As though you needed another reason to head over to 14th Street NW, West Elm opened a sparkling new store Thursday on the District’s boulevard of urban cool.
Joining the hot restaurant scene and string of stylish home shops are West Elm’s capiz orb pendants and reclaimed wood dining tables. There’s a shimmer and whiff of the holidays in trees and ornaments set up near the front windows. The store, at 1728 14th St. NW, is the third area location for the Brooklyn-based chain of 67 stores.
Now its downtown customers, from modern millennials to downsizing baby boomers, won’t have to drive to Georgetown or Tysons Corner to pick up a plaid wool Faribault pillow made in Minnesota or a retro Peggy loveseat, sized to fit in tight downtown apartments.
“We are 100 percent sure that this is the place we should be in Washington right now,” says Vanessa Holden, West Elm senior vice president and creative director. “The street is so buzzy, and there are so many diverse customers. People like to live well and are stylish. I love the conviviality and openness of this design-oriented neighborhood.”
The 14,500-square-foot, two-story location joins other purveyors of high style on the 14th Street circuit, which is becoming known as the D.C. Design District. Another recent addition is the newly relocated Washington Design Center at Franklin Court, 1099 14th St. NW, where over the summer 21 showrooms relocated from Southwest.
Holden, giving a tour of West Elm before it opened, pointed out snow leopard candles, romantic upholstered headboards and metallic bar carts. She describes the West Elm look as a mix of “modern, industrial, global and mid-century.”
This store offers a complimentary Design Lab of home stylist services. And in a program with Sherwin-Williams paints, it creates seasonal palettes that coordinate with West Elm’s furniture, fabrics and bedding collections. Customers can then feel confident the paint they choose will go with their upholstery fabric perfectly.
This location includes the work of six Washington area designers, whose handcrafted products are sold here. It’s part of the West Elm Local initiative launched in a number of its stores a year ago to connect local artisans to customers. At this West Elm, you’ll find notecards and an illustrated zine of farmers markets by Elizabeth Graeber; plates and tea bowls from Julia Paul Pottery; prints by Meg Biram; gold leaf platters by the Vintage Vogue; clutch bags by Matine; and cutting boards and side tables by Dylan Design Co.
“We want customers to come in and ask us questions on how we can help them,” Holden says. “We want this to be a neighborhood store.”
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