Interview with a Stylist: Get the Scoop on Our Spooky Medieval Halloween Party

Entertaining, Holiday | | | 3 Replies

Roaring fires, haunting skulls, rusted swords, shimmering chalices and the hint of ghostly spirits — there’s something definitively scary and oh-so-perfect for Halloween about a medieval scene. We can’t help but get the shivers every time we look at this spooky set up from our Get Medieval Halloween Party this year.

To get the scoop on how to bring this same feel home for Halloween, we talked to one of our amazing catalog stylists. Read on for his expert tips!

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Q: What was the inspiration behind this shoot? What makes this style particularly spooky to you?

A: There’s a streak of inspiration derived from medieval themes and storytelling in the culture right now, manifested in everything from fictional television shows to popular novels, so why not extend the trend to a Halloween party?  It’s an opportunity to safely explore the darker side of a particular period of history.

Q: What are your top 3 necessities for a creepy Medieval-inspired Halloween set up?

A: I think the top necessity is a certain flickering quality of light, delivered by novelty candles, candlesticks, and of course a roaring fire.  Next would be fantastical serving pieces — I love the dragon silhouettes from Pottery Barn this year. Third is period-appropriate food; all these elements will work together to transport your guests to another place and time… for one spooky evening.

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Q:  Tell us about that awesome cake and amazing food spread!

A: Rather than setting out meaty legs of mutton for your guests to carry around and gnaw on, I decided on one shank of prosciutto, along with other pre-sliced meats and cheeses.  Slightly more chic and manageable.  And since we’re in dark Medieval times, I felt the cake had to bleed… this cake bleeds raspberry coulis.

Q: What tips would you want to share with customers who want to arrange a similar set up at their party? 

A: My biggest tip would be to take stock of what you already have around the house, with an eye for medieval spin.  Then fill in what you’re missing with key purchases that will flesh out the concept.  In the end, a little can go a long way.

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Q:  The bar set up is fantastic, too. What would you suggest putting in that amazing dragon drink dispenser?

A: Beverages like mulled wine, honeyed mead, or non-alcoholic concoctions based on those medieval libations would work well.

See our full Get Medieval! Halloween Party here.

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.

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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!

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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.

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See official rules here.

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Win a Set of Williams-Sonoma Cookware Set to Celebrate Chuck Williams’ 99th Birthday

Behind the Scenes | | | 27 Replies

Chuck Williams’ 99th Birthday celebration continues! Here’s fun fact #2: Chuck fell in love with Paris’s smallest cooking shops, and was inspired to bring the love of fine cooking and quality cooking tools — from gleaming pots and pans, to shiny spatulas, to tiny wooden spoons — to America. 

Today, enter for a chance to win one of your very own Calphalon Elite 3-Piece Fry Pan & Sauté Pan Set:

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See official rules here.

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Win One of Our Paris Prints to Celebrate Chuck Williams’ 99th Birthday

Behind the Scenes | | | 22 Replies

Happy Birthday, Chuck! We’re celebrating the 99th birthday of Charles “Chuck” Williams, the founder of our sister store Williams-Sonoma, with giveaways of our favorite Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma product all day long.

Did you know? The inspiration for Williams-Sonoma began when Chuck took his first trip to Paris in 1953. “It is a city that is a delight to get lost in—one that gives me pause and causes me, at any given moment, to think how lucky I am to be in Paris,” he says.

To celebrate Chuck’s love for Paris, we’re giving away one of our Red Balloons in Paris Framed Print by Rebecca Plotnick to a lucky fan!

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See official rules here. 

This contest is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Happy 99th Birthday Chuck Williams!

Behind the Scenes | | | 5 Replies

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Charles “Chuck” Williams, the founder of Williams-Sonoma, is often called a pioneer of the American kitchen. Today, we’re celebrating his 99th birthday with a tribute to our absolute favorite cook, chef and founder.

PS: Don’t forget to check out our giveaways all day long, to celebrate Chuck’s birthday!

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Although he always had a love and affinity for food and cooking, this love turned into a more defined passion after Williams’ first visited Europe in 1953. He immediately fell in love with Paris, and was greatly inspired by the French cooking culture — wandering around the city’s tiny cooking shops helped stoke the fire that created a true culinary destination.

“I never really got over that trip,” Chuck says. “And all these years later, I know that every trip I have ever taken … has been an extension of that first trip to Paris in 1953.”

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After moving to Sonoma, California, Chuck met a group of friends that all shared a deep love for cooking — beyond the typical processed or no-prep foods that were common in post-war America. After purchasing an old hardware store in downtown Sonoma, he turned part of it into a little shop of his own, and added some kitchen and cooking tools to the stock. “That was the real beginning of the business,” he says. “A kind of accident.”

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He kept the store’s name simple: Williams-Sonoma. “If you stop to think about it, it wasn’t a good choice,” he says. “A lot of people did have trouble getting it right. Some called it Sonoma-Williams, and even more call it William Sonoma and think my name is Bill Sonoma.”

The now iconic pineapple logo was developed by a local artist in Sonoma, which he had seen atop the gateposts of grand houses and interpreted as a symbol of hospitality.

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Chuck’s business, which set a standard for customer service, took off and helped fuel a revolution in American cooking and entertaining that continues today.

Today, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a multi-channel specialty retailer of high quality products for the home that now includes Williams-Sonoma, the Pottery Barn brands (Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen), West Elm, Mark & Graham and Rejuvenation.

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Happy 99th Birthday Chuck!