“I could live in this store.” – my first words walking into the new West Elm in Virginia Beach. I’m sure most furniture and home decor stores want all of their customers to have this same response, but at West Elm it was genuine. After about ten minutes in the store, I laid my phone on the table, got comfortable on a gorgeous mid-century sofa, and even checked the plants to see if they had been watered. I was sold.
I had the opportunity to meet with Nicole Sutliff, Public Relations Director for West Elm, and three other local bloggers to take a private tour of the new store and learn about West Elm as a company.
West Elm is set up to look lived-in. Dressers are decorated with books, air plants, and glass candles. The idea is that anyone, regardless of styling ability, can visually understand how pieces from all over the store work together… meaning they can also be easily incorporated into your home. Books were placed on beds and napkins were thrown across plates. I was surprised [and mildly disappointed] that they weren’t handing out cocktails in the bar section!
One thing that caught my eye, and gave me major job envy, was the visuals displays throughout the store. West Elm’s Visual Merchandising team created two gorgeous hanging installations using wood and rope [another nod to the beach vibe] which may become the inspiration for my next big DIY project.
The colors jive with Virginia Beach’s laid back coastal style and design elements such as nautical knots, industrial bookcases, and rustic crates help create texture throughout the store.
Even though West Elm is apart of the large Williams-Sonoma group, they do incorporate and sell goods from local designers and artisans that have a similar esthetic. Throughout the store, and in the Local Section, you can find prints from Twittering Bird, nautical knots from Perch, and other goods that support the local initiative.
With stores like West Elm moving in, I can’t wait to see what kind of creative energy begins radiating from Town Center.
West Elm is going to kill it in Virginia Beach. Check it out!