If you're a regular LCY reader, you know that Tuesday was one of the best days ever. If you're not a regular reader, allow me to recap. This past Tuesday, I had been invited to partake in the press tours of the new Pottery Barn and West Elm stores that opened in Chicago's Lincoln Park. Last night, this joyous occurrence culminated in an invite-only cocktail party filled with stylish Chicagoans, Pottery Barn execs (they really do exist!), and more cocktail servers, coat checkers, and valet than I have fingers and toes - times three. (I've been one of those people - tip well!) It was a night to remember... not just because of the live jazz, endless chardonnay, tasty hors d'oeuvres, and 10% off purchases - don't get me wrong, I enjoyed all of those things - but because I will always recall the day spring arrived in Chicago on February 4. I mean, look at these photos. Spring. Was. Everywhere. I was surrounded by flowers, birds, leaves, warmth (that might have been the wine). Everywhere! As soon as I entered the store (shown above and below), I was greeted by garden-like decor and bright, happy colors, similar to West Elm's yellow welcoming. But what really did it for me was the endless supply of flowers and greenery. Oh, and did I mention it smelled like roses? Actual roses?!? Turns out, there was a reason for that (rose-scented potpourri not available online). Again just like West Elm, I couldn't help but smile as soon as I walked in. The Tuesday tour was led by the senior vice president of product development, Monica Bhargava, who is not only a lovely and friendly woman but one who truly emphasizes and appreciates the hard work, artistry, and beauty of each of her company's products. She described inspiration for the spring collection as "farmhouse chic, comprised of authentic, easy-to-understand materials." Similarly, the senior VP continually and most accurately referenced the term "whimsical" when describing our surroundings and the store's inventory, noting that the little bird motif on pillows and bedding just "puts a smile on your face." I adored the embroidered bird pillows, and I don't even like birds. Go figure. So again I'll say, if you can, indulge by taking a few hours to visit the new Pottery Barn and West Elm stores (their front doors are literally 30 feet apart). I mean, we all know we've got a few months left of mittens and rosy noses. Might as well enjoy spring where we can. And now we've got nearly 40,000 sq. ft of it with these two stores combined. I know I'll be back soon. Probably tomorrow. (below) Pottery Barn senior VP and my tour guide on Tuesday, Monica Bhargava, described the brand's pottery as objects that "really celebrate the hand of the artists." Each piece is unique to the hands that crafted them. (below) Did I tell you florals were everywhere or did I tell you florals were everywhere? (below) I wonder if they'll be playing You've Got Mail later... dibs on the yellow(ish) chair. (below) Unlike most PB stores, the new Lincoln Park store has an incredible presentation of bathroom furniture. I came back to stare at this double sink console at least five times. The pink wisps, the Carrara marble, the Benjamin Moore blue. Perfection. And if you're in the market for bath towels... (below) Let's see... the clock gallery. The antique globe collection. The month-by-month leather journal collection. Seriously. What's not to love here? (below) I am still undecided as to whether this piece of furniture was altogether a hallucination. It is that perfect. Here's why. According to Monica (pictured below), inspiration originated in a Paris flea market, where the top creative minds at PB took note of Parisian artisans and craftsmen resting their morning coffees and beverages on old workbenches. From whence was born the Markham Console Bar. On the front left is a cast-iron towel bar, the front center piece of wood is a drawer that pulls out for storage, and in the back is a troff to securely hold your Grey Goose and Maker's Mark. All the amenities and practicality needed in a modern household, but with the charm and custom finish that emits an air of being recently bought at - where else - a Parisian flea market. Hats off to you, PB. Hats off. All in the Details Below is my favorite vignette in the store - I think it's the mini trunks which are really just too charming for words. (below) I've been in the market for the perfect chip and dip bowl since I moved downtown over a month ago and I think I may have found it. (below) I purchased the black globe as a belated b-day gift for my sis who loves maps. And there are the wooden cubbies I raved about here! most objects shown above can be found via the following links: quilts, pillows, candles, lighting, bath accessories, decorative accents Thursday's Opening Event Cocktail Party (below) My mom joined me in enjoying this lively, and as Monica said, whimsical, evening. She and I spent a significant portion of the night trying to arrange some new accent pieces for her fireplace mantel (bottom left). After a good 20 minutes, we agreed on a pretty fabulous rectangular vase but only then did we move on to encounter the most beautiful paisley pillow covers ever. Much to my dismay, this photo (bottom right) does not do the pattern, texture, or color justice. (Why do they look brown?!?) I guess you'll have to trust me when I say "Heeeeello, lover!" We literally rubbed our faces against them to feel how soft they are. It's ok, though. She bought those too. And as for the best moment of the night... drum roll, please! Because what would a Williams-Sonoma Inc. event be without a picture of me and the Pottery Barn crew? Here I am with the wonderful Michaela and Leigh, the PR gurus of Pottery Barn and some of the friendliest ladies I've ever met. *all photos my own* AND I'd like to extend one more thank you to the lovely Megan Richards of M Richards Public Relations here in Chicago. Not only was Megan in large part responsible for the two gorgeous and fun events I attended, but she has offered to hook Live Creating Yourself up with some supercalifabulous giveaways in the upcoming weeks (courtesy of the very generous Pottery Barn and West Elm groups). Do you see why I love these stores? One last thing. The new Pottery Barn in Lincoln Park is offering complimentary design classes for the month of February: February 6th all day Botanical Arranging February 7th 10:00am Design the Perfect Bedroom February 13th all day Simple Home Updates February 20th all day Design Your Family Room February 21st 10:00am Storage & Organization February 21st 1:00pm Choosing the Perfect Wall Color presented by Benjamin Moore Annnnd if you missed my recap of the West Elm store opening event, read it here.