pour over the crushed ice and finish with a drizzle of blackberry simple syrup on top.

For the rest of the cocktails featured in this scary good bar scene, click HERE! For Eden’s tips & tricks for throwing the ultimate Halloween party click HERE.

And to shop our entire Halloween Barware Collection click right HERE!

(Photography by Madcitizen)

A Frighteningly Good Cocktail Recipe for Halloween

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The countdown to Halloween is officially on! Do you know what you’re going to be yet? To get you in the mood for the spooky season, we asked Eden from the ever-lovely blog Sugar and Charm to share some of her favorite Halloween cocktail recipes. Her creations are sure to be a hit at any haunted fete you throw this season. Especially when served from a Halloween bar that looks so frighteningly good!!

Sugar and Charm + Pottery BarnIMG_2867IMG_2918

Coffin cheese – Halloween genius!!

Sugar and Charm + Pottery BarnIMG_26896NnZJJDcoxI8Ari3147Y9YMS_I3c22DYKKqjJgOJURA

RECIPE: Blueberry Lavender Martini

For the blueberry lavender simple syrup:

1 C water
1 C suger
2 T fresh lavender
1 C blueberries

Put all ingredients over medium high heat until the blueberries start to burst and the mixture thickens. Remove from heat to cool. Makes 11 oz of simple syrup

For the martini:

2 oz vodka
2 oz simple syrup
Lavender bitters
Crushed Ice

Mix 2 oz vodka and 2 oz simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a martini glass. Add lavender bitters and spring of fresh lavender to finish.

IMG_2811RECIPE: Skull Shot

1 1/2 oz of coffee vodka
1 oz bailey’s
1/2 oz espresso

Pour the coffee vodka into a shot glass. Slowly pour the bailey’s on top so it separates from the vodka. Drip in the espresso on top to create the marbled look.

Makes 1 shot.

Want to replicate this killer party?? Click HERE to get style tips and party ideas from Sugar and Charm! Happy Haunting!!

Sweet Paul’s Top 10 Fall Recipes

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In need of some new dishes to add to your fall repertoire this week? Take a page out of our Designer Spotlight Sweet Paul’s magazine — these 10 delicious fall recipes will have your guests (and your family!) asking for thirds in no time. Thanksgiving Turkey

1. My Turkey Recipe: Perfectly simple for Thanksgiving beginners.

Salted Caramel Cake

2. Salted Caramel Chocolate Layer Cake: A decadent flourish to end any meal! (Hey, bikini season is over — right?)

Sweet Potato Latkes

3. Sweet Potato Latkes: A luscious but light fall meal — pair with a fresh, green salad!

Marzipan Apples

4. Marzipan Baked Apples: We love this sophisticated, earthy take on a classic baked apple dessert.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

5. Braised Short Ribs: Slow cooked and rich in seasoning — this is the ultimate fall entrée.


6. Apple Beignets with Caramel Sauce: Honestly, who can say no to mini doughnuts?

Espresso Maple Bacon

7. Espresso Maple Lacquered Bacon: Need we say more? This could top everything from pancakes to pork roast.

Pumpkin Bruschetta

8. Pumpkin Bruschetta: A very autumn-twist on one of our favorite summer appetizers.

Mushroom and Sage Tart

9. Mushroom Tart with Sage & Asiago: We love this rustic tart for an easy fall dinner — just buy puff pastry from your local grocery store!

Cauliflower Soup

10. Roasted Cauliflower Soup: Take a break from heavy fall stews and treat yourself to this refreshing roasted and blended cauliflower soup this autumn.

See more of Sweet Paul’s recipes here, check out our Q&A with him here, and take a peek at our special feature with him on, too.

Spotlight on Our Favorite Fall Foodie: Q&A with Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul

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For us, fall is all about food. As soon as the weather turns crisp, it’s hard not to crave all of the decadent dishes and comforting recipes that weren’t quite right for summer. That’s why we’re shining our spotlight on Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul this month. Over the past 6 years, the once little blog highlighting the Norweigan-born food and stylist’s favorite recipes and crafts exploded into a online magazine followed by millions and a print quarterly sold nationwide in specialty stores. Praised by the New York Times as a “trove of seasonal delights,” Sweet Paul is a visual feast of easy, elegant food and style that we can’t get enough of.

Xmas_GloggKeep reading to see Paul’s favorite fall entertaining tips, tricks and recipes!

Q: What are the first 5 ingredients you think of when someone says “fall”?
A: “Anything earthy and comforting: Mushrooms, polenta, nuts, root vegetables and apples.”

Q: What’s your favorite fall recipe of all time?
A: “I think it has to be beef bourguignon — it’s so simple to make, and it’s the perfect dish for a chilly fall evening.”

