Friday, June 27, 2014

West Elm Arrives In South Lake Union

 Eco-friendly home furnishings finally find a home in our green city.

Seattleites, as fall approaches and you prepare to spend the next seven rainy months curled up at home, don’t be too disheartened.  While you’re staying indoors, you won’t have to sit on that self-assembled, rickety, pizza-stained Ikea futon that you still have from college.

Break out the bubbly because there’s still hope: Seattle’s own West Elm has arrived. Thursday, Oct. 7 marked the opening of the new South Lake Union store.

Founded in 2003, San Francisco-based West Elm is no haphazard, mishmash of assorted vendor products.  Their in-house team collaborates with other artists and designers to create unpretentious, sophisticated modern furniture and home décor.

This season, West Elm will feature projects collaborations ranging from a handmade furniture line by renowned woodworker Paul Loebach to plates by graphic designer Mary Matson.

But the hoopla surrounding the arrival of West Elm doesn’t just have to do with easy access to affordable modern furniture.  Rather, the sprawling 15,000-square-foot space hosts a furniture-shopping experience that is specifically tailored to our city’s love for everything green and outdoorsy.  In addition to using eco-friendly materials, low-energy lighting and reclaimed hardwood floors to design the space, the Seattle branch is home to West Elm’s first-ever, green living wall.

“Like West Elm, Seattle design seems to be highly influenced by nature,” explained Vanessa Holden, former Editor-in-Chief of “Martha Stewart Living” and now Creative Director for West Elm. “The wall provides a great, natural accent in the center of the store that I think communicates this.”

West Elm also gives a nod to local artists, as the store features an art installation created specifically for the space by Justin R. Lytle, an alumnus of Cornish College of the Arts.

To Holden, the best part about West Elm’s opening is that there’s something for everyone.

“West Elm doesn’t have a singular point of view, and we know Seattle residents don’t either,” she explained. “For us, it’s all about the mix.  Our store brings to the scene products from multiple design perspectives, and some inspiration on how to mix them into your space.”

With the company’s signature Design Lab adapted for the South Lake Union store, West Elm associates can help customers with interior design consultations and space planning, in order to find the perfect home décor match to fit their everyday needs.

So don’t be depressed that days of incessant rain are coming.  West Elm is here, just in time to give the insides of our homes a little personality while the outdoors insist on being drab.

West Elm  |  2201 Westlake Ave., Seattle  |  (206) 467-5798

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About Lena Park

Born in Buffalo, raised in Federal Way, and educated at Boston College, Lena has been exploring cities from coast to coast her whole life. Though she desperately misses the snarky irreverence of Bostonians, she loves living in this green and rainy city again as a bona fide Seattleite. In the years that she’s been gone from the Pacific Northwest, Lena has been busy writing for sports blogs, literary journals, college newspapers, and social justice-based magazines. When she’s not hunting for a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood joint, furiously scribbling in her notebook, or busy clacking away at her computer, Lena finds Zen in playing baseball with the Seattle Diamonds, sipping on a PBR at Lottie’s, and watching reruns of Friday Night Lights while drooling over sinfully delicious Tim Riggins.
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