Web site: potterybarnkids.com
It’s rare that one retailer/catalog can change an entire industry. Pottery Barn Kids (PBK) scored that coup during the 2000′s when their contemporary nursery décor (accented by vintage motifs and a bright color palette) literally changed the rules. Out went cutesy baby-ish décor; in came a more modern yet still whimsical look, thanks to PBK.
Pottery Barn Kids sells a mixture of name brand and private label furniture from their site. Prices range from a simple $400 crib to more ornate designs (like the Larkin crib, pictured, $900). Occasional sales knock cribs prices as low as $280.
Matching dressers range from $400 to $1200 and run the gamut from simple three-drawer options to extra-wide double dressers. Of course, PBK has all manner of accessories: nightstands, armoires, bookcases, and more.
Watch out for shipping—PBK shipping on expensive items is 10% of the total from $200 to $2999 and 5% on purchases over $3000. That charge can make the final price a bit higher than what you see online. Example: a $700 crib actually costs $770 with shipping.
While most parents are happy with PBK’s customer service and delivery, we’ve had more than one parent tell us about quality woes with PBK furniture: peeling paint on a bookcase, splintering wood on a dresser, etc. While the cribs are fine, it’s the other furniture items that draw complaints. To PBK’s credit, the web site or store usually takes care of the problem and replaces the defective item. But as one reader, who told us PBK’s home delivery service miss-assembled her crib, described it, “it’s always a canned apology with a pipe dream solution—we’ll send someone out, but they never show up.”
Quality-wise, you are paying a premium for the PBK look (many items have custom finishes only available at PBK). But take a look under the hood: that $600 crib is cute, but why pay this much for a crib with exposed bolts? You could spend a $100 less on a similar crib from Babies R Us and get a more finished look. And competitors have long since caught up with PBK on style and design, so we’re not sure the price premium is justified anymore.
Bottom line: use PBK for décor items like bedding or lamps and order the furniture elsewhere. Rating (furniture): C