Category Archives: Decorating

Before and After: Jana Bek’s Amazing Great Room Makeover

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(Written exclusively for Inside & Out by Jana Bek)

I recently refreshed two spaces in our home, and I’m excited to share them with you today!

Our great room and adjoining breakfast nook were long overdue for a makeover — they had some good foundation pieces but they did not flow with the light and airy aesthetic of the rest of our home. When refreshing these spaces, I really wanted to work with as many existing elements as I could, doing so enabled me to stretch my budget without compromising the designs. I hope my tips will help you to do the same in your own home!

First, let’s look at some before photos:

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Painting is one of the most affordable ways to refresh any room. Our spaces were a sad shade of yellow, but this soft white brightened up the rooms beautifully.

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Accent Pillows

Our sofa is a heavy chenille, and not the greatest shade of green, but patterned accent pillows in fresh shades of green, gave the sofa a new lease on life. If your master bedroom is feeling dated, new bedding and accent pillows will have the same effect!

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Flowers and Fauna

Adding greenery to a room instantly adds life, makes the space look lived in, and in turn inviting. I fell in love with these happy faux broad leaf palms as soon as I saw them. Adding them atop our mantle added interest and height. An added bonus is I don’t have to worry about watering them.

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Reimagining Items

The bookshelf in the great room looked too formal and again heavy for the aesthetic I was after – removing the glass doors instantly lightened them up. In our breakfast nook, between the chair and table legs, the space looked busy, a tablecloth was a simple solve.

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Rug to the Rescue

I’ve never been a fan of the tile in our breakfast nook but was not up for retiling. This round jute rug added the beach vibe I was after and draws attention to the dining area and away from the tile. If retiling isn’t in your budget, a rug can be a wonderful solution.

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Save vs. Spend

In our breakfast nook, the light fixture and chairs had to go. I found the vintage bamboo chairs at a local thrift store and painted them a fresh coat of white. Saving in this way enabled me to splurge on the jaw dropping Pottery Barn chandelier. It’s become quite the focal point and as we have an open floor plan it can be enjoyed from multiple rooms.

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The rooms are much more inviting and we love spending time in them more than ever before. I hope my insights & tips find a place in your home!

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Home Office Upgrade with Erin Gates of Elements of Style

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Office decor can quickly become an afterthought when it comes to home decorating. Since it’s a private space — often used by just one person — it can feel pointless to spend too much money decorating your home office.

But as Erin Gates knows, getting your office space right is crucial. Everything from lighting, to seating, to color can impact how much you get done in a day. We worked with Erin to give her new Boston-based office for Erin Gates Design and Elements of Style a little upgrade. We love how she used some of our classic office favorites — like our Daily System and Nash Swivel Chair — with a few unexpected decorative twists to show off her own style.

Read on to see more photos, plus get her expert tips to turn your office into a working wonderland.

Photos by Sarah Winchester

Featured in this office: Nash Leather Swivel Chair, Clift Glass Table Lamp, Silver Hammered Tray, Geode Bookends, Daily System

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1. When furnishing a home office, make sure you consider non-office specific furniture as a resource — small dining tables make great desks and dining chairs are a comfy (and pretty) alternative to desk chairs.

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2. Organization is the most essential part of a well-functioning home office, so be sure to utilize as many storage pieces as you think you will need. This includes file cabinets, dressers, drawers, baskets, and shelving. Skimping on this only leads to clutter, so assess all your “stuff” before buying furniture.

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3. Make sure to decorate in a way that makes you happy and motivated! A bold wall color or rug, a large pin board for inspirational imagery, and pretty window treatments do a lot to help you stay focused and inspired on your tasks.

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4. Good lighting is key to a comfortable work environment, so have multiple levels of lighting including ceiling fixtures, table lamps, and a floor lamp or sconces. And don’t just stick to desk lamps — if your desk is big enough, dress it up with a gorgeous glass or ceramic lamp in a pretty color!

