Long awaited West Elm opens their doors today in South Granville to the delight of home decor lovers in Vancouver. While this brand has made their mark throughout the United States, their South Granville store is uniquely Vancouver with wooden accents and glass throughout.
You can credit a lot of West Elm’s success to creative director Vanessa Holden, who before her current position, had successful stings including editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, Real Simple and co-founder of Donna Hay magazine. We chatted with her one-on-one to get the low down on decor.
1. What is West Elm’s store and product concept?
West Elm is a home furnishings retailer that carries a mix of furniture, home decor and gifts, as well as local and global artist collaborations. At the Vancouver store, it’s our goal to work with customers to express their personal style at home.
The West Elm store is laid out with public spaces in the front, with private rooms in the back.
Mix and match dishes that are based on 4 basic shapes so shoppers can create their own personalized dish set.
2. What distinguishes West Elm from other home furnishings stores?
At West Elm, it’s all about the mix. We believe that if you surround yourself with products you love, your home will have a point of view, and that point of view is you. Another big difference are our collaborations with designers and artists from around the world. We search for inspiration everywhere and introduce collaborations each season. This fall, we worked with our biggest group of collaborators from one location – 15 artists from South Africa. And our Vancouver store is the first to offer a collection of decorative accessories and art sourced from local artists through our friends at Etsy.
Frames galore for a customized feature wall.
3. What’s the easiest way to refresh or customize a room?
The easiest way to refresh a room is with a pop of color — a pillow, a rug, or even a change in lighting can do the trick.
Gorgeous hexagon occasional tables that you can use together or individually.
4. Hottest home furnishings trends this season? (i.e. patterns, colours, style)
Dip-dyed is a big trend across both home and fashion. We love the idea of easing into fall with a wash of color in a dip-dyed pillow or ombre throw. Our new patchwork collection in textiles is a fresh take on the classic quilt. And, graphite is our color crush for fall. It’s an amazing base color for any room and in any hue – from feather light to deep steel – and can be layered with almost any other color.
5. If we could only splurge on a single piece of furniture, what should that be?
My favorite piece of furniture in the store right now is the Emmerson table. It’s made from FSC certified recycled shipping pallets and has such an amazing, substantial shape and one-of-a-kind mixed wood surface.
Love this dining table that was made from reclaimed shipping skids.
6. How do you predict trends each season and how does that translate into product offerrings at West Elm?
There are so many things that inspire us on a daily basis – from colors and shapes in nature, to the artists in our Brooklyn neighborhood. But really our customers are our best source of feedback. We’re always listening to them through both their direct feedback and their buying habits.
Love these containers and glass jars for bathroom organization.
Amazing trees for accessories, jewelry boxes and trays to organize the vanity.
7. What’s the best feature about the design lab?
That it’s all free of charge! The in-home services that our home stylists offer is amazing and so helpful for a customer who is trying to build a home over time, mixing in things that they already own with new pieces. There’s a challenging space in everyone’s home, so having someone help you take measurements is an added benefit.
8. Plans to expand to other Canadian locations?
Not at this time, but we absolutely love Vancouver so you never know!