abeachcottage and pottery barn

Thu 2nd, May, 2013

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Well, here we are again, happy days with the naked chef and Pottery Barn opens in Sydney!

Now, ladies, I had a very very interesting day today…you see I found myself at the pre-opening press day for Pottery Barn.  Yep, unbelievably, we have welcomed to the shores of Australia this iconic brand that I have been shopping with virtually for a good part of my life and even more exciting little old me got to see it before the doors were opened.  Dream.


Before ever even thinking Pottery Barn Australia I first entered a Pottery Barn when on a trip to the States many years ago – at the time I remember thinking it was so good it was almost untrue – I came back with a suitcase brimming with stuff and a head trying to work out ways to get more.

And then when I first started reading blogs many years ago, way before I ever had a blog of my own, I lived in a lovely little village in England and our computer was cobbled together in the spare room and we had this thing called the ‘internet’ that not many people knew about let alone had access to.  I came across other women like me, but mostly on the other side of the pond, living life with babies, budgeting, carving their way in the world and a lot of them were doing a whole lot of craft.  Often, Pottery Barn was mentioned, the arrival of the Pottery Barn catalogue was almost like a celebration these girls raved about online.  And so I surfed on in from my little house in England to see the fantastic homey things available Stateside and lusted oh so much and have been doing so ever since.


So when I heard Pottery Barn were dipping their decorating toes into the Australian market, a little bit of excitement welled up inside.  Oh my.   I think there may have been a little bit of vomit in the back of my throat.

With that though, through my experience now of living Down Under, I had the familiar trepidation that even though it might be over here, it would be double the price for us living in this hemisphere and that would rub me right up the wrong way and Pottery Barn and me would no longer be.

So when I got an invitation to come along and see for myself, well, I was in.

I collected the lovely Corrie from Retro Mummy (you can read her experience of it here too – oh and if you haven’t heard of her blog, she’s a crafty girl with 5 kiddos and a lovely house, just sayin’) from her house on the beaches and we drove to the other side of Sydney wondering quite what to expect.

We started off in Williams-Sonoma, me oh me oh me oh my.


And we learnt some interesting things about the brand – that Australians are the biggest customers outside North America – interesting.

Everything was fabulous right from the start, loved the juice bar, loved the styling, love the details, loved the white…

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The decor just fabulous at every turn.  Like really really up my alley.  Hello!


We were on a little tour and as soon as I got the chance and spied something I loved I picked it up, turned it over, waited, expected to have my chin drop to the floor and then supremely surprised I smiled to myself.  Oh my goodness, it has not been over-priced for the Australian market!

Thank you Pottery Barn so so so much for taking this on board.  You did not disappoint.  Oh Lordy I have the green light to fill my old cottage on the beaches with Pottery Barn and I don’t need to take a mortgage out to do so.

Later we got talking to Tracey who runs the PR company for Pottery Barn and found out that price point was something really really crucial to Pottery Barn coming to Australia after observing lots of other companies get it wrong – from my point of view, as a person who lusts after throws, white things and home wares and knows the prices I am thinking they got it spot on.  Yep it IS more expensive than if you buy it on the other side, but I am still well aware that I am living in Sydney and I pay for that and I don’t know but the quality and just the fact that it’s different makes me happy to pay that bit more.

Watch out Swedish Boutique, ‘cos I tell you what, after years of paying over the odds for you in Australia, you have a new rival for our relationship, she goes by the name of PB, her service is second to none, she knows how to dress up, she’s quality all the way and she plays with the big girls.

Now, come with me while I take you on a little Beach Cottage tour of Pottery Barn et al.  We will take pictures of random things and we will lust and gush and get a little bit of heaven vomit in the back of our throat…

Let’s lust over shiny shiny shiny pans

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Gush at whisks.  That’s weird right?  Go to a home wares opening and take photos of whisks.


The cook’s tools were a force of their own – I have been after a couple of special knives for a while, I found them here and in my budget!


