Pottery Barn Series Features DIY Home Improvement

Retailer offers paint-by-number approach to home decorating and entertaining.

It’s spring. Flowers are blooming and parties are being planned. Budding flowers and warmer weather usher in the perfect time for home entertaining. Perhaps second only to the holiday season, this time of year features many festive occasions, including bridal showers, Easter brunch, Passover, graduations and spring galas.

Often people want to host parties, but the anxiety caused by the need to get it right makes some put off entertaining altogether. Have no fear. If you have extra time on the weekend, in the wants to help you unleash your inner Martha Stewart.

The store is hosting a summer open house from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. It will be an informal guide to creating tablescapes and summer party ideas. 

The event coincides with a marketing campaign aimed at linking products to the do-it-yourself, or DIY, trend in home improvement. Pottery Barn calls it “How To”. Similar to the paint-by-number approach to art, the How To program gives customers a step-by-step guide to home entertaining, from invitations to meal preparation.

In the store, take-home cards are available at each themed display. More details, including videos, are available on the Pottery Barn website under entertaining.

Of course, the company’s goal is to entice buyers to purchase the suggested products associated with the different themes -- napkins, napkin rings, platters and tablecloths, for example. But even if you don’t have a Pottery Barn budget, you can take advantage of these How To guides and classes, which are free.

Let’s take the tropical fare party theme, which the store describes as utilizing a palm leaf-decorated table laden with citrus-infused recipes for a Tiki-style summer party. Pottery Barn suggests using their unbreakable melamine or resin dinner plates. These cost $28 for four plates. Pier One, Target and World Market sell similar plates for less. Ross and HomeGoods have accessories and table cloths in similar patterns, also for less. Even cheaper are palm-themed plates at a party store.

What you gain from the Pottery Barn series is how to plan, prep and execute any party. And don’t be afraid to combine themes to fit your needs. Let’s say you want to host a bridal shower brunch. Take elements from the bridal shower, farmhouse brunch and honey brunch guides to create your own theme.

Target and World Market are my go-to sources for elegant, inexpensive white porcelain plates. I love perusing through the Ross and HomeGoods for white porcelain serveware. 

Other Pottery Barn events include backyard entertaining, 10 a.m. on May 20 and June 10, and accessorizing your home for summer,  10 a.m. on May 6 and 13.


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