West Elm Spring Collection 2012

Last night I was invited to preview the West Elm spring collection. As usual, I wanted to take most of the store home with me. I even considered not bringing my wallet, but I knew that I was at least going to buy a long overdue wedding gift.

Before the tour, hosted by the knowledgeable and engaging Joshua of the West Elm Seattle store, Curator provided us with some adorable mini-donuts and Dry Soda. I love the Dry Soda packaging.

The spring collection has five main themes: chalk, water, grow, fossil, and sand. These are intermixed and showcased around the store. The displays in the Seattle store play up the layered look. I think it’s cool how you can take items that are sold in stores across the country and play with colors, patterns, and textures to make a look your own.

One thing I love about West Elm is how much they appreciate independent artists and value handmade items. They feature and promote the designers they work with, and place cool “handmade” tags on the one-of-a-kind items they have in their store. Some of the companies and artists they collaborate and partner with include Etsy, Stephen Antonson, Aid to Artisans, and 20×200. I love the papier-mâché taxidermy from Aid to Artisans, handmade by Haitian artists.

And guess what? West Elm is doing indoor gardening now! You can buy lots of plants that are good for small spaces and hard to kill (like succulents), as well as cool planters and vessels designed by Shane Powers.

If you’re lucky enough to have a West Elm store in your city, you can go in and take advantage of their complimentary Design Lab services. Plan your space, get help with measurements, and figure out how things would look, all free of charge. Fun!

Thanks for showing me around, West Elm. You have an impeccable selection of awesomeness, as always.