Pottery Barn Hacks for Fall

I admit, I love getting my Pottery Barn catalog in the mail.  I never fail to find inspiration and sometimes some laughs.

Here are some random things I noticed in the current issue.

Big bowls.  Yep, big bowls filled with plants, flowers…

and other stuff.  I think we all would agree that large accessories have more of an impact than smaller ones, but for some reason, when I shop my house, I realized that many of my accessories are micro.  I think part of my problem is that I’m thrifty, and it seems “better” to buy 5 small items for $5 each over time than one large $25 or $40  impact item that I’ll love.  I’m making a mental note to go larger.

Look how simple it is to add a little fall.  Any of us can get that look.  Locate the largest hurricane you can get your hands on, add neutral candles, stick it in a huge terracotta or wood or ceramic bowl and put a few dried, real or pretend {but realistic looking} twigs around it. Stick a fork in it.

One of my personal favorite things to do is to use non traditional, real pumpkins.  Seriously, pumpkins come in all sorts of beautiful textures and colors–why is it that we all gravitate to those bright orange ones?  You can see one of our different pumpkins {we drilled holes in the green one and at night it glowed} on my very first post.  Farmers markets are a great place to find unique and unexpected pumpkin varieties.  They make you look more sofistimicated and rich.  Or at least they look better in your home where orange might not be your favorite color.

It’s official, anything can be painted with chalkboard paint.  I actually love this globe almost as much as these chalkboard horses from Houndstooth Design. Think outside the framed chalkboard.

Pottery Barn was also selling chalkboard painted rocks for $16 for four. Mercy.  Now we have crossed that line.

Beautiful!  Can I get an amen?

This might just be my favorite idea.  I am a sucker for natural things like Spanish moss and I love this mantel.  Although I’m a little worried about the dried moss catching on fire.  You can even buy the moss on ebay. Can you get arrested for harvesting Spanish moss?


  1. I so enjoy your posts!

  2. I’m with you on the real, unusual pumpkins. I love to get a few at the beginning of fall. They add so much character for a good price. And seriously….what’s with the chalkboard painted rocks? How do they live with themselves? But the moss….oh baby I do love that idea. Don’t be surprised if you see that on my blog soon! Lisa~

  3. Great inspiration. I love the hurricane and the moss. Both are wonderful. Now I do have a huge hurricane and I know what to do with it. Great ideas. Hugs, Marty

  4. I love pumpkins of all shapes and sizes too. I start putting them out near the end of September and buy a few more each week through Thanksgiving. Whatever is left after Halloween, I end up spray painting them for Thanksgiving (using whatever color scheme the Thanksgiving table is that year) and stash them all over the house and tuck them in the garden too. Painted and glittered pumpkins are gorgeous… then they sit in the flowerbeds until Hubby gets my Christmas decor out of the rafters.

  5. I about wet my pants laughing at that shower branch. And for that matter, the chalkboard painted rocks!?!?! Mercy is RIGHT!
    For real, though, I do love to browse the catalogs for inspiration that I can take right with me to my local Goodwill. I LOVE that hurricane with the twigs. I think I am going to have to use that one. And you know what? Maybe I’ll even paint some rocks with chalkboard paint.

  6. Nester, I have a question.
    Your posts the last two days have given me the inspiration I need to get myself in gear. With that said…….

    When is it okay to start decorating for Fall? Is August 24th a great day to decorate for Fall or should I wait until September? It was 107 here today, so I am hoping that if I go ahead and start pulling out my Fall decorations the thermometer will come back down to less painfully hot temperatures.

    • There is NO rule, you decorate for fall whenever you want. I have started and I use the excuse that I write a blog so I have to start early in order to be able to talk about while people are beginning to think about it. But, I don’t think I’ve ever not had fall out by the time school starts.

      But I add things gradually. No pumpkins yet, not that you can’t. I start with candles and fall throws on the sofa {we cover up all summer}.

      You are free to celebrate any season, any time!

  7. I love my PB catalogs and have a terible time letting them go! I always keep the holiday editions-but now I am hanging on to all of them!! Great for ideas! I also have a problem buying things too small-definitely bc I am too”thrifty”! Gotta go bigger!

  8. Loved the painted rocks, so I went to Hobby Lobby and bought 2 bags of black rocks (2.99 each) and a white paint pen (2.99) Total cost 9 bucks for 30 rocks and have the paint pen to get into so more Halloween trouble.

