From Pottery Barn to Crate and Barrel to Restoration Hardware – who doesn’t love the lifestyles depicted in those glossy catalogs? People are sold on the promises inherent to the pretty pictures, but what are you really buying when you spring for that gorgeous (and pricey) sofa on page 62?

In 2006, a Smart Money article, “Pottery Barn Unstuffed,” exposed these lifestyle retailers, literally, by taking a chain saw to some of their furniture pieces. It wasn’t pretty. Ultra thin (and cheap) veneers, far too much particleboard, inferior construction and general dodginess belie the accompanying price tags. Luckily, you can get the Pottery Barn look without the poor craftsmanship. You just have to know where to look (spoiler – if you’re in Reno-Tahoe, you’ll find everything you need at The Find). A little design savvy doesn’t hurt either, so here are our top three tips for making your home look like it deserves a page in the PB catalog.

  • Nail the Style

Casual yet modern, traditional yet rustic, and above all, comfortable and inviting. That’s the Pottery Barn look in a nutshell. So how do you replicate that at home? The color of your walls is an easy way to bring warmth to a room, and fresh paint is an inexpensive way to breathe new life into your

Going neutral – creamy beiges or warm grays – gives you an understated backdrop for look-at-me accent colors and textures. If you don’t have fabulous architecture to highlight, this is a simple way to put the spotlight on your furniture and accessories instead.

When it comes to furniture style, skip the coordinated sets. Find a piece you adore – the perfect sectional or recliner – and work from there. You can pull the room together with complementary colors on other pieces of furniture.

  • Rearrange the Furniture

 furniture-2The “clustered” approach to furniture defines a space wonderfully. It’s ideal for both entertaining and lounging, and you don’t need tons of furniture to pull it off. It’s a look you’ll see in many furniture stores – our warehouse has tons of little vignettes that give you an idea of how to pair pieces and add accessories.

Try it at home by grouping your sofa, a throw rug and a coffee table in close proximity. Add a side table with a little lamp for a cozy setting. You can also arrange furniture around a coffee table atop an area rug, which will define a space for conversation or relaxing.

  • Don’t Forget the Accessories

Once you have your foundation, it’s time to add a layer of interest. Instead of just photography on the walls, play with scale and horizontal space. Stack items of interest – a few books with a small, interesting floral arrangement on top. Group candles. Add texture with playful pillows of varying sizes, or place a throw across the back of a sofa or chair. This is the ideal place to let your personality shine with fun statement pieces.

Stick to odd numbers with your displays (on coffee or console tables, for example) for more visual appeal. Try off-center placement as well, and don’t pile things up so much that they interfere with line of sight if you’re seated.

Remember, the Find offers free design consultations. If you’re dying to live inside a Pottery Barn-esque space, let us help!

Tags: tips