I was thinking recently about American interiors retailer West Elm and how much I miss having a store nearby (or even in my country!) where I can go for inspiration and to buy great decorating objects from lighting to furniture and beyond. For those of you who once lived in America and who now live abroad you must be able to relate to sometimes feeling cut off from the mother ship, right!? Shopping in the states is always a huge draw for me when I visit home and I can’t wait until I’m back in NYC this January to hit the stores and indulge again – even if only to window shop!
When I’m missing a particular store, as dorky as this sounds, I’ll often visit their website and daydream about the things that I’d love to have but today I thought I’d take it a step further and pull together a little West Elm wish list to inspire you, make home feel a little less far away for me, and hopefully to highlight some things that those of you living stateside may like to check out for yourself.
13. Floating lacquer frames (love! eek!).
Though most of these companies (like West Elm) do ship internationally now, it’s not the same experience as walking into an actual shop to touch and experience the product in person, especially for a very tactile person like me but I can’t complain AND that chevron shower curtain IS calling my name, what about you!?
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my 14 faves…
(images: west elm)
I’m a huge fan of Karine Kong, she is one half of the sister duo who runs online shop Bodie & Fou but who also writes a lovely blog… and I’ve met her in person several times and can confirm that she’s even sweeter in person than I had imagined. That is why today I am thrilled to help spread the word about her brand new print + digital catalog!
What I love about it is that it’s a bit like a magazine that you can shop from – so nearly everything you see you can purchase. Karine did a lovely job setting up the shoots, her styling work is very strong and she often uses corners of her own home to show how she uses the things in her own shop at home. I love that – a very unique approach for sure. Here are some lovely spreads from her catalog that she sent over to me to share today.
I’m swooning over her workspace shown above — it’s so chic and just great! I love all of the House Doctor products that she sells too – I’m sure a fan of their things. Karine – congrats on the catalog and much success to you!
It’s springtime in Australia — flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and sweet color abounds! Did you know that blogger and interior designer Anna Spiro from Absolutely Beautiful Things and Black & Spiro recently launched an online shop? Oh yes, she has and the concept is super original. She calls it the Absolutely Beautiful Things store where you “Shop This Look”, but I call it a brilliant Shop By Numbers retail experience that I predict is a growing trend for websites everywhere. It takes the guesswork out and puts the fun back in online shopping because frankly, online shopping needs a boost because the same ole same ole experience of buying stuff online can be so vanilla and I’d like to see more shops adding content or features to their site that an in-store experience just can’t give.
(Above: Anna breaks down each item in her styled room, making it a breeze to get the look! She clearly loves pink!)
I’ve seen this shop by numbers approach only a few times online so it still feels like a very fresh approach to selling and I love how you can build a room easily through the overall approach of breaking down all of the items and more or less saying, “Hey, you like it, here you go – now you can buy it.” It takes the complication out of what can often be very complicated – shopping for decorative items online. It’s also easier to find products in a photo that you like when you can just click on the item and instantly link to where it’s listed on the site.
And for those of you who aren’t familiar with this Australian design maven, check out these beautiful images from her home and shop. Swoooooon!
Love this, Anna – way to go!
(images: elouise van riet-gray)
I always enjoy a lazy moment exploring the pages of British lifestyle brand Toast. I’m drawn to their casual images that, this season, feel very travel inspired. Must be the spirits of summer casting their magic spell on me, making me want to throw my journal and a map in a bag, slip on pretty sandals, and head for an exotic destination. The most exotic destination on my calendar is Amsterdam next week, ha ha! The three places that I’d love to visit are Australia, Japan and India. I think about them frequently and the design and culture in these places inspires me so much though they are all three so different from the other. Where do you dream of taking an extended holiday?
I imagine I’ll get to these places someday, in addition to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Poland, Bali, Korea, Scotland… too many to list for me. but for now I enjoy roaming the web for a dose of travel inspiration or some of my favorite catalogs. Toast seems to be inspired by North Africa and of European cafe life, particularly France and Italy, and perhaps a little bit of Greece too. I love the mix of stripes and solids, weaves and leathers, and swoon – shiny metallic linen which is one of the best kinds of linen for dressing up the home in a very subtle way. It’s sumptuous.