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Pottery Barn

Home > Brisbane > Shopping | Home Improvement | Gifts | Vintage and Retro
by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
Published September 30th 2015
The One with the Apothecary Table
pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture


Fortitude Valley furniture and homewares stores, tremble in fear. There's a new player on the block and they're kind of a big deal in the mythos of my posse. Pottery Barn – yes the Pottery Barn that was the focus of an episode of sitcom Friends in 2000 - has opened its doors in the gentrified, hipster, and rich-folk-friendly side of the Valley.

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture


Rachel: Monica look! Look-look-look! Here is that table that I ordered. (Shows her the picture.)
Monica: You got it from Pottery Barn?!
Rachel: Yeah! It's an apothecary table. Does anyone even know what an apothecary is?


It's dialogue like this that has given Pottery Barn a vital marketing leg-up before it even opened its doors this morning to a packed crowd of beautiful people and media types. When my IRL friends heard I was covering the ribbon cutting event I had responses of…

"What the Pottery Barn?"

"You mean the one Rachel goes to on Friends?"

"Oh my gawd yes! The one with the apothecary table!?"

"You have to tell us what it's like!"

It's like the store has an aura of desirability and legend about it that's given it, for want of a better phrase, iconic status.

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture


FUN FACT: As a result of the Pottery Barn product placement in Friends, Pottery Barn catalogue sales go up every time the episode is played on TV.

And it's no surprise. The furniture and homewares in store are just as gorgeous and enduring as those coveted by Rachel… and no, they're not paying me to say so, but they are paying a lovely lady called Penny, who had this to say, "We try to provide comfort and value for our customers so that's why we carry almost anything you can imagine, from small entertaining items at a really good price, or going all the way to one of our sofas or lounges. They're very comfortable and good value."

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture


The store is cleverly set out with sections that feel like you're walking through the home of your dreams; all colour coordinated and classy, elegant and timeless. The pieces are beautifully designed and feel solid, like the sort of furniture that won't just last a lifetime, but that could become heirlooms. With the interior of the store styled within an inch of its life, it's easy to find yourself coveting not just one or two things, but an entire display.

(Scene: Phoebe and Rachel's, Rachel is showing Ross around the newly decorated living room.)
Rachel: …see I can't decide whether it would go better next to the new wicker dining chair, the Sahara desk, or the Parker console table.
Ross: Wow! I didn't know that there was a Pottery Barn up here.
Rachel: I know, I know. I went a little crazy.
Ross: A little? Your place looks like page 72 of the catalogue. (Excited) Ooh look at that! The ornamental bird cage! Large!

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture


These days the ornaments include mason jars and candles, clocks, cushions and statues, quirky crockery you're meant to display on a wall because it's too artistic to eat off and so many more delightful eye-treats to adorn your home, and best of all, not a single piece of flat pack style furniture in sight.

"Our big furniture items will be delivered to your home, unpackaged and assembled," Penny said, as I imagined the sound of a million blokes throwing out their allen keys and doing a happy dance.

The Wandoo Street store isn't just the home of the legendary Pottery Barn. There's also a Pottery Barn Kids section with furniture, toys, costumes and all things kids and their cool parents will love. Unlike many things made for kids, you really feel these items are made to last. You won't find a garish colour combination or flimsy plastic made-not-to-last furniture item in sight.

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture, kids

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture, kids


For those who like things a little more on the modern artisanal side of life, there's also a West Elm section of the store. There you'll find a bit more of a slicker, modern, Eames-y vibe in the styling, alongside work by local artists and with a focus on community, handcrafted and sustainability.

I asked Taryn, a Pottery Barn employee, for her take on the three stores in one.

"Pottery Barn is a little more on the traditional side with timeless pieces that will really last a lifetime," she explained, "West Elm originated in Brooklyn, so it's probably a little bit more of an industrial vibe, a little more 'city' but still with a lot of handmade qualities.

"We have a lot of Etsy artists who work with us and we've even got some local Brisbane artists working in collaboration with West Elm. Wherever West Elm stores are they use works by local people, which is really cool and different.

"Pottery Barn Kids is just a beautiful little piece of heaven packed with the sort of thing you normally don't see for kids which is stuff the kids would love but it's still timeless. It will last through their lifetime and even, for example, a chest of drawers that would do in an adult's room."

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture


The good news for those who are easily overwhelmed by a plethora of choices, or those who don't have an eye for interior design is the obligation-free design service. An experienced designer will actually come to your home and take a brief on what you want, and then work with you to put together a look from items across all three parts of the store. Then you can post pictures of your new look interiors on Pinterest and make all your friends jealous (I know that's what I'd do)!

The store's gift registry service is sure to be popular too (with me, for my next birthday).

"It's not just for weddings," Taryn revealed, unwittingly giving me permission to set up a birthday registry, "You could do a baby shower registry or moving into your first home... it's just something a little different you could do for any event."

Do you hear that friends and family? Any event.
pottery, barn, fortitude, valley, brisbane, homewares, furniture

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Why? Shopping counts as a hobby, right?
When: Monday 9:00am – 5:30pm; Tuesday 9:00am – 5:30; Wednesday 9:00am – 5:30pm; Thursday 9:00am – 7:00pm; Friday 9:00am – 5:30pm; Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm; Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Phone: (07) 3173 5220
Where: 19 Wandoo Street Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
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