Behind the Design: Interview with Photographer Alicia Bock

Behind the Design, Behind the Scenes | | | 1 Reply

Having grown up in the water-bound states of Michigan and Florida, photographer Alicia Bock‘s work is often influenced by large bodies of water. Even when water isn’t directly in her work, it’s easy to see its impact in Bock’s soothing photos with blue hues, cool undertones and soft, filtered light. Bock’s work instantly catches the eye — and we’re proud to host some of her newest pieces on potterybarn.com! We spoke to Alicia to get the scoop on her inspiration, favorite spots to snap photos and more.

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Above: Lost

Q: It’s great that you’re self-taught. Can you tell us how you started getting interested in photography?

A: I think this life is in my blood. My grandparents, my dad, my cousins; we are a sentimental group. I can’t remember not having a camera, or not being in front of my dad’s. My Grandma always had a Polaroid full of film, and she is the reason for my Polaroid obsession today.

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Above: January’s Day Dream

 Q: When did you decide to pursue photography professionally?

A: When my daughter was born (11 years ago) I quit my non-profit job to stay home with her and found myself not only taking a lot of pictures of her, but the rest of my world too. Along the way someone suggested I should apply for a local art show, which I did. Thankfully, those first few customers were receptive to my style, and I never looked back.

it was always you

Above: It Was Always You

Q: What’s one of your favorite places to photograph? Why?

A: Any beach, but I am very partial to the beautiful Great Lakes that surround my home state of Michigan. They are the places of my favorite memories, and most relaxed moments, which I think comes across in my work.

2900 miles

Above: 2900 Miles #6

Q: What kind of advice would you give a beginning photographer who wants to become a professional?

A: My best and really all encompassing advice is work hard. I work harder at this than I have ever worked on any job where I worked for someone else, and I think most people who are self-employed will tell you the same. Make a business plan, and read books/websites/articles about running a business just as much as you read about photography.

ALICIA BOCK

See more of Alicia’s work at potterybarn.com. 

 

Dreamy Spanish Ricotta Cheesecake Recipe by Sugary & Buttery

Entertaining, Recipes | | | 2 Replies

Melina Thompson has a way with the two very decadent ingredients her blog is named after — sugar and butter. The writer and cook behind Sugary and Buttery whipped up this delicious twist on a standard cheesecake in this exclusive recipe for Inside & Out. The festive dessert looks even more beautiful when served with our Shasta Round Chargers and Barcelona Napkins. Read on for Melina’s recipe and baking tips, below!

 
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Written by Melina Thompson of Sugary & Buttery, exclusively for Inside & Out. 

This cheese cake is a twist on a traditional Spanish cheese cake recipe, Quesada Asturiana, from a northern region of Spain. Usually, the recipe calls for requeson, a Spanish goat cheese, but I replaced it with ricotta, which makes an absolute perfect substitute. Flavored with cinnamon, lemon and brandy, it is probably the cheese cake with the most interesting flavor I’ve ever tasted! Top it with toasted meringue and you get one of the most beautiful summer cakes for your next garden party. And the Pottery Barn Barcelona napkins just tie in wonderfully with the whole mediterranean theme, pure summer feeling!

Spanish Ricotta Cheesecake with Toasted Meringue

Ingredients

For the cheesecake:
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 pounds ricotta cheese
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 oz brandy

For the meringue:
4 egg whites
cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

Whisk together ricotta, brandy, egg yolks, flour, the zest and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Whisk egg whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Raise speed to high, and gradually add sugar, whisking until glossy peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.

Gently fold egg whites into ricotta mixture using a rubber spatula until just combined.

Pour batter into pan and bake until center is firm and top is golden brown, about 1 hour.

Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; release sides to remove from pan, and let cool completely.

To make the meringue, whisk egg whites with a mixer on low speed until foamy. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and raise speed to high. Gradually add sugar, whisking until glossy peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.

Spoon meringue on top of the cheesecake and toast with a torch.

See more recipes here. 

Behind the Design: Our New Homescent Packaging

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

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When presented with the challenge of redesigning our homescent packaging, our in-house design team decided to take a different route. Instead of replicating traditional home fragrance packaging — like the big plastic trays and boxes that we’re used to seeing in stores — they wanted to design something that felt much more special — and much more like Pottery Barn.

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Drawing inspiration from more elegant and streamlined perfume packaging, the team developed what you’ll now see in Pottery Barn stores: a clean, colorful package that immediately catches your eye. What’s different? First off, these new designs use less materials and space. The reduced package size fits each product perfectly and cuts down on production and material costs.

