West Elm

How to Buy Art with 20×200 and West Elm

August 10, 2011 at 10:30 am , by

20x200 for West Elm

There’s nothing that completes a room quite like a fabulous print to hang (what’s more depressing than bare walls?). The art world can be daunting, though, so I’ve become a fast fan of 20×200, an online art store started by Jen Bekman, a New York City gallery owner. She’s on a mission to get everyone finding and talking about art that they love—even those who think their walls are limited to finger-paint masterpieces and dorm-décor leftovers.

20×200 connects vibrant artists with potential art lovers right in their inbox, and then sells the prints at a super affordable price. Every print is a limited edition, often starting with 200 pieces sold for $20 each (get it?).

“I really love the idea of people finishing the picture of their home with art by an artist that they’re going to read about and follow,” she says. “I want people to talk about their art collections in the same way they talk about the books they’re reading or what shoes or gadget they’re going to buy.”

Today, 20×200 launches a cool collaboration with West Elm—a collection of colorful, modern prints from a variety of artists.

“West Elm has the trifecta of simple, chic, and affordable solutions,” says Jen. “And like 20×200, they have a genuine enthusiasm for presenting indie stuff that’s fresh and new.”

Nervous about incorporating art in your home? Jen shared her sage advice on why you shouldn’t be.

Collecting art and using it in your home IS for you.
“Traditionally, art is seen as something that’s only for the elite, and that’s very frustrating. I opened my gallery as an accessible and friendly place that was still serious about art, and 20×200 grew out of that. Our tag line is ‘live with art, it’s good for you,’ and I really mean it. I feel like my life is better because I have art on my walls. I love surrounding myself with things I that I like aesthetically, and it’s really gratifying to support an artist by buying their work.”

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A Cute Wedding Gift Idea

August 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm , by

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When it comes to weddings, I’m always torn: Do I go with something off the registry or cold, hard cash? Well, when a good friend of mine recently tied the knot, I was stuck. Literally everything on their registry had already been snapped up. So…what to do? Sure, most newlyweds probably can use the cash more than that mixing bowl set on their registry. But handing over a card with a check inside just felt so impersonal. So I decided to make them a personal gift to give along with the check. I had seen an idea I liked over on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, that I was excited to try. Sherry and her husband John covered an entire hallway in their home with framed, art, pictures, and other various items. They have a ton of great ideas on their walls—you should go read all about it here. Anyway, as you can see above, they framed a calendar page and circled the date of their wedding with a heart. So adorable!

See my version after the jump. Read more


Crazy for Chevron

July 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm , by

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 2.52.54 PMLately, I’m all about chevron, this fun pattern of inverted Vs in bold, punchy colors. It’s not a new trend, but I love how simple and graphic it is. If you normally shy away from patterns, this is an easy one to try out. I’m thinking about buying this Serena & Lily feather rug, at left, for my bedroom.

Here are a few other ways to bring the zig-zag into your home:

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 2.54.45 PM Read more


On Trend: Imperfect China

June 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm , by

Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 10.50.26 AMI’m in the market for some new dishes. Now that I have more cabinet space, I’m finally going to pick up the heirloom china that’s been in storage at my mom’s house for years. It’s pretty formal—white with a blue floral pattern and a platinum band—but it’ll look more modern mixed with all-white dishes. While hunting around for some online, I noticed a number of designs that have an organic, imperfect edge that I really like. It picks up on the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, which is all about accepting and seeing the beauty in imperfection. (Now that’s a philosophy I can get behind.)

Luckily you can pick up this trend at any price point:

Above, CB2′s Calla Dinnerware is made of stoneware, which is usually the least expensive type of china you can buy. It’s sturdy, though, and holds up for daily use. Prices range from $3.95 for a small bowl to $6.95 for a dinner plate.

Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 3.08.02 PMIkea, long a purveyor of $.99 plates, has gone fancy, selling a set called Skyn that’s made of bone china (this has a more delicate look and usually gets saved for special occasions). Prices start at $7.99 for 2 small serving bowls and run up to $29.99 for a large serving bowl. Check out a nice photo of the set over at the kitchn.

Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 10.51.00 AMOrganic Shaped Dinnerware from West Elm is made of glazed porcelain. Porcelain is a little bit nicer than stoneware, and usually has a whiter finish. A set of 4 mugs goes for $12; a set of 4 dinner plates for $28.


Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 10.51.43 AMPebblestone Dinnerware from Diane Von Furstenberg at Bloomingdale’s is also made from porcelain. These plates are $13 and up apiece.


Make Arts & Crafts from Old Books

May 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm , by

Last night Courtney and I went to the opening of The (Purely Paper) Flower Shoppe, a limited-time only collection at the West Elm on 62nd and Broadway here in NYC. Super-talented event producer David Stark and his team transformed the store, filling it with hand-made garden-related items (including, yes, flowers) crafted from the pages of old books. While you might see destroying books as a bad thing, many crafters think of this as upcycling since tons of tomes, like old computer manuals and well-worn paperbacks, end up in landfills every year. These paper projects, from découpage to origami, turn the unwanted pages into something useful and beautiful. While The (Purely Paper) Flower Shoppe is only open today and tomorrow (UPDATE: It’s now staying open through the weekend), David Stark Design will partner up with West Elm again later this year to create a holiday line that’ll be available nationwide.

Check out a few pictures from the party:

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