Oh the plates and boards and dishes

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they added the subway tile just for me Winking smile


How about your own home stylist – for free


We toured around looking at so so many wonderful things, to be honest sensory overload came to mind

West Elm had a bit more of an artsy vibe


love that Sydney artists and Etsy are being promoted

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I loved the dishes in this section, I picked up a few for food styling – the prices were so do-able!


and rustic, vintage-y things


a little bit ethnic…


I used to think I would like to spend a night in Ikea and seeing as I never got an invite, move right out of the park girlfriend, I would so love that to be here for the night now

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I’ll be coming back for one of these clocks, been on my want list for too long


hello chic and coastal, very Hamptons Style


and some of the arrangements were stunning…


talk about vignetting ladies, I could vignette to my heart’s content in here….


I hope you enjoyed this little virtual PB tour?

Here I am nearing the end (but I did manage to relieve the store of a few other things after this shot)


I must say there was some FRANTIC back of the wardrobe hiding going on this afternoon…ladies I am a master of this game now…

If you are wanting a little trip to this heaven on earth well the Sydney store opens its doors tomorrow, all the brands are in the same spot in Bondi Junction – Oxford St Mall & Grosvenor St, but you can also order everything in the store online and get your goods shipped anywhere in Australia (I have not checked out the shipping rates yet but I will be looking into them)

Also If you want to have a look at the catalogue and have a bit of a browse (love doing that) you can sign up for one over here at the Australian site – I have all of them from today, let’s just say you need them in your life.

Over and out, from your Down Under home wares store reporter


p.s. I will be back soon to show you how the stuff that is hiding in the back of the wardrobe looks in this old cottage when I get it out to stroke it after Mr BC has gone to work to graft his bones down to nothing so that I can buy linen – and can we say that there may or may not be a little Pottery Barn Giveaway courtesy of abeachcottage.com when I come back – you know I had to, this my friends is worth celebrating

p.p.s thanks for the comments today I will be responding shortly – been a tad busy lusting today.

oh and lastly, don’t forget to enter my Mini iPad giveaway if you haven’t yet…go here and leave a comment, super easy to enter xo



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88 Responses to “abeachcottage and pottery barn”

  1. Jody says:

    Great post, cheered my morning blahs after a tossing night of sleep! Great picture of you! Happy girl! xxoo jody

  2. Louise says:

    I love Pottery Barn – I can’t wait until they come to the UK. I also love the fact you are hiding things away!! I think most of us women can relate to that, you can always say, ‘that old thing dear its been up in the loft I thought I would get it out before it gathers too much dust’…I love love love your pictures of your beautiful cottage and beaches it takes me away when the rain is pouring here in the UK..wishing you all the happiness

    Louise xx

  3. corrie says:

    your photos are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well done! kicking myself didn’t take proper camera but that’s why I need to go again when I have my camera charger again!

    well done you, see you in my driveway some time soon!

  4. Becky says:

    OMG I so want to come visit you just so we can go shopping

  5. Jane says:

    The smile on your face at the end of the shopping spree shows pure contentment…a dream realized.

    Glad you had such a good time! Haven’t been to PB in years but its now on my radar.

    Thanks for sharing,


  6. Mimi says:

    I loved looking at all the pretty sparkly things in the store. Thanks for the tour! Love PB!

  7. Diana says:

    CONGRATS on getting a PB in your neck of the woods.. er. beach!! LOL.. I have yet to make it to the one that is about a 45 minute drive from me… WHAT AM I THINKING!! But I do get their catalogues and totally lust after SOOO SOO much and wish I were soooo the decorator.. but alas.. no talent in that area.. AND it takes me forever to make a decision on anything…but love that you like to “ease” things into the house.. do that all the time!! :-) Have a GREAT MAY DAY!!! From a total fan in the U.S.!!! :-)

  8. ali thompson says:

    oooh, how exciting!! looks gorgeous. and i guess i didn’t realize how lucky i am to have a pottery barn just minutes away–the things we take for granted!

  9. Corina says:

    …wauw, I want Pottery Barn in Holland ASAP!!!
    xxx to Barley!