Q:  What do you consider a fall cocktail necessity?
A: “I love to make flavored simple syrups. It’s really easy, and gives any kind of cocktail a great flavor. Use cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and other seasonal spices to add a fall flavor to your favorite mixed drink.”


Q: What type of parties do you like to host (or attend!) in the fall?
A: “For me, fall is about simple get togethers with friends, good cocktails, plenty of wine, and delicious food. A great dinner party is all about the company.”

Q: What are your favorite entertaining secrets?
A: “Make people feel at ease, invite a good mix of people, and make food that you can cook beforehand — that way, you don’t have to slave away in the kitchen while your guests are there.”

SweetPaulStay tuned for more of Paul’s favorite fall recipes later this month — and don’t forget to check out Sweet Paul for even more fall foodie inspiration.

Behind the Scenes: A Pottery Barn Thanksgiving

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In the middle of the summer — when most of us are at the beach or the pool trying to stay cool — our catalog team has holiday on their mind. This July, when the California sun was at its peak, the team was working tirelessly in a beautiful barn in Bodega, California, putting one of our main Thanksgiving catalog spreads together.

Take a look at some of our favorite iPhone snaps from behind the scenes, below — and don’t forget to check out our latest catalog to see the incredible final results!


Rustic and lovely — this candle display would be so easy to accomplish at home.

IMG_4290The amazing set team set out a full Thanksgiving spread upstairs and rigged chandeliers from the beams of this 19th century barn in Northern California.
IMG_4289Inspiration for Thanksgiving side dishes, galore!
IMG_4288The wine wasn’t real, but all of the models cheered like it was! IMG_4284Another shot of the amazing beams and ceiling in the barn’s upstairs area. IMG_4283We loved this little bar set up! Olive branches are such a perfect, easy way to add greenery to a Fall display. IMG_4280Almost dinnertime! We all had to be patient while the team put finishing touches on everything.

IMG_4294The food looked delicious — but anyone on set was forbidden to steal a bite! :)


The photographer quickly runs through photos after the shoot, to make sure goatsYup, it was a real barn — goats and all! (Not seen above: a donkey, chickens and a very cute barn cat.)
DSC_0163A view from the exterior — such a gorgeous space!

Don’t forget to check out our latest catalog and our newest collection at Pottery Barn to see the final results from this stunning shoot.

A Margarita Recipe with a Twist: Ken Fulk’s Favorite Cocktail Tips

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What’s Ken Fulk’s biggest weakness? “My number one guilty pleasure would be my fondness for a really well-made margarita,” says Ken.  “I don’t think there’s a time that I would say no to one. I tend to be pretty good and not over-indulge, but, it’s like a reward at the end of a hectic day. I’m not a chocolate guy, I’m not a french fry guy — but I’m a margarita guy.”

His refreshing margarita recipe — named after two of his three beloved golden retrievers — gets an effervescent twist thanks to mint and soda. Watch him make this delicious cocktail and get the full margarita recipe below.

Delilah & Hubbell

1.5 oz Don Julio Reposado
1 oz Pink Grapefruit Juice
¾ Fresh Lime Juice
7 Mint Leaves
.5 oz Agave Syrup
Top with Soda
Garnish: Mint Leaves

Prep: In a shaker, add the mint and agave syrup and lightly muddle. Add the remaining ingredients except the soda, add ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice and top with soda and stir. Garnish with mint.


PS: Want the scoop behind these amazing malachite walls during our Ken Fulk catalog shoot? Ken worked with the talented decorative painter Caroline Lizarraga to custom design this stunning paint treatment. “I have a great love of malachite,” says Ken. “I love the color, the sort of swirling marbleized quality of it.” Ken’s own collection of malachite bar accessories and a 15-foot malachite painted wall in his studio led to the creation of this version for our shoot with Douglas Friedman for the exclusive Pottery Barn and Ken Fulk collection.

See the full collection here.

A Magical Party Guide: Ken Fulk’s Expert Entertaining Tips

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(Photo via Douglas Friedman)

Although beautiful design is his bread and butter, Ken Fulk is just as well-known for throwing one fabulous fête. From Moroccan-themed penthouse soirées, to Sunday suppers with mashed potatoes and roast chicken, Ken knows how to put together the perfect get-together from start to finish.

(There’s more than one reason we decided to launch our exclusive collaboration with him. See the Ken Fulk and Pottery Barn collection here. )

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“Whenever I plan a party, I imagine it unfolding like a beautiful movie inside my mind. There are establishing shots of the space, scenes of guests arriving, close-ups of late-night silliness; there is always the perfect song playing in the background,” says Ken.

Read on to get in the party-planning mood with Ken’s favorite tips, tricks and incredibly inspirational ideas — plus, some of our favorite photos from our #KenFulkxPB events.

