Monday, May 14, 2012

Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma is synonymous with good living and it happens to be one of my favorite housewares stores.  I have been a faithful customer for a number of years now, outfitting my home with fine linen, china, silverware, glassware, cookware, and all sorts of gadgets, because I know I'm buying quality.  My very first set of kitchen knives and pots & pans were purchased at Williams-Sonoma and to this day they  have served me well.  Not only do I love shopping here for my own kitchen and home, but I enjoy doing so for friends & family members celebrating birthdays or weddings.  Their wedding registry is very comprehensive and every single store has a special kiosk dedicated to this type of shopping.  One can go in there and quickly access this information, making it convenient to shop for weddings.  What soon-to-be-married couple wouldn't love getting items from this store?


Mauviel Copper is heirloom quality.

When one enters any Williams-Sonoma, a friendly and knowledgeable sales associate is always there to greet you within minutes.  I love that everyone who works at these stores knows their products thoroughly.  I've come to rely on their expertise if I'm not familiar with a certain item or if I'm weighing the pros & cons between particular brands.  If you're lucky to have a Williams-Sonoma nearby that is one of  the larger stores, there will be a large center island outfitted with a commercial kitchen range where staff members and even special guests have the ability to prepare both savory & sweet dishes for the public.  Many of their products are tested and used in this environment, so it comes as no surprise that staff members know what they're talking about.


An assortment of products at the entrance.

I realize that several items at this store are rather expensive (premium electrics, knives and certain cookware), but if you compare most products that are found at other stores, you then realize that they're not much more.  Whenever I buy something here I know I'm making an investment that is going to last me a number of years.  I'm a person that shops for my housewares with this in mind.  I don't ever purchase something that is gimmicky or poorly made, because I know it's going to disappoint.  Although I do keep in mind what I already have in my kitchen, it isn't absolutely necessary for me to match everything.  I don't need to have my toaster matching my pots & pans or coffeemaker.  What I think about overall is quality, value & craftsmanship.  Is my purchase going to last me only a certain number of years or will it last me a lifetime?  Will I have to replace a gadget because it is poorly constructed in a year?  Longevity is key for me when it comes to housewares. 


A La Cornue Range in the center, Calphalon Pots on the right, and high quality kitchen knives in the background.


Le Creuset Pots.  Notice Martha Stewart's American Food Cookbook on the shelf immediately as one enters.

With this in mind, I don't shop for all of my housewares at Williams-Sonoma, but there are some that I would purchase again if I had to start from zero.  Below are items I love & recommend from Williams-Sonoma.  Many are already in my kitchen and others are those I simply dream about. 


  • CookwareLe Creuset (Dutch ovens, griddles, frying pans, trivets & rectangular bakers), All-Clad (I recommend any pan from this company-they're made to last a lifetime), Calphalon (double frittata pan & nonstick fry pans), Mauviel Copper (*sugar pot, the entire product line), Staub (any of their cast iron products), Ruffoni Copper or Stainless (any pot or pan), Nordicware (omelet pan or fry pans).
  • Bakeware:  Cake Pans (round, square & rectangular), Bundt Pans (they have a good assortment), Baking Sheet Pans, Cookie Sheet Pans, Pie Dishes & Pans, Quiche Pans, Tart Pans (with removable bottoms), Brioche Pans, Charlotte Molds, Bread & Loaf Pans, Muffin Pans (jumbo, standard & mini) and Cookie Cutters.
  • Kitchen Electrics: Coffee Makers (regular, espresso & pod), Coffee Grinders, Stand Mixers, Food Processors, Toaster Ovens, Waffle Makers, Panini Presses & Grills, Blenders & Juicers.
  • Cutlery: All Brands of Kitchen Knives.  Buy what suits your cooking style.
  • Cook's Tools & Kitchen Gadgets:  Cutting Boards, all Baking & Pastry Tools, Silicone & Metal Spatulas, Stainless Steel Colanders & Strainers, Pastry Boards, Mixing Bowls (Ceramic, Stainless & Tempered Glass), Measuring Cups & Spoons, Microplane Graters, Salt & Pepper Mills, Mortar & Pestle, Thermometers, Kitchen Timers, Kitchen Scales (digital & dial), Vegetable Graters & Peelers, Mandolines.
  • Fine China: All Pillivuyt & Apilco China, Buffalo China, Wedgwood, Havilland Limoges (their patterns are beautiful), Royal Copenhagen, Raynaud & Co. Limoges, Bernardaud
  • Fine Linens: seasonal prints, hemstitched linen, jacquard linen, boutis, Hotel linens and all runners.
  • Silverware: any 18/10 stainless flatware, Laguiole flatware, Hotel Silver and all serving sets.
  • Glassware: double & single old-fashioned (crystal & glass), duraclear, all pitchers, *Perigord stemware, *Reidel stemware and Williams-Sonoma brand wineglasses (a good value!).
  • Homekeeping: aprons, oven mitts, dish cloths, dish towels, glass & ceramic storage containers, ladders & stepstools, Metro Shelves, Miele vacuums, kitchen islands & carts.
Last but not least is the Williams-Sonoma Catalog.  To me, it's always a delight receiving this in the mail because I get to peruse it at my leisure and whet my appetite with new products.  I know, I don't need anything else!  It's OK, to look though.  The seasonal items that are featured always seem to be favorites with customers.  Just think of those large chocolate Easter bunnies, or the seasonal pies during summertime.  Delicious cakes & pastries can be purchased through the catalog and the assortment during Christmas is worth taking a look at.  Visit a Williams-Sonoma near you sometime in the future and let your imagination run wild & your tastes guide you.  Compare products and ask lots of questions. 

The Fabulous Beekman Boys have made their heirloom seeds available through the catalog.  Certain seed packets arrive with recipes.

I love that the catalog is introducing Chicken Coops for those of us who want to raise our own chickens.  The accouterments for making these portable & varmint proof are provided by Williams-Sonoma.

Beehives are also now being offered too!  Smokers, bee gear and glass jars for storing are all available.  This is definitely a good thing.


This one is really for me.  I know, I don't need another mixer, but this new 7qt. KitchenAid stand mixer is something I'm eyeing very closely.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone!

For more information visit Williams-Sonoma
 Have fun shopping.

6 comments:

  1. what a beautiful post David,i wish that we had Williams-Sonoma in the UK..i used to vist them several time a year when work brought me across the pond but i now rely on friends bringing home the catalog when they go on vacation!thanks for a peek into a heavenly store!

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  2. I'm glad you liked taking a peek at the store near my home. Yes, the catalog is always nice to have, because one gets to see everything that's being introduced; lately they've been including recipes throughout its pages!
    Cheers to you in the U.K.!

    ~David

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  3. david, I've been wanting that chicken coop ever since I saw it. I'm not sure I have the space for it or if it's allowed in my neighborhood.

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  4. Always check with your borough before putting up a coop! I've seen small chicken coops meant for about 2 chickens that don't take up a lot of room. The one in the catalog is nice because part of it is mobile (if you have space to move the chickens around during the day for foraging).

    Enjoy!
    ~David

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  5. I was looking at the Kitchen Aid in Selfridges the other day, but it retails at £799! So I shall keep that on my dream list and continue to use my beloved smaller one!

    What a great post! I went to Williams Sonoma in New York and could have stayed all afternoon. If only they had one in the UK!

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  6. 799 pounds is A LOT of money!! I love my smaller mixers which get a lot of use and will always stick with them; I would be lost without them. You know Pru, it was at the Williams Sonoma in Philadelphia that I met Martha Stewart. She was signing her Cooking School Cookbook. Good times there!

    ~David

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