  10. Janet says:

    I am a Pottery Barn girl! I love,love ,love it. Sad note tho I used to live about 2 miles from a PB and WS store in Louisville, Ky. We have moved to the panhandle of Florida. My closest PB store is now 6o miles away! However I get all the catalogs and the big brown truck delivers right to my door! I just miss the touching all the beautiful items in the store. But that is a small consolation I give up to live a few miles from the beach. All my beautiful PB beachy items look so good in my “almost to the beach cottage” . I plan on making a PB/WS run soon as possible!

    • sarah says:

      yes I can now do PB beachy lol, I am so joining you x

    • MDN says:

      Janet, pls. think of your ‘ole friends here in the Derby City this weekend! (PS – You’re right – things are so convenient here in Lou a vul! Parade’s tomorrow w/ the mens and womens UofL BB teams being grand marshalls. Exciting times! (You noting being 2 mi. from PB & WS leads me think you lived in Saint Matthews? Hurstbourne? Lyndon?) Sorry you left us – but certainly understand having a life near the beach had to beckon more strongly! Enjoy your new life!

  11. Williams-Sonoma is one of my favorite weaknesses! Both WS & PB are a few hours away and it’s always such a treat to walk out with all-clad measuring cups and little gadgets, sweet jars of vanilla beans, etc. Love me some functional/useful pretties. If you haven’t grabbed one of their EV Olive Oils yet, you must. Pottery Barn is where I stock up on glass apothecary jars/canisters and white candles. You know…the staples. On another note, I have your e-course on my list of things to get. I’m totally with you on the ‘super blog’ info. that’s out there now. I *think* we blog for similar reasons (just a pretty lil’ place in the blogosphere to live what we love), so I can’t wait to read and walk away with a little clarity on blogging. xo

    • sarah says:

      Hi lovely Jami

      so nice to hear from you – thanks for the PB shopping info, I am going back soon (it was a whirlwind yday) and I will stock up on all those things you mentioned.

      yes I think we blog for similar reasons x I will send you a course as a gift xx

  12. Sarah says:

    I just changed my weekend plans…

  13. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the eye candy today. I love PB too. Have you taken a look at their kids and teens catalogues? The kids rooms are just beautiful!

    • sarah says:

      yes the kids rooms are very very nice :-) though I’ll be starting on the sitting room lol x

  14. IrishMum says:

    Great photos. I wonder if they will come down to Melbourne any time soon, or do I need a shopping holiday in Sydney?

  15. Lark says:

    So glad you are enjoying Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. They hail from my part of the world, and I always love to go in and browse. Williams-Sonoma also hosts cookbook authors for book signings which is always fun. Glad to hear they didn’t mark things up too much.

    • sarah says:

      yes Lark I was so glad about the prices as was everyone else there – so pleased we have PB goodness this side of the water!

  16. Susanne says:

    Looks like I’m crossing the Harbour Bridge for a day trip!!
    Some beautiful photos of amazing pieces that would look just perfect in my possession!! Thanks Sarah.

  17. mellie lang says:

    Brilliant, it looks fantastic, catalogue ordered, time to do some shopping.
    So glad you got an invite, looks like you were in shopping heaven :)

  18. Bridgette says:

    OMG did i just see thick, squishy knitted throw rugs in a soft grey ? ……. Girly squeal ! I soo badly want to take a 6 hour trip to get down there, so annoyed they were not opened 2 weeks ago, we stayed over night in Bondi junction to take my girls to see Mr Guy Sebastain, Boohoooooo …. Anyways internet is always good i guess. thanks for the photos, it will feel like christmas everytime you introduce a new item from the back of your closet.

