Tuesday, August 12, 2008

PB Dreams

Sifting through the day’s mail, I toss out the credit card offers and the important information about my car insurance. I put the bills in a pile to be dealt with later.

Then, I grab a comfy spot on the sofa and curl up with the Pottery Barn catalog.

It’s an exciting event. This is the first Pottery Barn catalog I’ve received in, oh, at least three days. I can’t wait to see how they have rearranged the Manhattan leather armchair, the Metropolitan console table, and the Bedford bookcases for this issue.

I don’t remember when my obsession began. All I know is that I really, really like looking at the Pottery Barn catalog. If they charged for a subscription I would actually have to consider it.

After years of just looking, I did finally purchase a few items from Pottery Barn. The bookcase had a crack in it, and I had to send it back for another bookcase which arrived with a smaller crack. I did not become organized, my children did not become cheerful, and my house did not turn into a beachside cottage.

So, I think I will stop trying to actually buy anything, and go back to browsing lustily through their very attractive catalog whenever it arrives in my mailbox. I like to gaze at the photographs, losing myself in a fantasy where my home could look just like a page from the catalog. It’s all in good fun, because even if I got rid of all my furniture, accessories and linens and replaced them with Pottery Barn products, my house would still look like a tornado just ripped through it.

In case you don’t believe me, here is what my living room looks like at this moment:

See? No amount of Pottery Barn furniture is going to improve the situation.

Well, okay, so it’s not always quite this bad. Just sometimes. And after all, we just moved, and we’re still unpacking. If I pick up the living room every day I will have no time to unpack boxes, do the laundry or write for my blog. Or flip through the Pottery Barn catalog and its derivatives.

Which brings us to the Pottery Barn Kids/Pottery Barn Baby catalog.

As with the regular Pottery Barn, I love just looking at all the impeccably decorated, tastefully arranged children’s bedrooms. Whoever came up with the concept of themed nurseries and kids’ rooms (Pottery Barn, perhaps?) was a genius. Kind of like yard art or Thomas Kinkade paintings, it’s an invented concept that has created a demand for something completely unnecessary.

If ever there was someone who does not give a rip about room decor, it’s a baby. As you’ve no doubt realized if you’ve ever decorated a nursery, that room is all about mama. I spent a fairly good chunk of time shopping for and decorating an elaborate transportation/travel themed nursery for my firstborn. He took a nap in there once. The rest of the time, he slept in our bed.

For subsequent children, I have not bothered. I say, if you are about to place an order at Pottery Barn Baby, STOP! Save your money for the years ahead when they will ask you for things like expensive sneakers or a fancy wedding.

As kids reach the preschool years, they might possibly start caring about decorating their room, but I’d still recommend avoiding themes, because their interests can change from one week to the next. Before we moved, the boys’ room had a theme of trains/space/NASCAR/transportation/art/butterflies/sports. They don’t sell that one in Pottery Barn Kids.

When we moved we decided to let all three kids share a bedroom. The mismatched beds fill up the space in a very un-Pottery-Barn-like manner, with the only decor being a BMX bike border and a large mural of a guy riding a dirt bike.

My kids couldn’t care less. Besides, it’s not a room where we spend a lot of time. At bedtime we read a few books, then it’s lights out.

So, I think I’ll stick some money in their college funds, engross myself in my catalogs and try to avoid looking at the living room floor.


Angela said...

you make me smile... but so do my kids pb quilts! :)

i know...i suck. i didn't buy any more this time around, though. i went to kmart, got 2 twin sized blankets, cut them in half, and viola! 4 matching covers for 4 little toddler beds! they still all match, and yes, it's totally for me (the blankets are green!), but i'm okay with that. At least i'm making progress, aren't I? ;)

Oh...and I love (what I can see of...heehee) your floors and walls!! It looks like an awesome place!:)

Firefly mom said...

Can I just say - you are a brave, brave woman for posting that photo! You're my new hero.

My favorite part about the pottery barn kids catalogs are the sizes of their bedrooms, with room enough for the bed, dressers, play area, bookshelves, couch and tables. Stick a mini fridge and microwave in there and it'd look like my first apartment!

JDsMamaw said...

I am now offically in love with you! I have never had the guts to post a picture of my REAL livingroom...not the "just cleaned up" version. I sit here now looking at a pile of Blue's Clues books, a Winnie the Pooh rocker with the dog's rug tossed over the back, a frog potty chair (which might as well be the electric chair as far as my 3 yr old is concerned), assorted toys, a Toy Story ten, crayons and other kid paraphanalia...BUT everyone is in bed and it's ME TIME. It's the only quiet I get!