West Elm recently advertised an in-store summer design class that would illustrate how to create inspirational spaces. Since I’m always happy to learn a new styling trick, I RSVP’d and showed up for class this morning.
Understandably, the class was geared mainly to novices, so I smiled and nodded through most of it. Layering and textures, check! Combine natural and machine-made elements, check! Tuck in your sheets and duvets if you have a platform bed, check! But I did actually take away a few tidbits that were really helpful.
Did you know that West Elm’s upholstered products are pre-treated? According to the sales staff, we need not worry about spilling our complimentary Starbucks on the furniture because a little warm water would get it right out. How fabulous is that? They should be trumpeting that info for those of us worried about toddlers wielding green markers, dogs who enjoy self-inflicted mud wraps, and ye occasional red wine spillage.
And here’s another purchase-swaying factoid: there are duvet ties in the corners of all of West Elm’s duvet covers. Have you ever tried to single-handedly install a duvet inside a duvet cover? Normally, I would suggest having a glass or two of that red wine I was bragging about before attempting this frustrating endeavor. No one, aside from Yao Ming, has the wing span to pull this off solo. However, using the ties sewn inside the corners of West Elm’s duvet covers, you can tie a knot around each corner of your duvet insert and just shake it into place. N-i-c-e.
As for that styling tip I’d hoped for, I did get a fresh perspective on making up a bed. At least where pillows are concerned. All my life I’ve made the bed symmetrically…two sleeping pillows over here, two sleeping pillows over there, three Euro pillows to hide the sleeping pillows, and two accent pillows out in front, centered between the Euros. That’s been my basic formula all along. During the class, the instructors demonstrated an asymmetrical pillow arrangement that felt like a lightbulb moment:
By positioning the pillows this way, you not only reduce your overall bedding cost (fewer Euro pillows = fewer $$), but this also allows some of your headboard to peek through. If you have a headboard you love that normally gets hidden by decorative pillows, this is a cue you want to take.
The end of class featured a design challenge, straight from TV design competitions, where students had an opportunity to put their new knowledge into action by styling a bed vignette using available merchandise in the store. Everyone divided into two teams once we learned that gift cards were in play. I felt a bit awkward taking part, to be honest. I didn’t feel right about elbowing my way into Project Manager mode and taking over when I have the opportunity to do this sort of thing all the time. And if someone on my team did something I didn’t care for…could I restrain myself from editing their “contributions?” Had I been able to fly solo or with a smaller team, I would have wanted to combine these elements together:
This Euro sham:
One of each of these decorative pillows:
You can find out about more design classes offered in your local West Elm by following them on Facebook and/or Twitter.
I almost went to this! That would have been funny to see you there. I have those Euro pillows (and the leaf duvet too)…it’s gorgeous and so soft. I may need to go back and get those other items you suggested and finish my bedroom!! 😉
So …how’d you do with “restraining” from being in the Project Manager mode?
I, ummm, made suggestions to Claire, my design apprentice…but there were several cooks in that kitchen and she didn’t have much of a chance.