Furnishing an entire home at once felt so overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong — I absolutely LOVE to decorate, but our new house is quite a bit larger than our first home and I felt that I would benefit from some guidance on how to best utilize the space in certain rooms. Obviously, I turned to Pinterest and to some interior design accounts that I love to follow in order to gain some insights, but I still felt overwhelmed by trying to source and cobble together all of the furniture to achieve a cohesive vibe throughout the entire house.
This house is a lot more “open concept” than what we had before so I was specifically looking for assistance with the functionality and flow in some of those spaces. Another element that I was looking for expert guidance on was determining things like: what size / style couch would be best for the living room, do we need to choose a larger dining room table or would that protrude too much into the walk path, and how should we maximize extra space in certain rooms. I wanted help with more of the “macro view” of the house and wasn’t looking for input on the stying of smaller decor elements because I feel confident in doing that on my own. Essentially, I needed assistance with the design “foundation”, if that makes sense.
Could I have made all of these decisions by myself? Of course. But I feel so.much.better knowing that what we ordered will definitely work for the space from a designer’s perspective (especially regarding the custom items that can’t be returned!) and that we avoided a Goldilocks problem — all pieces will fit the spaces just right and not be too small or too big.
I have loved the Pottery Barn brand for as long as I can remember having an interest in home furnishings & decor… there’s just something about their aesthetic that sparks joy for me. Thankfully, my husband is the same way (maybe not quite to the same extent, but he definitely appreciates the brand’s aesthetic / high quality as well) so we were absolutely on the same page when it came to furnishing this house.
I don’t know if you’ve ever signed up for Pottery Barn’s marketing emails, but I get at least one a day from each of their brands that I subscribe to 😅 (Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and Williams-Sonoma). I’ve noticed that in each of the PB / PB Kids e-mails they advertise their free design services, which I thought was such a cool option, but never had a reason to take advantage of it — until now!
When we bought our new house, I knew that I wanted to start fresh — both in regards to buying new furniture in general (we’ve had all of our IKEA EKTORP & HEMNES furniture for a decade now and we’re just ready to upgrade!), but also a refresh in style. We’re taking the overall look of the new home into account when making our choices — which is decidedly modern classic with a hint of farmhouse. Our first home was Victorian in style so I leaned more heavily into the “classic traditional” vibes and 98% of those pieces won’t really work with the aesthetic of our new place because they feel too stuffy and old-fashioned.
As I mentioned in our moving announcement post, we had originally planned to move into the new house with all of our old furniture and gradually replace everything over time, but the idea of adding the extra step of schlepping everything over to the new house only to have to donate them / have them removed just a few months later was starting to make less and less sense.
We ultimately decided that since we didn’t NEED to move out of our first house by any particular time (even though we were incredibly eager to get settled into the new house!), we would order the furniture that we wanted and move in once the most important pieces were delivered (namely our bed and the office furniture). We expected that there would be shipping delays (lol — who remembers Sophie’s nursery furniture saga from 2021? ), but as long as we had the “essentials” we could be patient for the rest.
We made an appointment for an in-home consultation with a designer from our local PB because we wanted them to be able to really experience the spaces in our home to help us make decisions, but it’s worth noting that you can absolutely conduct the appointment remotely if that works better for you.
Having the designer come to our home also gave them the opportunity to take measurements of the areas that we wanted to furnish so they could recommend pieces with accuracy. We walked through each room that I was hoping for help with and when making choices on materials we consulted the designer’s fabric sample books. It was so nice to have those samples to reference and to be able to hold them next to the other finishes in the house to visualize how everything would look together!
After making a list of items that we liked and felt would work well in the space, we had a follow up appointment to meet with our designer in-store to touch and feel items in person and finalize our decisions. I found this to be especially important when it came to chairs / our couch because I wanted to sit in them before ordering! We also got to see samples of pieces (such as the rugs in the image above) that were too large to fit in the designer’s fabric sample books.
I’m so excited for everything to arrive, but the majority of the pieces are being delivered randomly over the next few months and the super custom items won’t be delivered until June! Would I have preferred the instant gratification of all of the items arriving immediately? Absolutely! But because that’s not the reality of things, I’m choosing to view it as Christmas morning every time we get something delivered over the next few months.
I will of course share everything that we ordered as pieces arrive and our rooms come together!
a few things to note:
Because we wanted help with multiple rooms in our house and the designer and I had a lot to discuss, the appointment took 2.5 hours, so I recommend that you budget your time accordingly! Maybe you only want help with one room, but I still recommend blocking off more time on your schedule than you think you’ll need because you may end up needing it for one reason or another.
Additionally, we were hoping that by making our purchases through the designer we might be able to secure a “bulk order” type of discount by meeting a certain dollar amount threshold, but since the pandemic began I guess that isn’t something that PB is [currently] offering so any discounts you receive will be subject to the general promotions that they are running at the time.
*Top tip: if you aren’t in a rush, plan your order accordingly. I recommend waiting for one of the brand’s many sales to pull the trigger on your furniture purchases to save some coin.
Obviously, I want to encourage anyone who uses this service to do the right thing and place the order with your designer instead of placing the order on your own, especially if the designer has invested their time to meet with you (particularly if they came out to your home for a site visit!), do a walkthrough at the store, to put together a cart / home design layout for you, as well as correspond with you over email. All of that is a lot of effort and the very least you can do is give them credit for their time and effort spent!
There isn’t any obligation to buy anything when using this service BUT if you do end up choosing to purchase an item from Pottery Barn after a consultation you should absolutely give your designer the credit they deserve by buying through them. It’s super easy and because of your interaction(s), they already have a virtual shopping cart already loaded with all of the items you discussed so you can order as few or as many items as you want which have already been adjusted to your preferred size and material / color.
Would you ever take advantage of this free service?
I truly appreciated our designer’s expertise and guidance — I’m so happy that we used them to assist us in curating the spaces in our house! I highly recommend utilizing the service if you need a little (or a lot of!) guidance.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the Comments section below!
Sending hugs —