August 2016, By Nicole Langelier.
If you are a reader of my blog or a follower on Instagram then you will know that I am a HUGE fan of West Elm, the American furniture chain that reached Australia a few years back. As an American in the design biz I had the inside scoop on the brand so when I heard of their pending arrival back in 2013 I could hardly contain my excitement.
In NY I would often shop at West Elm – both for interior design clients and also for ‘prop styling’ or photographic styling jobs. As ‘sniffing out a deal’ is my absolute favourite sport I always made a bee-line for the sale corner where a savvy shopper could score deals on last season’s goodies and floor stock in new condition.
I mostly bought accessories and small things from West Elm (by the arm load) and never really needed to buy much large furniture back then. It’s been over 9 years now since I left my favourite fruit (the Big Apple) behind and West Elm and I have both grown up a lot. Not only do I still buy accessories and soft furnishings by the armload (quite literally), but I also indulge in their wonderful range of furniture from sofas to case goods to lighting.
West Elm has totally upped their game in all areas in the long years that we were apart (I don’t think they have made it to Italy where I lived for 5 years before moving to Melbourne in 2012) and they are now producing some really high quality and stylish furniture – not just accessories. I think I have just about every sofa and bedside table that has made it to Australia, and I regularly troll the website and haunt the Chapel Street store. In fact, I am in the shop so often that I know all the staff by name (they think I am joking when I tell them that I do most of my socialising – not just shopping there), I know all the products almost as well as they do – so well in fact that I often get mistaken for an employee and I sometimes help customers if I know the answer!
There are many things that I love about West Elm and I could wax lyrical about them all day, however my very favourite thing about my West Elm mates is that they have new products all the time. This means 2 things – one is that the product is always fresh and not every property stylist and their dog will be using the same stuff – and two is that because they have new products all the time, it means that they have to make room for the new stuff and clear the old (which is not old by the way…) – this means Ladies and Gents, that nearly all of their gorgeous products will end up on SALE! My favourite 4 letter word!
Another couple of gushy things I like about West Elm and then I will wrap it up….They are as green as a global manufacturer can be. According to their site West Elm products are either responsibly produced, certified organic, recycled, rapidly renewable or non–toxic. Love that! They also collaborate with many global artisans and never forget the ladies, with up to 50% of those artisans being women – AND they collaborate with local makers and doers – like myself! Next month at the Chapel Street store D&D will be delivering a ‘How to Style your Property For Sale’ workshop – very exciting stuff! Stay tuned or email me for tickets and more details.
Above is a property I styled – linen, chair, wall hanging, and bedside tables are from West Elm!