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west elm


love em or hate em, west elm occasionally churns out some good basic pieces. i'm really loving these danish modern style storage consoles. the long and short version aren't a bad choice if you're looking for something with mid century style (and those cute tapered legs) but don't have the time to go vintage. although i suggest taking the time to look for vintage if you can, the pieces have so much more character.




Anonymous lisa said...

i love those too grace! too bad i have no where to put it.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

West Elm does do some aesthetic design but at least one aspect of their process is problematic-- they do not know exactly what materials they have designed into their products. I almost bought a Futon frame from them a couple of years ago but didn't. The reason: they were unable to tell me the type of tree the frame was made of and the country of origin of the wood. They only knew it was "Asian hardwood". I hope that in the years since they have improved because a lot of their work looks nice!

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Anonymous,

Yes, it's a funny thing trying to get source information regarding the types and origin of woods used in a design, particularly when it comes to mass- market furniture companies.

There is something going on lately with hardwoods and I'm not sure of the reasons for it. Maybe it's pressure to use renewable sources and the big companies are "skirting" the these details to avoid consumer rejection. Who knows?

If you go to a lumberyard and specify
Brasilian or Phillipine Mahogany, they will sell it to you as such- but the truth is- the wood comes to them with a side label that states simply "Maylaysian Hardwood" The lumberyard themselves don't even know the exact kind of tree that the wood came from.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Their first MA location just opened up right next to my office. Like their stuff a lot. Only if I had more space to fill...

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be pretty unethical (and maybe illegal?) to sell "Malaysian Hardwood" as "Philippine Mahogany". Regardless it's no excuse for a company not to know what it's designing into its products, especially when potential customers care about that factor.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like many of their case goods, these look much better in the catalog and online than they do when viewed in person in the store.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not necessarily, anonymous. There is a dispute about a territory in Malaysia that is claimed by the Philippines--and maybe Philippine Mahogany is considered a Malaysian Hardwood? Any lumber experts here?

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S.A. and Canada have several ongoing territorial disputes. These disputes do not enable Canadian companies to stamp their products with "Made in the U.S.A."

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That totally reminds me of this Thomas O'Brien console at Target which, incidentally, is on sale at the moment:


10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this piece from afar and thought it was pretty scandinavian looking, that is, good looking. When I went near it and looked at the detailing and construction it sucked. Like everything in their store, cheap looking. Too bad.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I am worried about quality. Just purchased West Elm modern wing chair in (pumice?. Has anyone seen it?

1:11 PM  

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