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Next, each new fragrance has its own specific color palette, chosen to associate with each scent’s distinctive feel. Pantone color swatches helped to define each scent’s visual identifier when the team was creating this new color palette.

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The boxes got a blast of style with new patterns, too. With the help of our in-house textile team, our packaging designers chose bold, graphic motifs that are iconic to the Pottery Barn brand.

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Kraft and gold foil labels fall in line with the rest of our rustic luxe style packaging.

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Lastly, these new boxes are made for easy gifting. The different patterns inside and outside of the box add contrast and color, and allow for a completely reversible box design. Since the boxes are made with friction locks instead of glue, they can be folded inside out. If you’re in need of a last minute hostess gift, simply purchase one of our homescents at a store, turn the box inside out to eliminate any branding, and you have instant, beautiful wrapping ready to go.

See our full homescent collection here. 

Homes We Love: A Pretty Patterned Patio in Marrakesh, Morocco

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

In honor of our second #pbcolorweek on Instagram, we’re hosting one of Lonny Magazine‘s beautiful turquoise-accented space for this week’s Homes We Love feature. This shaded patio outside Marrakesh, Morocco proves that there’s no need to shy away from contrasting patterns and prints. Tailored stripes and geometric tile create an intriguing, worldly look.

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Photo via Patrick Cline / Lonny

We love how turquoise, white and black make the entire design feel cohesive, despite the eclectic mix of patterns. Low Moroccan-style coffee tables make this a perfect spot to set drinks and appetizers, adding to the space’s casual but elegant ambiance.

See the rest of this home here. 

Pillow Fight!

Decorating, How-To | | | Leave a comment

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1. Mercer Ikat Applique Pillow Cover, Ikat Embroidered Lumbar Pillow, Washed Velvet Pillow Covers, Kantha Embroidered Pillow Cover/ 2. Camden Blue Stripe Pillow Cover, Washed Velvet Pillow Covers, Cropped Suzani Pillow Cover/ 3. Ikat Embroidered Lumbar Pillow, Diamond Tile Phulkari Pillow Cover, Alana Printed Pillow Cover/ 4. Alana Printed Pillow Cover, Washed Velvet Pillow Covers, Cropped Suzani Pillow Cover/ 5. Cropped Suzani Pillow Cover/ 6. Mini Suzani Pillow Cover/ 7. Cropped Suzani Pillow Cover, Camden Blue Stripe Pillow Cover, Washed Velvet Pillow Covers/ 8. Washed Velvet Pillow Covers, Kantha Embroidered Pillow Cover, Mercer Ikat Applique Pillow Cover

See more of our Fall collection here. 

Pottery Barn’s Weekly Roundup

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

Can you believe it’s July already? Summer is already at its peak, and we plan on enjoying every bit of it while it lasts. This week, we’re celebrating all of our favorite summer activities on Inside & Out — from backyard picnics to Fourth of July bashes. Get ready to make the most of your summer with our entertaining ideas, below.

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Picnic Time! A Sweet Summer Picnic for Two

Homes We Love: Hollywood Hills Garden from Lonny Magazine

4th of July Party Picks and Tips from the Pottery Barn Design Team

How to Host a Backyard Summer Wine Party: Part 1

Last Minute 4th of July Recipes from Camp Makery

Could I Have That? Takes Over Pottery Barn’s Instagram

Could I Have That? Takes Over Pottery Barn’s Instagram

Decorating, Inspiration | | | Leave a comment

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Did you miss our latest Instagram takeover? Last weekend, Samantha from Could I Have That? planned a chic brunch for friends on the Pottery Barn Instagram. Take a look at our favorite shots from the weekend, below! 

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Follow along as I host a Saturday brunch with friends tomorrow. Today errands, tomorrow brunching!

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Sweetness in a jar, a local find.

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But first, a cinnamon roll. Technically this is brunch research.

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Picking out fresh bread for brunch tomorrow. I’m thinking lavender…

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Say cheese!

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Starting the morning out right with @apolis coffee.

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Baked grapefruit with brown sugar, a favorite brunch special of mine.

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The prettier, the better: sliced oranges with pomegranate seeds and coconut shavings.

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Breaking bread in style.

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The way to my husband’s heart, baked peach French toast.

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Brunching… don’t bother us.

See the recap from Glitter Guide’s takeover of the Pottery Barn Instagram here.