Friday, February 1, 2013

Why I love West Elm

I can remember years ago, in my college days, when West Elm first arrived on the scene.  Its catalog arriving on a semi frequent basis, filled with things college students love - small, space-appropriate, boxy and modern furniture at reasonable prices. 

Over the years their look and product base has changed and today, the company has become a source to be reckoned with.  Pairing up with designers and artisans from around the world, West Elm brings an eclectic and unique mix of thoughtfully produced goods that wouldn't have been accessible to the masses before.  Because of the wide range of goods you can easily fill your home with several pieces and still not be left feeling like you decorated from a big box store. Instead, you will find yourself with a beautifully curated space designed with intention rather than a stale mix of generic goods.

West Elm manages to impress me every time, they consistently offer great prices, they are on top of trends.  They work with and support artisans, bloggers, and etsy sellers.  They are my constant go-to for great accessories and furniture. I love getting their catalog in the mail, not only to peruse their new products but also to drool over all the gorgeous styling and design inspiration. Glancing through the pages of the catalog, everything feels incredibly accessible, not overly done or pretentious.

I was recently watching an episode of Million Dollar Decorators where Jeffrey Alan Marks or JAM as he so affectionately refers to himself as, was asked to produce a fully decorated Nantucket beach home in 8 weeks, sourced entirely from catalogs.  As to be expected, he initially gaffed at the request.  A designer of his caliber is used to sourcing one of a kind and showroom pieces not to mention custom built furniture and lighting.  They show a scene where he enters none other than a West Elm store and manages to procure what looks to be more than 50% of the home's pieces.  He comments on a blue striped rug as "genius" claiming that he has a similar one in his own home, and it cost $8,000.  They later show a scene where he and his partner Ross are going over their choices for the Nantucket house and you catch a glimpse of said $8,000 rug - you can't tell the difference. Clearly, West Elm knows what they are doing.

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