This morning, I was treated to a early look at the brand new west elm store located at North and Clybourn in the old Whole Foods location. Even though I shopped for produce in this exact space for nine years, it is now nearly unbelievable that it once was home to mangoes and bulk trail mix - its been totally transformed into a full-on design center.The store is BIG - 20,000+ square feet, enough to house west elm's entire line of goods - if they make it, it's here. They also have room to stock a full inventory, so if you find something you like, you can take it home that day.
We got a tour from Alex Bates, the creative director of west elm, who pointed out some highlights: The store is designed with low energy lighting, low-VOC paints and reclaimed hardwood floors.
The bedding and bath departments feature lots of organic cotton goods at great price points.
Small space friendly items are everywhere.
A design center is part of the store, where the associates can help you design the layout of your space virtually on computers, combining the pieces you already own at home with potential new items from the west elm line.
Chicago's first west elm officially opens tomorrow morning and the first 150 customers will receive a special gift – a one-of-a-kind letterpressed print of a Chicago landmark in a west elm frame.
More info: west elm
(Images: Janel Laban)