Australia is a nation obsessed with everything design.
Many Australian’s favourite show is Channel Nine’s The Block, we spend more on DIY for the home than ever before and, whether you are into the cool cuttings from Ikea or the ultra on-trend designs from Australian design leaders like Jardan, we love the retailers who make our homes beautiful.
So it makes sense that US homewares giant Williams-Sonoma would decide to move to Australia.
Williams-Sonoma has four major retailers: the aforementioned parent brand’s cookware stores, the accessible West Elm, the upmarket Pottery Barn, which is a household name in America, and Pottery Barn Kids.
With stores now in Sydney and Melbourne, and more to roll out in the next 12 months, The New Daily got some home styling tips from Pottery Barn President Sandra Stangl.
It’s already an established brand in the US, what made the Australian market attractive to Williams-Sonoma?
We noticed that a demand from Australians shopping on our e-commerce site so it was clear to us that our offering was being received well prior to launching here. We also did plenty of research and discovered that Australians share the same approach to their homes and entertaining, we all enjoy that casual, laid-back lifestyles and really cherish our family time.
What are some of the expansion plans here in the next 6-12 months for the entire group, and when is Pottery Barn coming to Melbourne?
We’re planning to open our next new store in Chadstone shopping centre (in Melbourne) this November which is really exciting! For the first time, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Williams-Sonoma and West Elm will be interconnected, so customers will be able to experience all the Williams-Sonoma brands under one roof.
What is your design background?
I graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. I also worked in the hospitality design business before joining the Pottery Barn merchandising team in 1994.
In 10 words or less describe the Pottery Barn style to Australian customers?
Casual, comfortable, accessible, affordable, fearless, timeless, unique, quality and exclusive.
Do you prescribe to the less is more, or more is more motto?
I like to tell our customers to be fearless, don’t be afraid when decorating because our homes are really a true reflection of ourself and there are no rules. One of the easiest design tips I have is ‘layering is key’ – layer bedding, layer your table top, layer your pillows! Depth is what makes design interesting and multidimensional.
What are five items currently in store that are essentials for any interiors addict?
I would say the fundamental pieces include our legendary flameless candle, flat weave rugs, melamine tableware, candlesticks and gallery frames.
Carpet or floorboards?
Definitely rugs – hard floor with plenty of rugs.
What’s a simple way to lift any room?
Lighting – my home is filled with lanterns and our amazing flameless candles, there’s nothing better for lifting the mood and creating great ambience.
What particular design area do you think Pottery Barn nails?
Casual entertaining meets comfortable and stylish living.
For first-time Pottery Barn customers, what’s the best way to navigate the stores?
Speak to one of our phenomenal sales assistants – one of our most pivotal brand values is our exceptional customer service. They will help you navigate the store and choose pieces to reflect your personal tastes and styles. We also offer a completely free in-house design service which we launched three years ago in the US. Customers can organise one of our interior designers to come into their home and enhance their current living spaces with no strings attached.
Get insider tips on creating a luxuriously comfortable home with Darren Palmer’s Easy Luxury. Buy it here.
Whether you are styling a new home, getting a property ready to sell, or simply redecorating, Easy Luxury provides budget-conscious design tips and solutions for creating a home that encompasses a luxe, designer aesthetic while still embodying comfort. The book moves from large-scale practicalities and planning through to the elements of design, and takes a detailed look at styling room by room (and the goals, opportunities and potential pitfalls involved).