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5. Always hang your drapes high to the ceiling, not right above the window! This rule applies to any room of the house, since it makes your ceilings look higher.  Make sure your curtains are the proper length, too — just kissing the floor is preferred. A seamstress or even your dry cleaner may be able to hem panels for you in no time.

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6. In your office or other high traffic areas in the home, use decorative trays to contain clutter or separate projects from each other.  That way you can just move your work from one room another easily.

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7. Bookshelves are a space that are ideal for pretty displays but often get incredibly cluttered. Buy matching baskets to conceal items you don’t need visible and invest in a few sets of decorative book ends to keep your books in check.  Mix in small art and sculptural objects to complete the vignette!

Need more home office tips? See some of our favorites here
Read more of Erin’s design tips on her blog, Elements of Style

How to Hang Wallpaper: DIY Tips and Tricks from House of Brinson

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Written exclusively for Inside & Out by House of Brinson

Wallpaper is a wonderful addition that adds drama and texture to any room. But where do you start to learn how to hang wallpaper? How much of a DIY is hanging wallpaper? I’ve hung wallpaper in all of our apartments and now our new house (see the final result here). Even though we had to remove two layers of old paper through out our entire house, I still love wallpaper!

Removing Wallpaper
If you have to remove wallpaper, these tips should help.

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First, get some good music. Removing wallpaper takes a while. It might feel like forever, but the hard work is worth it.

Get the right tools. A wallpaper scorer will put tiny holes in the wall paper you want to remove, helping steam or paste remover work faster. This is a must have.

Depending on your wall type you’ll need wallpaper paste remover to help dissolve the glue, and/or a steamer. We used an industrial garment steamer which worked really well. If you have drywall, go light on the steam, it can ruin your walls if they get too wet. But if you have plaster, steam away. Some rooms required only steam, and others worked faster with the paste remover. It really depends on the paper that’s being removed.

Hanging New Wallpaper
Items to consider before starting.

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If you don’t want to do a whole room, consider papering a feature wall. This is easier for DIY and on the wallet. You don’t have the turn corners when hanging, it’s pretty straight forward. Some wallpaper can really add up and become expensive. Papering one wall helps with cost and you still get all the impact.

When selecting a wallpaper design, consider scale (make sure you order a sample or see the paper in person). Large scale patterns in smaller spaces can add drama and create interest. Or a small scale in a large space can create visual texture. Think about the design impact and scale. Is the paper a traditional design but the scale is huge, modernizing the way the paper looks? I love that many wallpaper designers are modernizing how we think about using wallpaper in our homes.

If you are hanging the wallpaper yourself, research how easy or hard it is to hang. I put some of my experience below, and some tips for buying wallpaper that is within your skill set. Hanging wallpaper is a two person job, make sure you have a DIY partner you communicate well with, cause that wallpaper paste dries fast!

Choosing Wallpaper
Terms to know when selecting wall paper.

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• Unpasted vs pasted. When I was a kid I only remember wallpaper coming with glue on the back, but now I realize you can get unpasted (no glue) paper too. Most of the papers I like are unpasted, coming from small makers or British manufactures. Some companies recommend you apply the glue to the back of the paper and in other cases you can apply the glue right to the wall. I find applying the glue to the wall pretty easy.

• Untrimmed paper. I was recently fawning over this European paper and when I read the specs I realized it was untrimmed, meaning on the left or right side of the paper length has to be cut before hanging. I’m pretty handy and have a lot of experience working with wall paper, but I will not take on untrimmed wall paper as a DIY. There is too much room for error and the wallpaper is too expensive to mess up. Hire a pro for this one.

• Weight of paper. I find heavier weights of paper easier to hang. They don’t wobble around as much and hold their shape when aligning the pattern. If you are a beginner, consider starting with a heavier weight.

