Of all the stores we are missing here in the Raleigh/Durham area, a nearby West Elm was first on my wish list. I did a lot of squealing when I found out my wish was coming true. West Elm Durham opens tomorrow!
West Elm invited me to come in before the grand opening for a sneak peek tour. I just got back from browsing the store with my camera, and I felt a little bit like Augustus Gloop in The Chocolate Room. Sometimes I think West Elm caters specifically to my taste. How do they do that!? The store is gorgeous, and I learned a few new things about West Elm—several of their sofas are made right here in North Carolina, college students get 10% off (maybe I should apply for grad school), and they will send a free stylist to your home to help you make all those overwhelming decor decisions.
West Elm’s goal isn’t to encourage their customers to fill their homes with perfectly coordinated products. Instead they intend for you to mix their goods in with your grandmother’s dishes or your mom’s old dining room table. They value personality over perfection in a home, and it’s reflected in their catalog. I just love that.
Most of all I’m impressed with West Elm’s involvement in the community. A portion of their sales through this weekend are being donated to SEEDS, a non-profit in Durham that promotes sustainable agriculture and organic gardening. They are also working with my friend Michelle Smith to furnish Kindred, a store coming soon to downtown Raleigh that will incubate emerging North Carolina artisans through mentorship and a boutique. Oh, and remember the Etsy event West Elm hosted in Charlotte? I’m hoping they will do that again at the Durham store, so I can shop this time instead of sell!
I hope you locals get a chance to stop by. The first 300 customers tomorrow get a free tote bag, ooh la la! Now on to the photos. Do you think anyone would notice if I packed a bag and started living here?
above: A living wall! This beauty is behind the checkout counter and fully irrigated. I’m trying to figure out where and how I can plant one of these in my home…
above: Super cool fabric window installation by Michelle Smith. (I got to help her with some of the braiding!)
(This post isn’t sponsored, I just really love West Elm!)