    • sarah says:

      yes it will feel like Christmas! I thought that yesterday when I came home with the bags x

      the soft grey was everywhere and to die for x

  19. Kim says:

    Love it all !! Hope they open up a shop in Brisbane :)

  20. Corne says:

    Oh my… I think I’ll be moving in shortly! Love that shop! Just sad that I’m on the other end of Australia… BUT luckily there’s life on the internet!!! I’ll be signing up for that beautiful catalogue!
    We are busy designing our new home and believe me I’ll have a few items from PB in there!
    Hubster is going to Sydney for a Conference in June… I might just send him there to have a sneek peek… and buy me a lil’something special for my birthday :)

    • sarah says:

      I think you need to send him in with a list!

      • Corne says:

        Looks like I wont have to send him with a list… I’M GOING WITH!!!
        Best Birthday Gift EVER! I’ve got an amazing HUBSTER x
        Ghie ghie ghie… just wanted to share with you x

        • Corne says:

          I’ve commented already but how good would that lil’mini sweetheart be for my FIRST trip to Sydney! Mmm all a girl can do is D.R.E.A.M!!!

  21. Charlotte says:

    I love Pottery Barn! Williams Sonoma, not so much. They ruined a Christmas gift and they could have cared less. I don’t shop there anymore. Pottery Barn is wonderful! Congrats on getting one in your area!
    Charlotte T

  22. MDN says:

    Glad you’re enjoying PB, WS, and West Elm and that the prices weren’t hiked up outragenously!. Anyway, I frequent a place called “Tuesday Morning” which gets fist quality close-outs/over-runs/discontinued items from several similar stores and directly from manufacturers. Do you have any of these stores? They’re normally discounted 30-60%, and during special sales, up to 80%. You’re never gtd. certain stock – each item comes and goes as the deals are made. There’s not much styling of the displays – but the deals are sooo good! Home decor, furniture, linens, pots/pans, electronics, dinnerware, luggage…lots more. If you have any over in the Lucky Country, you may enjoy checking it out! They have an on-line catalog that can be viewed, too; but, I imagine that a good chunk of the savings would be lost in shipping costs. Hope you have or will get one of these! We also have a similar store called T J Maxx – but they dedicate about 1/2 of the store to clothing…

    • Amanda says:

      Sarah… we spent 5 hours in the the 4 stores & only a short break for food We made the mistake of perusing first thinking we would do the final purchase before we headed out & things had sold out… didn’t do too much damage… just in awe of it all because it is so beautiful. The kids toys & linen is divine

      • sarah says:

        yes that’s why I was determined to come back with some goodies and I will be going back soon – so so so happy to have decent quality at regular prices in Australia…hoping this will shake up the market…hopefully!

    • Amanda says:

      Sorry I meant to post that as an Aussie having lived in the USA I wad ADDICTED to TJ Maxx and we went back late last year and walkwped out with an entire cart after we hit up our first TJ Maxx store… we lugged home 7 suitcases across the USA & then home… so mant bras and shoes and then craft stuff from Michaels. We discovered Homegoods stores & wanted to figure out how to ship the bid stuff home… All SO awesome

      • sarah says:

        I have been lusting after Homegoods via blogs and Facebook for YEARS and TJ Maxx – in England a store called Matalan too all with amazing prices compared to the over-inflated, made in China goods found in Aus – yes all so awesome and I hope soon over here!


        • Anonymous says:

          Do you subscribe to Miss Mustard Seed?.. a bit more country but decorating candy

      • MDN says:

        Agree w/ the great deals to be had…and congrats that you apparently made off with some wonderful picks! In some areas, Home Goods & T Js are combined; in others, they’re separate stores, but there’s a trend toward separating them. Sounds as though Australia doesn’t have either TJs/Home Goods or Tuesday Morning yet… My fav purchases at deep discount have been various baking pieces of Emile Henry.

  23. Vanessa says:

    Fantastic, Sarah! I <3 PB too! And, you look adorable! Love the aqua flats.

  24. Elaine in Laguna says:

    Didn’t know you you all were closet PB fans! It’s an awesome store! The other stores mentioned – WS, West Elm, and Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx are great, too! Enjoy all the shopping!