• Repeat. The larger the repeat the more waste you have. When calculating the amount of paper you need and how much your project will cost. Larger scale patterns tend to have larger repeats. I personally love a large scale pattern, it so unexpected when you enter a room! Also with advanced digital printing, I recently hung wallpaper that had very little waste (see photo above — that’s all that was left!) because each strip was custom printed, so they calculated where the repeat was going to align. I was really impressed with the price, plus very little waste was created! If you see a paper is printed digital, it’s a good thing.

Get Started
Things you should know before starting to hang your wallpaper.

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Start rested. You heard me correctly! You will be doing math, and cutting with a razor blade and standing in awkward positions on a ladder. Start rested and take a break every four strips of so.

Have all your supplies handy.

Have two ladders, just in case.

Plastic fold out table, or work table is helpful. We have a few of those plastic 4 x 8 ft tables in our basement. It’s so nice to have a dedicated work surface you know is clean.

Don’t hold back on the amount of wallpaper paste you use, be generous.

Only use sharp razor blades/box cutters to trim paper. I recently hung 12 panels and changed my blade four times. If the blade is not sharp it will drag the paper creating a cut that is not clean. Have extra blades handy.

Talk about your work process before you start. You can always change it, or make adjustments. What do I mean by this? We normally have a person hold the top, close to the ceiling, and a person on the bottom, closer to the floor. The person at the top aligns the pattern middle-ish, and then the person on the bottom starts below that working their way to the floor, while the person at the top continues to the ceiling. When we first started we didn’t establish where the start point was and who was going to align first. Talk about being uncoordinated! Discuss how you will work together before you start. Trust me on this, it will make the whole experience better.

HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_Wallpaper_MeasureFeeling inspired to hang wallpaper? Check out House of Brinson’s amazing final wallpapered room here.

 

Before and After: Guest Room Makeover with House of Brinson

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 5 Replies

Have you ever seen a before and after as dramatic as this?BEFOREFINAL1HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_BED_AFTER
The incredibly talented Brinsons did a guest room makeover in their stunning 19th century home, called Stony Ford (you can read more about the history behind the Stony Ford home here). We were lucky enough to partner with this talented couple to help them decorate the space in their beautiful, unique style. Keep reading to see more of this jaw-dropping before and after!

Seen in this image: Maison Canopy BedLeona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry BoxMaison Canopy BedCrochet Shams, Belgian Linen Sheet Set, Organic Essential Blanket, Ellie Cashman wallpaper, vintage lamps, vintage rug, vintage armoire, Vince Accent TableSalinger Upholstered Chair

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Seen in this image: Maison Canopy BedLeona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry BoxMaison Canopy BedCrochet Shams, Belgian Linen Sheet Set, Organic Essential Blanket, Ellie Cashman wallpaper, vintage lamp

HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_BED_2Seen in this image: Maison Canopy BedLeona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry BoxMaison Canopy BedCrochet Shams, Belgian Linen Sheet Set, Organic Essential Blanket, Ellie Cashman wallpaper, vintage lamps

HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_SideTable_BoxSeen in this image: Leona Brass Side TableKinsey Jewelry Box

The entire before and after process took William and Susan Brinson about five weeks — the fastest they’ve ever pulled something together. It’s an impressive timeline given the amount of work that had to be done to makeover the guest room and the limited workforce (aka William and Susan did most of the work themselves). “This is real and doesn’t just happen overnight,” says Susan. “Sometimes we bump into unexpected things, or a project we didn’t think would take as long takes 10 times longer than expected.”

BEFORE4HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_Desk_AFTERSeen in this image: Desk ChairBailey Bedside Lamp

Transforming the room from before to after included removing two layers of wallpaper, securing plaster on walls, painting radiators, removing and stripping paint from all three doors, painting and wallpapering the room, decorating, accessorizing and styling.

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Seen in this image: Bailey Bedside Lamp

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HOB_PotteryBarn_YD_Chair_1_AFTERSeen in this image: Vince Accent TableSalinger Upholstered ChairRuched Faux Fur Throw

The room’s decor was carefully selected to complement the statement-making wallpaper from Ellie Cashman. Susan and William wanted the wallpaper to stand out, and quickly found out how controversial the wallpaper and black wall color were among their fans.

