I am a Pottery Barn fan—I love to be inspired by studying the entertaining décor and accessories they have in their stores, in their catalogs and online on their website. Their casual but elegant approach to home décor is extremely popular, and you can study it in their series of books, the Pottery Barn Design Library.
My favorite is Pottery Barn Dining Spaces: Ideas and Inspiration for Stylish Entertaining and Everyday Dining. This sourcebook takes you through the essential elements of a well-designed dining room.
“Good food and good company are two of life’s greatest pleasures, and the dining room is where these pleasures come together. From breakfast nooks to patios, today’s dining spaces extend throughout the home; whether indoors or out, they can set the stage for holidays, birthdays, and special occasions with versatility, style and warmth.” This is how the Pottery Barn Design Team describes their philosophy in producing this book.
The chapters cover your style, entertaining, space, color, texture, furnishings, outdoors, lighting, storage and display. This book explains how to change your dining room into a comfortable and stylish gathering place for a variety of occasions. It offers hundreds of creative, simple-to-do ideas for decorating and enjoying entertaining areas, with real-life designs and tips for decorating a table, seating a crowd, arranging centerpieces, and more.
Learn the best ways to organize your dinnerware and store your table linens. Discover clever designs for place cards and table settings. You will also find color palettes and materials guides to make it easy for you to use the decorating ideas in your home. Learn how details make all the difference from accessories and dinnerware to flowers and centerpieces.
Some of my favorite ideas from this handbook include using an upside-down portobello mushroom as a place card holder. I love the blue paper origami boats used on a nautical table to denote where guests sit. I can’t wait to try making a table runner out of china teacups with tealights in them—they would be perfect for a tea party. Putting expresso coffee beans in a trifle bowl with tealights makes an attractive and aromatic centerpiece.
This book is available online.