  25. Sorry, don’t really have time to comment today…have other sites I MUST get too… Xx

  26. Jojo3b says:

    Teehee love the warnings to the Swedish Boutique! I will have to get the catalogue sent to me Adelaide. Fun times ahead for you.

  27. Fleur says:

    Sarah, I’m speechless!
    Looks absolutely divine and looks like its worth a trip down to Sydney just to visit here! Can’t wait to see what you have bought, I’ve already been stalking the online store… Have you seen the rugs!!!

    • sarah says:

      I am telling you it is worth the trip! I never say that, it was out of this world lol x oh the rugs were beautiful and sooooo much better than IKEA and price comparable ;-)

  28. Mandy says:

    OMG I started to hyperventilate when I heard they were coming to Australia. Living in WA is like living on the moon when it comes to getting anything decent for the home and PB is right up my alley!! I hope they are not too expensive when it comes to shipping to over here because I am keen as to start shopping…..yayyyyyy!!! PS I heard on the news that they are opening up stores in other states, make WA first pleeeeease PB.

    • sarah says:

      yes apparently they are going to be in a few other states!

      I hope the shipping is good for your too :-)

      I know how you feel re the shopping for good home stuff – when I came here to live I felt like my decorating hand got cut off!

  29. Ingrid says:

    I am laughing at the hiding at the back of the wardrobe all ladies are the same. I love to visit these shops when I visit the states I can spend hours looking at every little detail. I am like a kid in a candy shop. I then come home with my brochures which are my favourite reads. Lucky you.

  30. Naomi says:

    Oh Sarah I am hyperventilating at the catalogue link so thanks. I can’t get to the store until Saturday and I’m counting the hours I tell you.

  31. Amanda says:

    Girls… from what I understand shipping is free???? So it is cheaper than driving across the Harbour & paying the tolls… that being said the instore experience is awesome & and I suggested to a friend who was buying a gift to order it online & ship it directly so she didn’t have to pay postage. The amazung,amazing gift wrapping – beautiful tisdue paper, box, grosgrain ribbon & paper was all completey free

  32. Neen says:

    Just so I have this clear………..PB is comparable in price to IKEA ???? I think I may have a Meg Ryan moment if it is……..just calmly tell me………… are they ever opening a store in Melbourne?? ;) Neen

    • sarah says:

      hmmm well put it this way today I looked at the IKEA site for my kitchen planning, they were promoting a plate for $4.99 – yesterday at this store opening plates were $4.99 – I think IKEA will be cheaper overall in most things, HOWEVER the Pottery Barn quality was in a different league – like really different league – PB is up there playing with the big girls in Australia, just not ripping us off for it LOVE THAT!

      I think Melbourne is on the list according to the PB grapevine xx

      • Neen says:

        OH MY !!!!! Can’t speak……… too happy ……….please keep sharing.
        Now back to the task at hand, ordering a catalogue……to stroke….put in my basket and ….DREAM ;)

  33. alison says:

    I haven’t been able to get real excited over Ikea or Freedom for quite a while now. Wow, PB has got my attention.


    PS Love your reflection in the shiny utensils container.

    • sarah says:

      oh I feel the same – I really got over seeing IKEA advertising/marketing promoted everywhere here too (except on blogs funnily enough where the true blue supporters are!) but was irked by the prices just not being comparable to the rest of the world – if Pottery Barn can do it I am sure IKEA can – not that I don’t still love Ikea, I mean hello they are about to do me a whole new Swedish kitchen ;-)

      my trips to Freedom are ok but they have a serious contender on the block now for me to spend my money in and to be honest after the service I received when I bought two sofas from them I don’t think they will get a look in

      bring on real girl competition ;-)

      let’s get this party started!!!

  34. Margie Hart says:

    I live in the Hunter Valley NSW Australia ,& I just found something I really love but can not work out I can purchase it .it keeps coming up in Amerecia

    Thank you Margie

  35. Alanna says:

    ADOREY!!!!!! Thankyou so much for all the images and story as i missed the opening today (boo hiss sick babysitter) I have felt edgy and basically depressed all day but your piece made me feel like i was there with you travelling from the beaches to hiding purchases in the closet or the kids closet!
    Ill have to wait until next week to get my chance but until then i have all your now slobbered over images to keep me going! Your a gem! xx

  36. Diana says:

    Love the wardrobe hiding! Love it all!