  9. I guess if it’s a fake fire, a little moss doesn’t matter. I’m so excited to decorate for fall!

  10. I like the photo with the hurricane! So pretty. I was perusing their site last night and saw the rocks on sale. Really? Really??! Sounds suspiciously close to that whole pet rock phenomenon.

  11. Oh, my. The PB rocks aren’t even real rocks. They’re polyresin! So they’re selling FAKE painted rocks. I think we have stepped way on over that line.

  12. I love anything Pottery Barn does! I am going to one hopefully Thurse in Toronto! Yay….
    I just finished a tree bench if you want to peak!


  13. I am drooling over the Pottery Barn Catalogue every time it comes. Couldn’t love anything that’s free more! I haven’t bought any pieces from them in a VERY long time (pre credit card weaning), but a girl can dream…and get inspired, of course!

  14. Thanks for sharing these ideas, Nester. I have my PB catalog and haven’t sat down long enough to get a good look at it. Sigh!

  15. Man! Where is my catalog. Makes me feel ready for fall. In fact, bought just a “few” fall accessories today at Hobby Lobby:)

  16. I couldn’t help myself. I had to go the website catalogliving.net. It’s hilarious! Thanks for making my day!

  17. Yes, you can get an amen. Amen.

    I LOVE Spanish moss. I do not love the red bugs that live in Spanish moss. Dunno if I’d want that much hanging around in my living room!

  18. You’re making me want to go find a Pottery Barn catalog! Love it all. I’m trying to train my mind to look for larger things too. I have terribly high ceilings in my livingroom and all my stuff looks micro. :-(

  19. You have to be careful with spanish moss. I have a ton of it where I live, but they harbor all sorts of insects, that you don’t want in your home. There may be a way to kill whatever might be in it. Thanks for sharing those great phots from pottery barn, the painted rocks, oh my goodness!!!

  20. You are probably better off getting Spanish moss from the craft store where it has been treated. I wouldn’t get it from just anyone because it can have bugs in it. The kind that itch.

  21. The first thing I thought of when I saw the spanish moss hanging from the mantel was that it is too close to the fire! Great minds think alike.

  22. Sara Matthews says

    Have you heard of the famous Catalog Living website? You would surely love it… http://catalogliving.net/ Get over there now and get a great laugh. I laugh so hard looking through some of those photos and captions that I cry.

  23. I wish that they’d ship pottery barn catalogues to canada, I’d love to see what you all are talking about.

  24. I just perused the online catalog the other day. So many pretty things.

    • Amen Amen Amen!!!! Love that wall! And yes chiggers in the moss that is where the expression “don’t let the bed bugs came from” they used to use moss to fill mattresses.

  25. Nester! Your photos aren’t showing up in my Google Reader OR when I click through to your blog in Safari. This has been happening for the last several posts… :(

  26. OMG I’m such a Mom. All I could see with the hurricane vase and the spanish moss were some big ol’ candles falling on my kiddos head. I CAN’T WAIT until I can start real decorating again. Instead of ‘I live in a kid store’ decorating.

    And I say ‘sofistimicated’ too. As well as ‘gradumacated’. I think it makes me sounds smart. :)

  27. hi nester! i love ur blog! it is the 1st one i ever followed! i thought i was crazy for painting a bread box{my grandpa made it} w/ chalkboard paint! now that i’ve seen the globe and the horses i know i’m not the only one! i also painted a table w/ chalk board paint os kids could write on it while waiting for mom to bring meals over to it! crazy! i hope you can visit my new blog, i’ve only been doing it for about 4 mos.. if you have time to stop by, i’d love to hear from you! cottageromance.blogspot.com thanks! sincerely, decorating diva

  28. This is so funny, because I received a teeny Pottery Barn catalog (kind of a sneak peek?) yesterday and I admit, I was so excited to see it in the mailbox. I also noticed that they have resin antlers for sale. Hmm. Never thought of them as a table decoration? And, what looks like empty wine bottles for candles. Still love PB, but I can shop the house sometimes for the same look! =]

  29. My Dad has beautiful Spanish moss hanging from his trees in Florida and after I stood under it touching it and admiring it he told me it was full of bugs and fleas and not to touch it! My head itched for an hour I was so creeped out.

  30. Love, love, LOVE the chalkboard globe!! I just picked up a large, black “night sky” globe up for $3 at a thrift store the other day and I’ve been pondering different altering ideas… this is perfect!!

    Also, in the background of the last photo is a glass cloche with a stack of tiny, vintage books inside… saw that in the catalog and loved it!