Ken’s Top Magical Party Tips:

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  • The invitation is more important than you think! It sets the stage for your party from the get-go. Going formal? Consider a handwritten invitation with a flower. If your party is more casual, go digital — but skip the pre-made template. “I prefer to make my own email invitations by layering some fun copy over an evocative snapshot,” says Ken.
  • Throw a few wild cards into your guest list. “When crafting your guest list, remember: The magic happens when you mix it up. Don’t be afraid to invite your favorite grande dame and your punk rock neighbor to the same dinner,” says Ken.
  • “Don’t give party favors no one wants. A goodie bag filled with freebies isn’t really a gift,” says Ken. Want to do something practical that everyone will love? Box up desserts or leftovers in cute boxes or mason jars with ribbon, or give out a copy of your playlist to guests as they leave.
  • Fresh cut flowers are a must for any party — whether you’re entertaining in a grand ballroom or a tiny apartment, there’s no better way to bring life to a space. Go big, but keep it simple — even with a limited budget, you can go cheap and cheerful with sunflowers and daffodils.

Ingredients to the perfect party:

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  1. A magical atmosphere.
  • Dim the lights: everything and everyone will look better.
  1. Some seriously delicious bites.
  • “Don’t be shy about serving take-out presented in beautiful serving dishes,” says Ken. “It takes the stress out of entertaining, which will make you a happier host.”
  • Keep it simple. “First and foremost, the meal should be delicious. For the Sunday suppers I host at my home, I’ll serve roast chicken and mashed potatoes. No one leaves disappointed.”
  • Want something a little fancier? Have one of your favorite restaurants provide a few small bites. Ken’s particularly fond of these three:
    Jon & Vinny’s (Los Angeles)
    Marlowe (San Francisco)
    Carbone (NYC)


  1. Plenty of cocktails & mocktails.
  • Have a tray of drinks ready when guests arrive — both you and your guests will be grateful!
  • Don’t forget mocktails and spritzers for those guests that prefer their drinks non-alcoholic.

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  1. A groovy playlist.
  • “Make three different playlists: one to set the mood for arrival, a second more ambient mix to allow for conversation, and a third that gets everyone up and dancing,” says Ken.
  • Keep the stereo remote within arm’s reach. “Party volume tends to ebb and flow, and you don’t want to be frantically looking for the controller,” says Ken.
  • “A DJ for a dance party is a must — even if the DJ is you,” says Ken. Who’s Ken’s favorite DJ? The gorgeous and talented DJ Kiss is a must-have at his more festive get-togethers. Keep reading to get her playlist that’s ready to go for your next party!

Want to learn more about Ken Fulk? Click here to see his full collection, get the behind the scenes scoop and watch some of our favorite videos.

Q&A with Katie Armour of Matchbook Magazine

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Lifestyle guru Katie Armour is an arbiter of understated style. Along with founding the digital ‘zine sensation Matchbook Magazine, she also curates a collection of up and coming artists, runs her own blog The Neotraditionalist and lights up our Instagram and Pinterest feeds on the regular. We also share her obsession with pugs!

A recent relocation to Chicago and an engagement(!), means Katie is going to be hosting her first Thanksgiving in a brand new home and for some very special people in her life. She turned to Pottery Barn to set a chic timeless table, but we couldn’t let her go without getting her tips & tricks for effortless holiday entertaining.

What are some of your top tips to hosting Thanksgiving in a small home?

Stay organized and prepare in advance! We prep the majority of the meal before our guests arrive so my fiancé and I aren’t fighting for kitchen space. The cocktail ingredients are on our bar cart and the side dishes ready to serve. Embrace the coziness of your small space. Light candles and keep the meal simple, but scrumptious.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving cocktail to serve? 

This time of year I love to serve a Maple Bourbon Smash. They’re easy to make for your guests and taste delicious. We use 2 oz. Bulliet Bourbon, 1 oz. Vermont maple syrup, and 1 oz. fresh lemon juice. Combine everything in a ice-filled cocktail shaker and stir for 15 seconds. Strain the drink into an old-fashioned glass with ice (I prefer one big cube) and you’re done! I usually add a lemon twist for garnish.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes?

How to choose?! This year we’ll be serving balsamic-roasted brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, and corn bread. We may also add some sweet potato casserole to the mix–not ideal for the waist-line, but mouth-watering good.

Any tips for hosting a Thanksgiving with pets?

We keep our pug Alfred entertained (and out from underfoot!) with a new bone and his bed in a far corner. I like to think his monogrammed, plaid dog bed adds to the autumnal ambiance.

What are your favorite, easy, affordable tips to spicing up your home for the holidays?

1. Add greenery! I love fresh blooms in autumnal hues and a few well-placed pumpkins. White pumpkins or gold-painted pumpkins are my favorite.