We love how Susan addresses the wall color controversy here: “I feel like I owe y’all some kind of confessional video on why I decided to go with black as the room color. All the concerns you’d have about painting a room black, such as it’s going to be dark, the ceilings will look low, it’s too dark or depressing. I’ve considered it all and still went for it. The main reason: I used this very feminine wall paper from Ellie Cashman on the back wall, and that’s the star of the room. You walk in and WOW that wallpaper looks amazing. The best feature is this room is really large, so the black color didn’t close the room in. There is plenty of space to move around and all the natural light makes the room feel spacious as well. All in all, the black was a perfect subtle backdrop for furniture and complimented the wallpaper. I also kept the window treatments and bedding light and airy.”

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Seen in this image: Vince Accent TableSalinger Upholstered ChairRuched Faux Fur Throw

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Seen in this image: Salinger Upholstered ChairRuched Faux Fur Throw

Want to see more? Check out House of Brinson’s takeover of @potterybarn on Instagram today!

Learn more about House of Brinson here.

Summer Color Trend: Coral and Turquoise

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Long gone are the days when coral and turquoise were only suited for homes in Florida or the Bahamas. This summer, we’re bringing these bright and beachy hues into every room in the house. A turquoise pillow on a neutral sofa, a splash of coral on an all-white bed or a mix of both on an outdoor rug will help you and your home embrace the new season.

Take a look at some of our favorite (and ridiculously easy) ways to update your home with coral and turquoise this summer.

Shop our favorite coral and turquoise pillows, rugs and dinnerware.
Plus, check out our new summer color palette from Sherwin-Williams. 
Summer Color Trends Coral and Turquoise Pottery Barn

Our Favorite Summer #mypotterybarn Moments

Decorating, Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

Let’s face it — real life does not look like a catalog. Who has time to steam their slipcovers and fluff their duvets every day?

But we also believe that real life can be just as (if not more!) inspiring and beautiful. That’s why we’re so excited to bring our #mypotterybarn gallery to life — where we’re inspired by you!

Take a look at some of our favorites (so far):
mypotterybarn_summer style(Clockwise from top left: via @vannessacarter@cmi33RobinGalloway5@bross0622@designaddictmom@lauramueseler@happyhappynester@twinks74@inspiredbythisblog)

We love how these #mypotterybarn photos show how summer style can happen in any space — whether you’re lucky enough to have a sunny patio or covered front porch, or just plan to add some color to your tabletop or apartment balcony.

Do you have a #mypotterybarn moment to share? Follow us on Instagram and upload your photo with #mypotterybarn (or upload straight to our gallery page) — all photos posted before June 10 will be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 Pottery Barn gift card!

See more details/official rules here.

Our Favorite #PBLovesMoms Photos

Inspiration | | | 1 Reply

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Here at Pottery Barn, we’ve been celebrating moms all week long on Instagram with our #PBLovesMoms Contest. (PS: Click the link to enter now — there’s only one day left!) We’re loving all of the adorable photos that you’ve submitted with the most important woman (or women!) in your life. Take a look at some of our favorites (from fans just like you!) below.
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A sweet (pun intended!) mom and daughter moment via @chocolateandlace.

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Mom, grandma and baby at the beach — via @thevelvetyann.

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Sleepy snuggles with mom and baby via @theseacannon.

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Three happy generations — grandma, mom and daughter — via @labbott03.

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Love this throwback (such a great #tbt snap) from @mjhgrams!

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Matching mom & daughter flower crowns from @saturdayswithsophia.

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Making memories in the kitchen — via @michelleandbrookeshop.

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An intimate mom & daughter wedding day moment via @carolinemarie85.

