Get Reacquainted with West Elm – Now Open in St. Louis

July 26, 2013 4 comments

On Wednesday, I was invited to preview the new store opening of West Elm at the St. Louis Galleria and share my experience with you.

West Elm makes it simple and fun to arrange a classic, yet modern space with color. They also do home accessories like a boss. I love visiting their stores to see what’s new. But it had been a while since visits. And honestly, even with the catalog, I hadn’t had a “gotta have it” moment in a long time.

That’s when I visited the store and I was pleasantly surprised. West Elm has really stepped it up by thinking outside the box to source their products. When you visit any furniture store, you fear the possibility of your home looking exactly like someone else’s. People fall into the trap of buying everything in the display look. And yes, there are many amazing room ideas on display. But West Elm goes to great lengths to find products from all over the world and within the store’s local market to help you personalize your space. All of this is simplified with their basic design concepts. So what’s the story?

Follow the Trends

On my tour, fall decor trends were represented throughout the store. The most useful trend was to mix and match patterns. Open concept living is popular right now. But it is tough to mix color palettes in different areas without clashing. In this case, maintain a similar color story, but delineate spaces by mixing and matching patterns. West Elm mixes patterns like chevron, ikat, and marble.

West Elm encourages shoppers to mix and match on their own. That is why there is no bed in a bag. Their patterns and color palettes each season are easy to play around with and complement each other well. But they do sell layered bed sets (sheet and shams) that start at $129. You can also easily mix and match their dishware, vases, pillows, and more.

See below for the top six trends I learned about on my tour.

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Etsy

West Elm hosts Etsy pop-up shops in their stores, many featuring local Etsy designers. It’s a great way to discover emerging artists and help grow local businesses. These Etsy artists are featured in the catalog and online, providing them access to a larger market. My favorite find in the store is the range of old hardback book cover tablet cases crafted by Missouri business ReAuthored. There is a cut-out inside the book customized for different tablets. Smart, stealth, and eco-friendly!

Gift Options

While walking through the store, I was overwhelmed by how many amazing and affordable gift options they have. These are perfect for hostess, wedding, or birthday gifts. Here are a few of my favorite gift options under $80:
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Green Materials

West Elm is committed to using Green materials throughout the store by repurposing old objects. Some of their furniture is made from reclaimed wood palettes. This line has received the Forest Steward Council (FSC) certification standard for furniture. You can spill on the table without worry as these changes add character to the wood.

Global Influences/Found Elements

Global influences this season are plentiful from far off places like India, Southeast Asia, and Thailand. West Elm calls out items that are “found” or “discovered” emphasizing that each piece is unique. West Elm takes pride in how much backstory exists for each piece. Plus, by working with West Elm, many shops around the world have been able to grow their customer base exponentially. Check out this video on how artisans in Rajasthan (my home state!) create handblocked patterns:

Brooklyn Market

There is a real Brooklyn feel to the store, which is no coincidence. West Elm Market, a tribute to a modern day general store, is located in Vancouver and Brooklyn. Market stocks items for Care & Repair, Garden, Kitchen, and Personal Care with a green product focus. You definitely can feel a bit of Market throughout the St. Louis store in its earthy tones, eco-friendly products, and loft-like atmosphere. 

Design Lab

Customers work with in-home stylists and associates. These designers help with an install, style bookshelves, and will set up your gallery wall. In this part of the store, you can play with fabric swatches, swap design ideas, and book a favorite contractor, carpenter, florist, or painter. Everyone on staff has attended design school. There is even a program if you are interested in becoming a certified home design specialist. Plus they’ve provided some great how-to guides online!
Now that you know how fabulous West Elm has become, why not check out your local store? West Elm is offering 20% off bedding and select discounts on furniture for a limited time.
West Elm at the Saint Louis Galleria is now open. I already have my eye on a few things in the store like the mix and match dishes, hand-dyed rugs, and agate bookends. What’s on your shopping list?

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