2. Set the mood with tunes. We have a fun playlist for Thanksgiving and later Christmas that will be on regular rotation throughout the holiday season.

3. Swap out your everyday accessories for cozy, festive pieces. I love cable knit, plaid, or cashmere throws, velvet pillows in rich, fall colors, and colorful table linens that speak to the occasion.

You can shop some of Katie’s holiday must-haves RIGHT HERE!

7 Essential Entertaining Pieces

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You’ve just moved into your first official “It’s all mine!” place — now what? The couch was delivered, the frames are hung and all the pillows are placed in their appropriate spots; it must be time for a party! (And the perfect excuse to stock up on all your entertaining must-haves.)

Don’t know where to start? No problem — we searched our site high and low to help you out. These 7 essential entertaining pieces help you host in style while you make memories with friends and family.

Top Entertaining Essentials 

1. Cheese Board
Nothing goes with a glass of chardonnay quite like a block of brie. Since charcuterie is a staple appetizer for any and all kinds of entertaining, you’ll need a cheese board for all the fixings. Our Marble Cheese Board is one of those simple, classic, serving pieces that goes with everything, and makes any kind of food look good.

2. Barware
Sometimes a party needs more than just wine. When that’s the case, sip on some whisky or mix up a mojito to serve in the Schott Zweisel Barware set. Made of shatter-resistant glass, the Highball and Double-Old Fashioned styles bring casual appeal to entertaining. (PS: You can get them monogrammed, too!)

3. Cocktail Shaker
It’s easy to shake off the day and make a bunch of martinis for friends when you have the right tools. The Harrison Cocktail Shaker is a piece that’s pretty and functional. Party on!

4. Chip and Dip Platter
Sometimes happiness is as simple as chips and dip (or veggies and dip for all you health nuts). That’s why something like this Rhodes platter is a definite necessity when it comes to entertaining

5. Serving Platter
Design tip to remember: Basics are best — especially when you’re buying for a new home! And shopping for basics is even better when they’re as beautiful as our Napoli Oval Serving Platter. It’s perfect for propping up a turkey at Thanksgiving or serving loads of bruschetta at a backyard bash.

6. The Perfect Bar
You’ll add an extra dash of grandiose to every cocktail hour when the Ludlow Trunk Cabinet is the star. Bar carts are trendy and adorable — but when it comes to your first home, a sophisticated, classic, durable and (most importantly) well-stocked bar will never go out of style.

7. Snack Bowls
So much of our focus on food for parties goes to the main meal. It’s important to keep guests happy with little bites to nibble on before the big dish, which means snack bowls are essential to keeping the peace. These Antique Silver Finish Snack Bowls with memorable messages are beautiful gifts to any hostess with the mostest.

See more essential items for moving in and making memories on our Pinterest board Your First Home.


Black Radish Salad and Honey Gin Fizz Recipe from Sunday Suppers

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Did you catch see our dinner party with Karen of Sunday Suppers? If you haven’t, check it out here ASAP. Okay, ready? Good. Now, time to stop drooling over those amazing food photos, and tackle some of those recipes yourself. 036_2L0A07442L0A0744

walnuts and tarragon

Black Radish Salad
serves 2-4

3 to 4 small to medium black radishes
1/3 cup of walnuts, coarsely chopped
Olive oil
6-8 sprigs of fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt
Cracked black pepper

Wash and dry black radishes and trim the ends. Starting with the wide, trimmed end, use a mandoline with a guard to carefully slice each radish into thin rounds, about 1-2mm thick.

On a family style platter, arrange the radish slices in an overlapping pattern of choice. Scatter with chopped walnuts and drizzle with good olive oil. Garnish with roughly torn fresh tarragon, freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste.


Recipe | adapted from Sunday Suppers, Recipes + Gatherings by Karen Mordechai


pink himalayan salt rim

For the Cocktail |
3 ounces gin
1/2 – 1 ounce honey sage syrup
Juice from 1 lime
5 ounces club soda
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Honey sage syrup |
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
5-6 fresh sage leaves

To make the syrup, combine the honey, water and sage leaves in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir until all of the honey has dissolved. Remove saucepan from heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature. Remove sage leaves from the saucepan and discard.

Pour enough pink salt onto a small plate to cover it (remaining salt can always be poured back into it’s container). Run the cut side of a slice of lime around the rim of the glass. Dip the rim into the salt on the plate so that it adheres to the glass.

Fill the glass with a few sage leaves and ice cubes, then add gin, 1/2 ounce of syrup and lime juice, stirring well. Pour in club soda, stirring a bit more, then taste and determine if the drink has enough sweetness. If not, add a bit more. Garnish with an extra sage leaf and serve. Enjoy!