What’s your favorite snapshot with Mom? We want to see it! Don’t forget, today is the last day to enter our #PBLovesMoms Mother’s Day Instagram Contest — click here to learn more.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Idea with Tulipina Design

Decorating, DIY | | | Leave a comment

What do you get the Mom who has everything for Mother’s Day? Or the one who insists she doesn’t need a gift? The answer’s easy (and trust us, anything but cliché) — flowers! Don’t flowers make everyone feel special? They’ll put an instant smile on her face. Plus, sneaking a Mother’s Day bouquet into a pretty vessel ensures that the gift lasts long after all the blooms wilt.

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We love how Kiana Underwood of Tulipina paired her beautiful arrangements with some of our favorite vessels in these stunning shots. Our Voluminous Footed Bowl is the perfect accompaniment to her vibrant, blooming flowers.

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Don’t worry — you don’t have to have Kiana’s amazing floral styling skills to pull this off. Just pick out a vessel (or two, or three!) that you know Mom will love, and head to your local flower stand or grocery store. Trim and size to each vase, and tie with a big bow or rustic twine to present at Mother’s Day brunch.

(Photography by Nathan Underwood)

See more amazing flower tips from Tulipina here.
Take a peek at more top Mother’s Day gifts here.

#PBandStonyFord Home Makeover: If These Walls Could Talk

Decorating, DIY | | | 2 Replies

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Have you been following House of Brinson‘s amazing guest room makeover? If you haven’t seen their process & progress in their upstate New York estate, Stony Ford, be sure to do so by following House of Brinson and #PBandStonyFord on Instagram. We were so excited to see the new wallpaper go up — what a transformation!

You can also get some of the back story behind this couple’s amazing project and home here.

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We’re all for a great before and after (who can resist makeover magic?), but what’s particularly enchanting about the Brinson’s project is the history that they reveal and preserve along the way. The couple’s most recent endeavor — tearing down the layers and layers of the guest room’s wallpaper — disclosed several of the house’s secrets.

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A signature from the person who originally hung the wallpaper in 1939 showed up behind one of the wallpaper panels.

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Two gaps for one-time windows
showed up at the back of the room, too — hinting at what may have once been Stony Ford’s original smoking room. “We’ve always wanted to know which room in the house was the Stony Ford Smoking Room. It’s kinda famous! Ulysses S. Grant smoked his last cigar in it,” says Susan Brinson.

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What’s next? Brand new (and very dramatic!) wallpaper, fixtures, art and lots of finishing touches (like our Bailey Bedside Lamp, in the shot above). Want to see more? Read all about Susan and William Brinson’s most recent updates on House of Brinson.

Spring Decorating: Bookshelf Display Tips from Simply Grove

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Written exclusively for Pottery Barn by Kirsten Grove of Simply Grove.

When spring hits, I always go into spring cleaning and organizing mode. It’s just a natural reaction to good weather… I guess. And after I spring clean, I always re-style my shelves. I love to create a fresh look in my space when the seasons change.

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For spring decorating,  I usually gravitate toward a look that is more minimal and clean. Everything that I style has a purpose. Meaning, I add less items that have more value. For instance, in one of my shelves, I placed a wooden candelabra that I inherited from a Danish family member. I displayed it next to a hand panted antique ceramic and let the two items shine for themselves. Another purposeful styling choice is stacking books or magazines and displaying one heavy item on top of the stack. This vessel from Pottery Barn is a perfect choice to place on my magazines.

Another detail that I love to add in the spring is plants. They create such happy moments in a home. And sometimes more is better. But don’t go too overboard or you may begin looking like the crazy plant owner!

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Macrame has been back for awhile now and I’m still loving it. This Macrame vase from Pottery Barn is everything! Leave it empty or fill it with flowers. However you choose to accessorize it, it will make your space look that much more awesome.

I’m loving Olive Green for this season,too. I added it with this long wick candle from Pottery Barn. It’s simple and cool.

How do you plan to refresh your home for spring? Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.

Get more ideas for spring cleaning and decor here.