Chasing Davies: Pottery Barn Decorating Class

December 8, 2009

Pottery Barn Decorating Class

Have any of you attended the free monthly decorating classes at Pottery Barn? I don't know the schedule for every city, but in KC, they happen once a month. I attended Decembers with some friends - my first class - but not my last, I am already signed up for January's New Year, New Look class!

This week was about basic decorating mantels and entry tables, adding to those basics for the holidays and entertaining. Since I just moved in my first house and am embarking on decorating for the first time (slowly, but surely) - and starting at square one - this was really helpful!

What I learned about Peeks and Valleys:

When decorating a long space, such as a console table, dresser or mantle, people tend to decorate the corners and work in (creating a valley), mainly keeping the center empty. I totally do. Our Pottery Barn (PB) expert pointed out that if you look around a professionally designed space, such as PB, you'll see the opposite.

They start in the middle with the highest piece (even wall art or a mirror counts) working down each side. And if you don't want it perfectly centered, you can start your peek off to a side!

Here's the PB example of a perfect peek:

Can you see the Peek?

Because it has such a busy background, here it is outlined in red:

Once the holidays are over, and you're ready to remove the Christmas-like trees and green, remove and then tighten the staples - push the glass and candles closer to make a tighter peek (PB's advice) for a bigger "moment."

Here is a display in the store:

Another peek, with the wall decor actually being the top (wreath and mirror), and then the candles working down on the sides and in front. This is more like a 3D peek, if you ask me... but they didn't.

So I took this idea home with me and tried it on my valley-ridden mantel and dresser.

Bear with my lack of decorations, as this new house still needs lots of work.

Mantel: Before
Always tend to cover my corners first, with the tallest pieces living there.

Mantel: After
I still need to hang these pictures, but for now, they'll assist in my peek-making.
What do you think?
By a few small shifts, I think it is a bit more pleasing on the eye (even those it's lacking so moment-worthy decor...but we'll get there!)

Dresser: Before
A little scattered... and again, covering those corners first!

Dresser: After
Tighted everything into the center and moved the tallest jewelry stand to the middle. I cut out the lamp, because the corner is a temporary home for it as I try to stain my nightstand. Once I said nightstand, most of these magazines and less "cute" things will transfer as well - so hopefully making a more polished Dresser. I also need art, which will make the peek bigger.

So there is a bit of what I learned in my Free PB class!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the 10% off you get after class! That's cool, too.