Kids' rooms, Pottery Barn style on a budget

OK, am I the only one who has conflicted feelings about Pottery Barn? On the one hand, I love their perfectly styled rooms, especially those that blend the modern with vintage touches. On the other hand, I really don't want my home to look like a replica of the rooms in their catalogue.

This will come as no revelation if you read my post here, where I showed you a tour of a Pottery Barn outlet near my home and confessed my love-dislike relationship with the mass retailer.

My solution? Pick just a few items I truly love, then use the Pottery Barn styling ideas as inspiration only to create an entirely new look.

My little dilemma now resolved, I just couldn't resist when I received an e-mail invitation to take a free decorating class at my nearest Pottery Barn Kids store recently.

I was particularly interested in hearing behind-the-scenes styling tips, like those featured in the Pottery Barn Kids book that I often thumb through for inspiration. The book features great kids' spaces showcasing great decorating ideas and stylish organization. Most importantly, they are rooms with plenty of fun for the kids who will use them.

My son would love the traffic light featured in this room

My daughter would likely swipe the lifesaver from the wall and use it to practice her swimming moves while in bed!

I did glean a few nuggets of wisdom from the class I attended along with 10 or so other women who attended the Saturday morning class.

Perhaps the best lesson I learned is that you don't need a ton of money to achieve the Pottery Barn look. Yeah, I know I shouldn't be surprised with so many budget-decorating blogs around. But I keep thinking of all the times I've walked through Pottery Barn stores (outlet included) where I've overheard shocked men exclaim to their female companions over the stores' high prices. This is why I was pleasantly surprised to hear the decorating class instructor dole out a few budget-friendly tips.

The instructor told us about PB Kids latest rug offering. It's a smart-looking striped rug, shown in the photo above, and is currently the only machine washable rug offered by Pottery Barn Kids and a great option for those who don't want to worry about spending extra to have a rug professionally cleaned. A similar version is offered in a red-and-blue combination.

Sometimes, even the smallest touches can make a world of difference. The instructor recommended changing knobs on a dresser for a distinctive look without having to shell out for a new piece of furniture.

If you are going to splurge, do so on a piece of furniture your kids will use a lot. Here, my son is sitting on a chair like the ones he and his sister have at home. I guess he couldn't resist sitting in it even at that odd angle. But I can definitely say it is comfortable since I sit on it every night when I put my daughter to sleep.

I am in love with the butterfly mobile, shown in the photo below.

But here is where I deviate from the Pottery Barn script and add in a few money-saving tips of my own.

1. Use some of the Pottery Barn accessories as ideas for a crafting projects. For example, the mobile below could probably be made with different sized embroidery hoops, or just simple but sturdy wiring covered with pretty ribbon or strips of cloth.

2. Rather than spending a ton of money buying brand new furniture at a Pottery Barn store, search the Craigslist listings for used Pottery Barn furniture. You could save hundreds doing this. The photo below shows the many styles of cribs offered by Pottery Barn, an enticing but costly option for those setting up a nursery.

3. Or even better, buy a vintage well-made piece of furniture and refinish it in a modern color of your choosing. Most of Pottery Barn furniture pieces are classic and traditional styles commonly found among furniture sold at thrift shops and garage sales.

4. Be patient. Wait until the Pottery Barn item you want is on sale. Most everything at Pottery Barn eventually goes on sale. You just have to be vigilant about monitoring the store's website and getting on their e-mail list.

5. Check out similar furniture and accessories from other retailers. A few stores, such as JC Penney, Ballard Designs and Company Kids (bookmark their daily sales page) have similar pieces of furniture for much less. Be sure to check reviews to note any comments on quality.

What are your thoughts about shopping at Pottery Barn?



Thrifted Treasure said...

I have that Pottery Barn kids rooms book too and love the ideas but as you say prefer to give my kid spaces their own style. Pottery Barn don't have stores here in Oz but I'm sure I would spend many an hour ogling their stock if they did.

Heather said...

I really end up loving things from Pottery Barn, but feel like I'm "cheating" a bit when I buy them. They do make everything very easy though, so sometimes, I want a home project finished, I just give in!

The class sounds like fun though!

Vintage Sassy said...

Well I must confess, I am a former Pottery Barn junkie! I used to love their stuff and think my whole house needed to look like their store/catalog! It wasn't until I found my own individual style that I prefer secondhand items now. That's not to say if they have a pillow I love that I won't buy it if it's reasonable but I definitely hear ya!


Creamy White said...

Hi Minnie, how wonderful to have a pic from PB Kids. I love that store, and unfortunately we don't have any here, just 3 hours away...
What I do is what you mentioned: garage sale items, thrifty's stores and get the ideas and incorporate in my kids bedrooms.
Soon I'll make a post abou our kids room and you will see what I'm talking about. I got wonderful ideas from PB and for much less.
Love the pictures. it's always wonderful to dream...
Have a lovely day Minnie,
Li :-)

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