  31. You will never look at your catalogs the same way again after seeing this website! http://catalogliving.net/ It cracks me up every time I read it! Pulling out my big bowls…

  32. Did you see the pillow on the shelf? ???? If I put a pillow on a shelf someone would think I lost my concentration while cleaning!

  33. I love me some Pottery Barn too. Do I buy anything…..nooooo. Hubs would have a conniption fit. But I sure get inspired =).

    One of these days I will get a big beautiful dining table for family dinners. One of these days! I might be old and gray by that time…but gosh darn it I want one!

  34. I’ve lived in a fairly small carriage house apartment for about 13 years now. I learned fairly early that if I decorated using multiple small things that the place just felt cluttered and small. By using fewer larger accessories, it has more impact and seems more intended than just not having the space to put the items anywhere else.

    I LOVE Pottery Barn, and tend to get something from them every season. I wait until they have free shipping, and select that one item I really, really want. This year I all ready ordered my Halloween item – the bottle brush black cat (online, not in catalog yet). It’s supposed to ship by the end of this week, and I can’t wait to put it out. I hope it doesn’t scare my cat! :)

  35. LOL at the chalkboard rocks for $16….at least they come with a piece of chalk. LOL!

  36. HEHE! spanish moss grows in my neighborhood. If I can pluck some and then whittle out the wee beasties, that’s a great idea! painted chalkboard stones are DEFINITELY crossing the line. Gotta get my hands on some pumpkins…but the weather needs to drop below 99 first! BLECH.

  37. I love the fall and winter pottery barn catologs best..I feel like I am “better at” autumn/wintery decoratoring than summer/spring….it seems more me. Just thinking outloud ;).

  38. Stay outta the spanish moss if you don’t wanna get red bugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ick!

  39. Thanks for the inspiration! I’m in the same boat–I tend to buy smaller things because of my thrifty-itis. I also think oversized stuff scares me off because of the thought of storing them somewhere when not in use. PB catalogs give me the same happiness as when I receive a magazine. I’ve been dreaming of the PB mercury glass lamp with burlap lampshade for months, then last week found a similar lamp at HomeGoods for a fraction of the cost. Today I found a burlap shade at Target, so I’m almost giddy.

  40. Thank you for pointing out the trend of larger bowls…that is one that I have missed..but in fact, in my junking trip today, I picked up a huge ironstone bowl for $8 bucks!! I may just have to keep it and use it for display! Thanks for the tip..


  41. I laughed when I read this post because I just looked through my copy a couple of days ago and I….dog-eared the page with the gallery display on the blue wall for my inspiration binder, laughed at the price of the chalkboard painted rocks, and immediately thought when I saw the moss hanging so close to the fireplace (with a fire in it!) that it was a major fire hazard!

  42. orange does not work well in my home, but polka-dots do! i loved last years b/w polka dotted pumpkin i made and will absolutely have a repeat of it again this fall.

  43. I love Spanish moss. The globe is a fantastic idea too.

  44. Oh my goodness, I thought the SAME thing when I say that image of the mantel with the spanish moss about a centimeter away from the waving flame…..I thought it was just me. Glad to know I’m not the only one….

  45. Nothing says beautiful and flammable like spanish moss hanging from the fireplace!

    Now why didn’t I think of Catalog Living?

    Laughing is so good for the soul!

    P.S. Love your ideas here!

  46. I stare at PB catalogs for hours. They are great inspiration, I love the feel of their spaces.

    Excellent note on the “buy better” concept. As I get, ahem ,older, I’m working on this. Especially the larger items, it’s amazing what a large piece can do for a room.

    As soon as I saw those chalkboard rocks I said I was going to make them. From the free rocks in my garden and paint I already have! $16 saved :-)

  47. I have had my head on desk laughing at the Catalog Living comments! People keep staring as they walk by my office!

  48. We do love Pottery Barn, don’t we? It really is fun to look at the catalog and be inspired.

    Have you seen the “Pottery Barn Challenge” at The CSI Project this week? I think it’s fun to look at all the knock-offs. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Pottery Barn ought to feel very flattered!

  49. Thank you SO much for showing me yet another blog to get addicted to (meaning Catalog Living). I can’t wait to see what they do with the Christmas issues!

    And I’m SOOOO gonna be painting me some rocks! =)

  50. The bigger the better I say! Love PB magazines… my fav is the huge hurricane in the terracotta bowl..love it! However, I never know where to put things like that? It never fails…if its glass and on the coffee table it will get broken in my house! And I that wall……gorgeous…I luve luv luv that blue! I havent seen the painted rocks..that would be a fun project for the kids to do!

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