A brand spanking new two storey West Elm store opened in Los Angeles yesterday. Designed by Thomas O'Brien, it's got that mix of industrial/rustic that we're loving right now -- high ceilings! exposed beams! -- and an expanded kitchen section (with more expansion to come, including, in the next few months, a collaboration with GreenPan). Plus there's plenty of inspiration to take home along with their tempting array of products!
• Living wall: However you incorporate a wall of greenery, whether you construct one, faux one with Wooly pockets, hang a curtain of air plants or mount a wall of Staghorn Ferns, consider finding a place for a living wall. Next best thing: a generous grouping of greenery whether potted plants or terrariums.
• A bookcase in front of a window: Need a little privacy but struggle with the idea of blocking out your light with curtains or shades? An open backed bookcase against a window provides just enough privacy while still letting in a lot of light.
• Hanging art on a bookcase: Use your bookcase as a wall to showcase a few favorite prints. Especially in a room that's otherwise simple and modern, corraling the "stuff" (books, tchotckes, art, tv) in one place instead of letting it drift around the room not only creates a focal point but keeps the rest of the room feeling spare and calm.
• Decorate the wall behind a bookcase: An open backed bookcase against a wall allows the wall's color to peek out...but don't stop there. You can also use the open shelves as a frame for an unexpected wall treatment like an arrangement of plates or, as here, an arrangement of wood slices and a clock!
• Forget squaring off. Instead of squaring off your furniture so that it's perpendicular or parallel to your room's walls, consider placing it an angle. Especially if it's a large piece of furniture in a small room, angling the furniture gives it more breathing room.
• Think outside the monogram box: West Elm offers monogramming on over one hundred products, from towels to glasses to pillowcases. While initals can be nice (we love the opulent contrast of monogrammed items in an otherwise spare and modern setting), why not consider something a little more playful? "Drink me" on a set of glasses, for instance?
• A headboard doesn't have to go against a wall: Setting the bed in the middle of the room with a dresser behind it can separate a bedroom into a sleeping area and a dressing area. Often this works to free up a room's footprint and gives you the extra "wall space" that's the back of your headboard.
Images: Abigail Stone