Design lovers of Calgary rejoice! West Elm is officially open in Mount Royal Village. The home decor shop known mostly as Pottery Barn’s little sister is going flip the lid on the interior design scene. It is about the same affordability as Crate & Barrel with a bit more panache than IKEA, yet you can find really unique items and design collaborations, much like you would at an upscale independent design shop. Great design, great prices – all in all a great concept that I am so happy has made it’s way to Calgary. I’ve been a big fan for a long time so it is awesome to finally see it in the flesh in my own city. If you aren’t familiar with the brand, check out their fantastic blog Front + Main to familiarize yourself and find some design inspiration.
It is somewhat new for a larger chain store like this to open in an area like 17th Avenue but I love the direction this is going in. I feel if more big retailers opened stand-alone shops (not in big shopping malls) that it would encourage more people to shop in the area and the smaller local stores would have a better chance at surviving through slower times.
At first glance (okay, I actually went twice in one day so I glanced a lot), the store is impeccable. Each section or department of West Elm is bright, warm and eclectic. The way they set up their displays is to inspire you in setting up your own home; layer up different textures, colours, fabrics and don’t be afraid to be a little bit bold. My favourite department of any store is the kitchen/housewares section and West Elm’s does not disappoint. I found plenty of things I could have taken home with me – a SMEG fridge for one! You can order it in just about any colour – I’m partial to mint green – so if you have the money and the room, you probably should. Ha!
Another one of my favourite finds is the Fishs Eddy collaboration (which you will see in my New & Noteworthy column in the September issue of Avenue Magazine). I’ve always love the quirky vintage vibe of their products and I’ve always dreamed of going to their amazing shop in NYC – now I can have a little piece of it right here in Calgary.
One of my favourite parts of visiting different West Elm stores across Canada and the US, is checking out the LOCAL collections which features local artists and makers right in store. It is so special for these artists to be able to get this kind of attention and exposure. So far the Calgary artists that are featured in store are Big City Designs, The Paper Lover Co., Rural Creative, BrownEyedSuzy, Medicine River Soap Co. and MTHARU (who I recently interviewed for Swerve magazine!).
Shop West Elm: 868 16 Ave SW, Calgary
HOT TIP! They are open until 8pm everyday except for Sunday (6pm) – I love shopping in the evening!