Wednesday, February 3, 2010

To Mecca and Back: West Elm Opens in Chicago!

Dear Readers,
Yesterday was the best day. Why, you ask? Oh, I don't know... because a West Elm opened up in downtown Chicago! I was fortunate enough to be invited to the press tour (led by West Elm creative director Alex Bates and executive vice president Jim Brett) and the exclusive cocktail party last night.

Please. Hear me. If you live in the Chicagoland region - hell, if you live in the Midwest! - or you just happen to be visiting Chi-town sometime soon, stop in. At over 20,000 sq. ft., the Lincoln Park store has all the items we've been lusting over in the blogosphere since the spring line debuted a few weeks ago. I'm talking safari rug, sweep armchair, yellow, yellow, and more yellow (see below for proof!) It's actually kind of gross how many times I heard myself saying, "I want that!" "Ooo this is so cool! I want it!" "Nate, wouldn't this look great in the living room? Let's get it!" "Oh my gosh, I need this!" A stranger actually remarked after he heard three rapid-fire "I wants" fly out of my mouth. I kept my lustful thoughts to myself after that.

And so you know, the first 150 customers to visit the store will receive a one-of-a-kind letterpress print of a Chicago landmark. So what are you waiting for? Go!

If you are one of my many readers who does not reside in or near Chicago, I do apologize. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize. I am sorry you don't get to experience the bliss that is 20,000+ sq. ft. of great affordable design. But perhaps the bevy of photographs I took of the store will brighten your day! Or just reinforce your jealousy that this massive West Elm did not just open in a city near you... either way! Please join me while we take a virtual tour of what I am now referring to as my personal Mecca.

(below) Feels like spring when you enter the store... customers are greeted by a wave of yellow!
(below) My favorite parsons desk is now available in YELLOW!
(below) And not far behind is a sea of grey and blue...
(below) this glass link chandelier is fantastic! definitely recommend it for anyone in the market
(below) origami birds flutter above the organic cotton bedding. beautyful.
again if you're in the market, both my bff and my sis have purchased these pin-tuck duvets and only have great things to say. and at $99, you can't beat the price point.
(below) geometric shelving throughout the store provides the perfect display space for the various accessories: baskets, trays, and lamps galore! truly a feast for the eyes.
(below) a few reasons why I love West Elm

All in the details....
(below) sparkly pillows = love
(below) obsessed with these horns. pretty sure these will sell out quickly as will the plates and serving utensils of the same material.
most objects shown above can be found via the following links:

Tuesday's Opening Event Cocktail Party
I am so happy at the success of this event. The place was PACKED. The line at the checkout counter was wrapping around the beautiful furniture, colorful accessories, and recycled glassware. There were at least 15 valet attendants. And let me tell you, there was plennnnnty of wine. (Note** the store is about 5 times as wide as what you're seeing here.)
(below) While I was waiting for my coat, I sat in my new favorite chair - it's as comfortable as it is beautiful - and discovered my new favorite book, Inspired Styles. This *yellow* book features personal snippets and design advice from the world's top designers including Barbara Barry and Kelly Wearstler. It is now on my wish list.
(below) For the big event, West Elm teamed up with The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and featured a selection of students' work, all of which was for sale last night and will be throughout the month of February. Proceeds contribute a student scholarship at the school, and all the featured art was created by recipients of said scholarship.

Best moment of the night.
Here's a pic of me with West Elm royalty, Alexandra Bates (on my right/viewer's left). Alex is the creative director - the brilliance - behind the West Elm brand. She travels the world utilizing her keen eye to search for inspiring people, places, and things. After a lot of mental creative processing, she sorts through her ideas and works with a team in the States on how best to transfer her beautiful, unique, and ethnic finds into affordable pieces for design obsessors like you and me. Pictured with Alex and me are Kendall and Abigail, the friendly and fabulous PR duo of West Elm. Thanks again, girls, for including me in this amazing event!
*all photos are my own*

Bravo to all of you! It was a success to say the least!

**Similar Pottery Barn story coming up on Friday!**


  1. I wish I had a West Elm! I love everything.

  2. SO FAB! Wish I could have gone, stupid winter sickygerms

  3. You lucky, lucky girl!!!! And this is a particularly cruel post b/c my hubby is coming home today from a business trip to Chicago. I would have told him, "Come home with something, ANYTHING from West Elm!"

  4. I want that bubble chandelier so bad for my dining room. I've got an idea -- have those PR people let you have one to have as a give away. I'll have to make a trip down town. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I can looked quite amazing. Lots of fun and great post!

  6. Wow looks like a fun night! What a beautiful store! Off to peruse the West Elm website once again!!


  7. Thank you so much for introducing me to West Elm. I do live in the Chicago area and have frequented the store in Oak Brook. I am very excited about seeing the new Lincoln Park store. I love all the yellow for spring. Your photos are beautiful.

  8. Amazing! I'm so jealous!

    I too just purchased the pintuck duvet cover. Love it. And the sparkly pillows? I may need to do some online shopping this afternoon...

  9. I always love flipping through the West Elm catalogue. We have an outlet store here in Boston... I need to go!

  10. I bet it was a blast! I've been lucky to always have a west elm close the store.

  11. do you know when those sparkly pillows will be online? i LOOOOVE them but have no west elm near me :-(

  12. SO bummed I had to miss it ~ everything looks fantastic! Can't wait to get into the store and explore :)

  13. You are so luckyyyy. I want one of those moroccan poufy/ottomans you featured above (the fluffy one preferably.) Why can't West Elm be in New Orleans?

  14. So happy I found your blog! Such great inspiration!

  15. hey im a good friend of your cousin katie =] im really excited she showed me your blog because i just signed a lease for a new apartment starting in august and i cant wait to start decorating! our tastes are sooo similar but i cant seem to actually put together all the things i like hahah. your blog is really helping me out =]



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