Refreshing the eye, the heart, and the imagination.

Friday, August 24, 2012

West Elm Durham

West Elm has finally arrived in Durham, and is already well on its way to integrating into the community. Wednesday night they opened their doors for a pre-celebration, partnering with SEEDS, FullSteam Brewery, and a DJ to provide visual, edible, and audible delights. If Wednesday night was any indication, West Elm will have a stellar opening weekend. Bloggers, designers, couples, women out on the town, men out on the town, mothers maneuvering strollers, fathers curiously trailing behind, all crowded the store, sampling Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale, checking out the wares, and settling in on the furniture sets for long conversations.

What I loved about the open house was the intentionality of grafting into the community. West Elm chose to partner with SEEDS, an educational community garden in the heart of downtown Durham, and to donate a portion of all weekend sales to the continuation of the work done there. SEEDS' mission, as noted on their brochure, is to use "gardening and growing food to teach respect for life, for the earth, and for each other." SEEDS began in 1994 as a community garden that worked closely with schools, eventually helped start the Durham Farmer's Market, and now focuses on educating and empowering youth to make wise choices for themselves, the earth, and the community. I learned from speaking to the SEEDS ambassador that SEEDS also offers educational classes for the community at large, like the class recently offered on canning figs (from their fig trees, of course!). To learn more about this great resource in Durham, whether for volunteering, learning, or donating, head over to the SEEDS website.

After checking out the SEEDS table, we meandered through the store, sipping our beer and wine, respectively, and snapping photos. 

I love the little patch on the coverlet above!

A comfy chair in gray stripes. What's not to love?

The mix of textures and patterns here is delightful. I especially love what looks like coffee beans on the pillow. Good night. Sleep tight. Dream of morning coffee? And I love the lamp!

This fall, West Elm is featuring goods from artisans in South Africa. These cheeky towel hooks made me smile.

We were smitten with this adorable mid-century modern side table. It's not come home with us...yet. 

Elephant tea towels cheer up any kitchen...

 ...especially a cute country kitchen.

This display is just begging to be used! I love the juxtaposition of shiny, sophisticated metals with rough wood.

Lavender by the bed makes falling asleep so sweet.

This chair would be so cute in our living room. 

A family of owls can watch you eat breakfast. Cute, but creepy. I think they already had their coffee, and lots of it!

This place setting is both lovely and welcoming, just what West Elm has been in only a few short days. I'm sure the community will respond in kind!

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