West Elm Durham Sneak Peek

August 22nd, 2012

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?

west elm durham

west elm durham

west elm durham

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…

west elm durham

west elm durham

west elm durham

above: Super cool fabric window installation by Michelle Smith. (I got to help her with some of the braiding!)

west elm durham

(This post isn’t sponsored, I just really love West Elm!)

10 Comments

  1. Laura

    When is West Elm going to jump across the pond to the UK? It looks like such a lovely store, I’m so jealous :-(

  2. I really wish they’d bring one to the New Orleans/Baton Rouge area. I am like you and absolutely love West Elm. There is just something about their look thats amazing! Your so lucky to have one now that you can just pop in anytime!

  3. Man do I miss Durham. Send some good stores to GA please!

  4. I can’t wait until our Vancouver store opens, it should be soon! Love that living wall too.

  5. Like yourself, I’ve been counting down the days until this store was finally open!! I’ve shopped West Elm for years and have always had to have things shipped. Such beautiful stuff at reasonable prices. They also have great sales in the store that you can’t find online. Southpoint is now such a great spot to shop for home goods with West Elm, Crate & Barrel, Restoration, Pottery Barn, Urban Outfitters and Anthropology all in one spot!! I feel like I’m back in DC again!! Thanks for the tip on the free designer home visit. I am going to look into that.

  6. John

    Very nice pictures and write-up. Maybe I will have to take my wife on a shopping date.

  7. Amy

    oh my gosh. i would get lost (and happily too) in that store! :)

  8. congrats! and one more reason for my husband and i to look for jobs in NC (we are originally from the south..) we have one about 20min away here in MN, I don’t get there as often as I’d like but they clearance area is always stocked with good things!

  9. I geeked out when I saw that there was a West Elm coming to Southpoint! It really is a beautiful store and I want everything inside!

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