Whimsy + Pottery Barn

by Cate on September 16, 2009


When it comes to decorating the house, I’m a total child of Pottery Barn.  So much so that I used to save all their catalogs … until they had the bright idea of publishing books showcasing their decorating style.  Classic, traditional but with a comfortable enough slant that you feel you can put your feet up and relax.  After all, between the kids, their friends, and pets, stuffiness and plastic covered loveseats are totally out for me.

But as much as I love Pottery Barn, I also like to bring a little bit of whimsy to decorating the house, with little things here and there that are unexpected.  Like our fortune area.  Fortune cookies have always been a fun part of getting Chinese food.  An old friend and I used to choose our cookies, and then switch before opening them.  For some reason, the men in our family never eat the cookies, but Nick does.  He and I always wait for the end of the meal and then tear into the cookies to read our fortunes.  A few months ago, we started talking about the different fortunes and that it was a shame that we had to throw away the good news.

“But maybe we don’t,” I said.

“What else would we do with them?” he asked.

We started brainstorming.  I thought it would be fun to tack them up somewhere, but with an upcoming move on the horizon, I didn’t want to embark on any big project that we might have to undo.  We started tossing the fortunes into our kitchen coin jar … until last week.

Nick's Fortune

We knew we were going to put them on a wall somewhere, but I wanted it to be subtle. Like a happy surprise that you caught a glimpse of when you turned the corner. We ended up choosing the trim on this little alcove by the dining room. It’s perfect. We pass by there many times a day and it’s just a fun little thing. Originally I had planned to use straight pins to attach them to the wall and even found pretty ones with shiny colored metallic little tops. But the pin is too long and too hard to get into the wood without it bending. So I started looking for push-pins, but something different from the usual primary color bulletin board kind. When I found a set at Target, I knew they were perfect. A shorter pin and small round pops of color.

I love that one of the recent fortunes that Nick received was about Popeye (not that he even knows who he is, unfortunately) and eating vegetables. How appropriate. And my last fortune? The last one in the picture … “To love and be loved is like feeling the sun from both sides.” Love it.

I took the first picture, and Nick, the second. I always find it interesting to see his perspective when taking a picture, and this time, it was completely different than mine.

Good fortune really can be just around the corner… if you plan it that way.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Caron September 16, 2009 at 9:32 pm

What an awesome idea! I’ve thought that it’s a waste to toss them too. Using them like that is a great way to not let them go to waste. And the different perspectives? Perfect!


Southern Grace Gourmet September 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm

What a brilliant idea! I love ingenious and unique decorating ideas! I also love to use items that aren’t typical in decor, like you did here, great idea, the pins are really cute too. It reminds me I had a friend that got a fortune one day that said, “Help, I am being held captive in a chinese fortune cookie writing plant” We seriously didn’t know if it was a joke or not, but i am sure it was! It was typed!


claire September 16, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Cute idea! I always love when people do Christmas cards that way…just an extra little detail that makes your days more fun!


mandy September 16, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I think this is a great, fun idea! I have fortunes stuck in the side of my mirror, taped to the side of my computer monitor, tucked in my wallet, and placed around in other areas. I’ve seen them framed and hung as a picture as well. Great idea to tack them to the wall with decorative pins!


Joanne September 17, 2009 at 6:13 am

This is a great idea, kind of like your own, personalized feng shui. I think it’s little touches like this that are going to make you happy in your new home, and actually turn it into a home for you guys.


jan September 17, 2009 at 8:54 am

now you’re giving me ideas, if I EVER find my couple of way cool fortunes that I tucked away somewhere.


Jess September 17, 2009 at 9:03 am

Love it!


Kris #40 September 17, 2009 at 9:21 am

So cute!


Josie September 17, 2009 at 10:24 am

I have a seriously hard time tossing out fortunes – I love this idea! It is better than taping them to my computer monitor which is what I did at work :)


Debbie September 17, 2009 at 10:36 am

Very cute idea. I love fortune cookies and love reading them. I did bake your Reeses Peanut Butter Cup cookies last night. They were wonderful! We all loved them and I’ve taken some to work because they are just too tempting to have that many around at home!


Emily September 17, 2009 at 11:27 am

Whew, I finally got caught up on all the yummy posts since the last time I checked your blog about a month ago. I can’t wait to try a lot of those delicious recipes, especially the PB Cup cookies!


pamela September 19, 2009 at 8:30 am

What a neat idea! I still have a fortune from that I just loved, and it’s gotta be over 15 years now. Good memories you’re making!


Ana September 23, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Love your idea, it is awesome, really cool!


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