Posts Tagged ‘Pottery Barn’

Or History Repeats Itself!  Clichés yes, true yes!

Over the past several years I have been noticing how many things are being re-introduced to the PBCB generation.  Oh you don’t know who that is?  PBCB is my term for the all the young marrieds (from about 2002 on) who filled their Wedding Registry with items from Crate & Barrrel, Potter Barn and some Williams Sonoma thrown in for good measure.



The REAL Thing

The REAL Thing

My household has been filled with real retro items for years.  I love kitchen ware, dish ware and flatware from the 30’s-40’s and 50’s.  I have wonderful pieces such as the red, yellow and blue refrigerator dishes with the glass lids and now from Amazon.com you can buy a clear glass storage dish.  I had beautiful round golden oak claw foot dining room table in my house in CT and although I know 90% of the X and Y generation eschew the old and like to buy newer than new, I did a double-take when I opened up a Pottery Barn catalogue and saw their new round oak table!  Visit any one of the Holy Three (Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma) and you will find Fondue Pots, Martini Shakers, Mason jars, Bread boxes – I’m not saying when I was a 20-year-old newlywed that I was looking for antique furniture or retro kitchen ware, but within a couple of years I realized the value and practicality of many of the old items NOT to mention the price.  You can buy furniture made out of real wood, not laminated at an auction or thrift or antique shop for less than what you might pay for compressed board and veneer.

What actually prompted this blog today was the fact that someone clicked on a previous blog post of mine https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/what-the-heck-is-this-obsolete-relics-from-my-life/ and I took the opportunity to re-read it myself.   And then the light bulb went off and I thought about the present my sister-in-law, Juanita gave me on Saturday;  If you have a smart phone or Blackberry and you are over the age of 50, you probably send texts and emails (like me) filled with strange words, badly spelled and a lot of non sequiturs  because our fingers are too fat for the keypad or we are attempting to write that email or text while we are sitting on the bus or worse yet, walking.  You know you can send some very embarrassing stuff.  She gave me a stylus!  A cute little handy item with a soft rubber head and bingo, I find myself typing out clear messages!  

Yes, what goes around, comes around especially in an older person’s mind – I just discovered that I wrote a blog post almost identical to this one in 2010.  See https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/whats-old-is-new-again/

Now if you haven’t clicked on the link for the older blog or blogs and you have no idea of what I’m talking about, now would be the time to do so!  

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You know I’ve thought about this for the last couple of years;  it started when my daughter and a whole bunch of her friends were getting engaged and planning weddings – there were so many showers that year it was like April for 12 months!  That was the year I coined a phrase describing this soon-to-be wedded Y generation as the PBCB Generation stands for Pottery Barn Crate & Barrel Generation.  Everyone of them HAD to be registered at Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and you could throw in Williams Sonoma too.

At my own bridal shower in 1968 I received many beautiful new household items; Pyrex mixing bowls with an Early American motif surrounding the nesting bowls,  a cookie jar in the shape of a monk,

Thou Shalt Not Steal, 1960's cookie jar

Thou Shalt Not Steal

and pots and pans and gadgets so typical of the 60’s like; an electric frying pan, an electric can opener, an electric ice crusher, an electric knife.  I received a hand-held mixer – I would never  have been caught dead with one of those big white mixers with their white bowls! I guess every generation thinks their parents’ stuff is old-fashioned

These days I’m a collector of vintage things and I especially love having and using my many pieces of vintage kitchen ware.  As the years went by, I  realized that I loved the bowls, canisters, mugs and all the gadgets and unusual pieces from the 1940’s and ’50’s.

Now I bring this up BECAUSE my daughter like lots of  other offspring I know, just pooh-pooh  anything her mother had and used because it was too old-fashioned, lol.  She turned up her nose at owning the vintage kitchen ware I collected and used.  AND I bring this up BECAUSE as I wended my way through the above-referenced Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel looking for gift items in the registries,  I couldn’t help but notice and remark that many of the featured items were reproductions of the very vintage items I had!

That’s right – There I was in Crate & Barrel looking at a set of nested Pyrex mixing bowls in a contemporized color version of the hallmark 1940’s yellow, green, red and blue set ( I have an original set).

Pyrex mixing bowls, nested bowls,. 1940's

The REAL thing

Oh and they seem to be sitting on a reproduction round oak pedestal table (that I had when Chiara was growing up).  There were repro retro sugar shakers,  flour sifters, dish towels with a vintage cherry pattern, mason jars, repro jadeite coffee mugs ( I have all of those but mine are real) …in the furniture department I saw small side tables with pie crust edge, sleigh beds, even high post pineapple post beds!  Lots of Arts and Craft period Stickley-like desks and bookcases and chairs – ALL reproduced and at SUCH prices!!   I loved the little electric fans, the martini shakers (yes, mine are vintage)  and glasses and fondue pots (got one of those avocado green originals)!

1970's  cheese fondue, chocolate and fruit fondue

Let's Have a Fondue Party

I tried to tell her that she could still get the REAL THING but she wasn’t hearing any of that.

In Pottery Barn, the wave of reproduction rolled through too.  They even have a department called Vintage Finds!! Reproduction seltzer bottles (mine are original), woven wine bottles (remember burning and dripping candles in those Chianti bottles?), soda crates, pickling jars and wooden rakes.  Apparently in the past couple of years, nostalgia has been king, and even the Y generation appreciates it – that is, as long as it came from PB or CB!! I buy my stuff at Flea Markets and yard sales  – They love RETAIL!

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