  37. Joy Hall says:

    I am fortunate enough to have a Pottery Barn within 20 minutes from my house with a Williams-Sonoma next door. Is there anything better than spending a day at these two lovelies! Sometimes I visit just for inspiration. I design kitchen textiles and there is no place better for inspiration than WS…fresh, clean and crisp with beautiful linens!

    I just want to move in to PB.

  38. Heaven on Earth! Love the photos and so glad you came home with some goodies!

  39. I lust over the catalog. We have a PB here in Tulsa, but I can’t afford their prices very often. Oddly enough, we don’t have an IKEA in the whole state of Oklahoma. Ridiculous. I’m so glad you enjoyed your shopping venture!

  40. Jazz says:

    Ohhh! I like it all!
    It’s a shame we don’t have it in Barcelona…

  41. Alice says:

    Wonderful! When I first heard that pottery barn was coming to our shores I did a little jig… I then stopped when I realized that it will most likely be overpriced so there was no point in being excited about it and completely forgot about the news until I read your post. I am so happy to hear that they are not over priced! Will have to make a trip… I LOVE Pottery Barn… Husband and I have been wishing so hard for them to come to our shores (with a muttering that it will probably be overpriced so we shouldn’t even entertain the idea under our breaths)… Can’t wait to tell the hubby!

    • sarah says:

      I felt exactly the same, I was sure it would be outrageously priced and then I wouldn’t buy anything out of principle – it’s not cheapie cheap but it’s more than competitive but with FAR better quality so I am very happy!

      To be quite honest I can’t wait to go back, I haven’t been this excited out home shopping for years!

  42. Hollace says:

    Such a fun blog! I do love Pottery Barn and can get so inspired there for coming trends. I got hijacked though at the beginning of your blog by the link to Whitsundays. Now I want to go there even more than I want a PB excursion. Where is it, and why is no one else on the beach there?

  43. Mico Santos says:

    I love the article and the amazing photos :)

  44. Pearl Maple says:

    oh my goodness I needed a pick me up this week and thought visiting the beach cottage is always full of good cheer but the arrival of Pottery Barn !! yippiie and they are not inflating their prices down under what and exciting event!

  45. kl says:

    Of all the visuals from the early peeps, your’s are by far the most magnificent! Lovely photographs! Thanks for the great info too. x KL

  46. Red says:

    I too have dragged extra luggage back from the US. I have also bought online from the US (and have always been thrilled to bits with the postage service.) But this. This. Is. So. Exciting! I feel butterflies in my tummy. It’s like new love. Now this new love is just a three hour road trip away. I feel like a puppy, so excited I might piddle everywhere. Great post. Thank you!

  47. Ebony Quaid says:


    I’m the Visual associate for the Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids stores an may I just say that you have taken the most beautiful photos of the store and our visual displays.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit to the stores… Thanks for taking thee time to look at the finer details.

    Look forward to having you on your next trip to the store :-)

    - Ebony -

  48. Linda says:

    I heard they tag their prices in US$ (which is against the Aust. Trade Practices Act) and then they add an extra 5% at the till (crazy given the US$ is above the A$ at the moment). Is that correct?

    • sarah says:

      no that is not what happened to me but I cannot say whether or not that is correct – the goods I bought were tagged in AUS dollars :-)

  49. Tamara says:

    Never heard of Pottery Barn before but now I need to know when they’ll be coming over here (UK)! Thanks for introducing us to such gorgeousness :-)

  50. Stunning pics as usual. You showed great restraint only buying a few bags worth.

  51. Nadine says:

    Your ruched bedspread/quilt covers are there Yay, I have loved them ever since you brought them out of your secret cupboard Sarah. Must save some $ and have an “have them for ages” moment with my DH.

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