Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm open their doors in Sydney, Australia

Warning: this is a photo heavy post
Last Wednesday, a few lucky bloggers and I had the opportunity to tour the new Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm stores at Bondi Junction, before their grand opening to the public! My readers will know that I just ADORE all things home decor, so to say that I was excited, is a major understatement. So, why out of everywhere else in the world, did Williams-Sonoma choose Australia to open it's first international storefronts? Well, apparently Australia loves their product, and we're their largest buying community outside of the US. Now that Williams-Sonoma et al are located domestically, we'll be able to enjoy a larger array of products, and cheaper local shipping prices. Excellent news.
Katrina - The Organised Housewife, Sonia - Life Love & Hiccups,
Fiona - My Mummy Daze, Anne-Marie - The House That A-M Built
Larissa - My Pigeon Pair, Lisa - Life as we know it, Jen - The Interiors Addict
Photo courtesy of Mel - Georgica Pond
Williams-Sonoma really is a feast for the senses! The moment you step through the beautiful double doors, you're greeted with beautiful merchandise displays, and the wonderful aroma of foods, wafting through the store. This really is a cook's and entertainer's paradise. Here will find everything you will ever need to set up the soul of your home...the kitchen. Dinnerware, cookware, flatware, glassware...and so much more...
Williams-Sonoma want you to experience before you buy. Want to know how the juicers work? Head to the Juice Bar for a demonstration, and try one of their delicious recipes. I tasted the carrot, apple and ginger juice, and it was seriously refreshing. Coffee Lovers will appreciate the coffee bar, where you can taste and test the many coffee options.
In a world first, the Williams-Sonoma store in Sydney features the brand's first Cooking School, offering a wide variety of 12‐person classes customised to suit all levels. The kitchen looks beautiful, with 6 two person batterie de Cuisine, (or cooking stations) for students to get inspired, learn how to use the latest equipment, and have some fun. What's more, you'll receive hands on instruction from Williams‐Sonoma resident professional chefs. The Cooking School also will welcome guest chefs and local artisans who will provide instruction in cheese making, bread baking and other crafts. Keep your eye out for class details here.
Williams-Sonoma Vice President of Culinary Programs, chef Vladimir Niza
Bakers will love the wide array of baking pans, dishes, tools, and accessories that are on offer. While the foodies may want to head over to the Food Hall to try out the many ingredients, condiments, sauces, seasonings and more. Having already tasted Williams-Sonoma pancake and cookie mixes, I know they are excellent quality, and I can't wait to try some of the other foods on offer!
Pottery Barn is the brand that most Australians will be familiar with, and it's Sydney store certainly delivers. There is a homely feel to the store, with many vignettes set up to encourage you to imagine living in the space. The arm chairs, throws and pillows in the picture above would look perfect in my home! Classic furniture, soft-furnishings, and homewares abound...the carefully selected pieces that Pottery Barn carries really are timeless.
Pottery Barn also feature a large number of seasonal items for purchase, that will change regularly. You can expect to see the floor displays changed out regularly, keeping the store vibe fresh. As with Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn will be hosting in-store classes! Here's a few design classes that may interest you...and they're free of charge.
May 12 10am ‐ 11am Frame it: Chic wall and table displays
May 19 10am ‐ 11am Autumn decorating
June 19 10am ‐ 11am Autumn decorating
Pottery Barn Kids is a girlie paradise! Beautiful pinks, lilacs, and limes as far as the eye can see. Your little girl will love visiting PB Kids, selecting out items to decorate her dream bedroom, and playing with the handmade dolls. My daughter has her heart set on Angelica...featured top left in the pretty lilac tutu.
The boys have not been forgotten at Pottery Barn Kids. There are a huge selection of bedding, curtains, rugs, accessories, and toys, selected with your little man in mind. My son has requested the red mini Lazy Susan below to house all of his school supplies on his desk. I might have to pick up one as well for the scrap room!
All of the toys are placed low through out the store. Pottery Barn Kids WANTS your children to touch, and feel, and play with the merchandise. This is a fun destination for children, and Pottery Barn Kids has gone to  great lengths to accommodate children shopping with their parents. Children are encouraged to sit on the chairs, play with the toys and to have fun while their parents shop. Parents will also welcome the reassurance that Pottery Barn Kids tests all of its products to ensure their safety and quality. Most importantly, there are toilets and changing facilities located within the store, should the need arise (and mummas...you know it will! lol).
Every Tuesday at 11am, the kids will be able to pull down the comfy Anywhere Chairs, and participate in the Book Club story time. There's plenty of upcoming seasonal events as well...
May 11 3pm and 4pm Mother's Day doll tea party (reservations and pre‐payment required)
May 18 4pm ‐ 6pm Nursery Style event
June 8 10am National Geographic Little Explorers
Pottery Barn Kids is also your premium destination for everything baby! Gorgeous nappy bags that any mumma would be happy to carry, beautiful gifts for the mum-to-be, and basically anything else that you think baby might need...
There is a huge range of neutral, girl and boy themed bedding and accessories available. Oh how I wish this was available when my children were babies...I would have picked out the beautiful grey bedding (pictured below) in a fetal heartbeat! There's a baby and gift registry available in store too so mummas-to-be can put together a wishlist for their baby shower.
Last, but certainly not least...you can have Pottery Barn Kids fabric products monogrammed in store while you wait!  What a fabulous way to personalise a gift for that special child.
West Elm was my favourite store on the day, with it's eclectic, urban, New Yorker feel. The store features handmade and one‐of‐a‐kind discoveries from around the world, working closely with organisations that support the development of global craft communities and artisan skills.
On www.westelm.com.au, and on the West Elm blog, Front & Main, customers can find the latest collections, helpful design tips and tools, videos and information about current collaborations, as well as share photos of their homes, inspiring one another and discovering new ways to express their personal style. Your pinterest boards are sure to be full of home decorating ideas!
West Elm offers complimentary design consultations and space planning sessions, working closely with customers to help define their design needs and personal style...so if you're yet to discover your style, make an appointment...they're there to help you.
What I love most about about West Elm...they support local artists and artisans. Head in store to view / purchase art and accessories sourced through Etsy and created by Sydney‐based artists.
So...are Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm, worth the hype? Absolutely! I can't wait to drive up again and do some serious shopping.

The Exchange Building
466 Oxford Street Bondi Junction NSW

Can't make it to Bondi? Never fear...Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm will deliver Australia-wide! Check out their sites for more gorgeous products.

Disclaimer: I was invited to a preview event to browse the new Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm stores. I was not obligated to blog about this event, and no money exchanged hands, however I was gifted a lovely bag for attending. All opinions expressed are my own.

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