I'm really interested in the rooms. I've heard rumors about Pottery Barn catalog shoots, and how they're the equivalent of a movie set - huge warehouses with attractive furniture and knickknacks placed against beautifully painted sections of wall, a new little roomlet every twenty or thirty feet. When they shoot on location, the rooms are never what you think they are. That spacious, well-lit bathroom with room for an etagiere, a glass-fronted cabinet and several whimsical wall hangings is actually someone's dining room with a bathtub and some fake tile shoved up against one wall. The bedroom with a stone patio just outside its French doors that overlook a gorgeous blue bay is actually the grand ballroom of a resort.
I'm dying to see some kind of "before and after" kind of shoot of these spaces. There's one room in the latest catalog where you're looking past a grandly-laid dining table into a sort of alcove stacked floor-to-ceiling with shelves full of wine, which are the purpose of the picture. Each group of shelves holds twelve bottles and (as shown) you can "easily stack [them] side-by-side and atop one another, connecting to form a stable, sturdy wall of wine." What I want to know is, what's REALLY on the other side of that very large doorway? It would be funny if just outside the frame is an unfinished concrete wall with lighting rigs bolted all over it that smells like dust and urine.
A lot of the shots are cut off low to give a sense of intimacy and coziness. It makes me wonder what's right above your head - giant lighting? And Pottery Barn houses never EVER have carpeting in any room. What idiot would spend a thousand dollars on a rug if he already had carpeting?
I have visions of a woman in her early 20s wearing a t-shirt and khakis whose pockets are stuffed with gaffer's tape, box cutters, scissors and a walkie-talkie. Around her neck is a tape measure and she's carrying around a big box that looks like the contents of several kitchen junk drawers was emptied into it. Her job is to completely fill every shot with useless crap. Hang keys and scarves and tied-together shoes from hooks, fill giant clear vases with tiny seashells or raw wheat berries, populate the desk caddies with everything that Martha Stewart has on her desk (or what this particular young woman imagines Martha to be reaching for from her seat of power over the course of a day). She has to come up with fun, creative bits of paper to populate bulletin boards and attractive, purposeful arrays of crap to occupy so much space on every desk, table and shelf so as to render them practically useless for books or eating or working. She has a sheaf of papers with a binder clip at one corner that's organized into broad categories: Furniture by room, accessories by room (cross-referenced, as many living rooms cross over into bedroom territory and kitchen and bath are practically interchangeable nowadays), and "Atmosphere." She talks constantly into her walkie talkie to other young people similarly attired and outfitted. She says things like "Estelle, do you have those 42-inch scissors? I NEED them for this mudroom layout! And is Dan done with all the boots? I have an entryway bench with NOTHING IN IT!" She fields requests for the much-coveted Giant Key, or that whimsical horse sculpture that nobody knows that Monica rode naked one day after work when she was putting away props with Todd, who was fired soon after. She knows what these rooms look like without the fancy furniture or the expensive drapes and rugs. She is not impressed. She bought all her furniture at Ikea, except for a really nice hutch that she got at a discount as a perk.
I want her job.