west elm sells furniture, houseware and home décor that’s modern and affordable. Their target market is youngish, including both Millennials and older Generation Zers — particularly those that qualify for membership in a group called HENRYs (high earners not yet rich). Young HENRYs have high incomes ($100K to $249.9K) but have not yet reached their full earning potential. They can afford quality, and they value it. At the same time, ostentatious is not their thing. Clean, simple, classic, functional, not fussy, but well-made. Mid-century style furnishings are huge at west elm, as are muted colors, uncluttered designs, and solid wood.
But there’s more to west elm’s appeal than the style and quality of their wares. Their demonstrations of ethics and commitment to community and home have also helped make them popular. In a successful effort to become the home furnishings retailer of choice among young folks with ample incomes, they have done several unique things:
- west elm has dedicated itself to supporting artisans by selling a significant volume of handcrafted items. In fact, 20% of their offerings are handmade, and they have committed to maintaining this through 2020. They have also partnered with Etsy, the definitive online destination for handmade items, to sell the work of local Etsy crafters in select stores.
- They support Fair Trade. In 2014, west elm became the first U.S. home retailer to sell Fair Trade goods, and they have committed to 40% of its products being Fair Trade Certified by 2020.
- They’ve committed to sustainability. By 2020, they say, 50% of the wood used to make their products will be sustainably sourced, and 100% of the cotton in their bedding will be organic.
- They actively support the building of the community. Each west elm store strives to connect with its customers by offering in-store classes in subjects like cooking, gardening, and crafts. They also host special events, often in partnership with local restaurants and retailers, like “Sip and Paint” lunches and brunches, flower arranging demos, and ice cream socials. Individual stores are not laid out according to some master plan applied to all west elm stores; rather, they are a unique expression of their particular location. Salespeople are encouraged to share what they know about resources available in the local community with shoppers — by referring them to theaters, parks, and libraries, for example.
- west elm makes an effort to connect or reconnect their customers with the lost arts associated with “home.” In addition to the classes they offer, they sprinkle their website with little lessons like “How to: Create the Perfect Lazy Sunday,” “How to: Fold a Fitted Sheet,” and “Hosting 101: How to be the Perfect Host.” It’s almost as though they know that what youngish adults really want is a reason to put down their phones and participate in something “real.”
If you’re interested in high-quality, affordable modern furniture and décor, handcrafted and ethically sourced products for your home, or just seeing what the 25-35 set thinks is cool, a west elm catalog is just what you need.
Table of Contents
- What type of catalog is it? Print and/or digital
- How to request it (provide a clear link to the request page)
- How much does it cost?
- How does one subscribe to the catalog to get each new edition automatically?
- Is it a good catalog?
- Who can request the catalog (anyone, professionals, both)?
- Why request the catalog (benefits and what you get)?
- How to view the catalog online
- Other ways to shop west elm
- How often is a new catalog released?
- Does the catalog showcase full interiors or just individual products?
- Are there any restrictions on requesting the catalog?
- What are similar catalogs?
- Company Overview
Related: My 18 favorite furniture catalogs
What type of catalog is it? Print and/or digital
west elm’s catalogs are available in both print and digital formats.
You can request a print catalog at https://www.westelm.com/customer-service/catalog-request/
If you prefer to view digital catalogs, visit https://www.westelm.com/pages/we-catalog/?cm_type=lnav. The site currently has three and a half years’ worth of catalogs available for viewing.
How much does it cost?
west elm’s catalogs are free!
How does one subscribe to the catalog to get each new edition automatically?
When you request a catalog, you will automatically receive each new edition automatically, until you change your catalog preferences.
Is it a good catalog?
west elm’s catalog features high-quality photographs but shows just a tiny portion of what they have available. Also, they use some of the same photographs in different months’ catalogs. The catalog is better at conveying an aesthetic than providing selection, making it similar to the experience of visiting one of their stores. To peruse west elm’s vast inventory, visit the website at www.westelm.com. Click on any of the following categories and, within each of those, any of many subcategories. High-quality photographs of each item, along with the item’s price, are provided.
Merchandise categories on west elm’s website include:
- Rugs + Windows
- Pillows + Décor
- Art + Mirrors
- Kitchen + Dining
- Baby + Kids
- Holidays + Gifts
The west elm website also provides an abundance of design ideas, photographs, and information to help you furnish and decorate your space. The following is just a sampling of the types of information and advice you can find at Ideas + Inspiration on the west elm site:
- Room Inspiration: Photos of living rooms, bedroom, bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, offices and outdoor spaces designed in a range of styles
- What’s the right size rug for your room?
- Guides to sectional sofas, leather furniture, outdoor furniture and more
- How to arrange living room furniture
- The right size dining table for your space
- How to shop for an upholstered bed
- How to choose the right bed and headboard
- The best bedding for warm + cool sleepers
- Create a sustainable home
- 4 ways to upgrade your outdoors with Cityscape planters (west elm’s best-selling planters)
- Nine virtual house tours
- Interactive Room Planner
- Free in-store or in-home one-on-one design services
- Real-time online chat with a designer
- Installation services
- Paint color suggestions and guide to selecting the right color for you
Who can request the catalog (anyone, professionals, both)?
Anyone can request a catalog from west elm.
Why request the catalog (benefits and what you get)?
When you sign up to receive a catalog, you become a West End customer, and, as such, will receive messages about special offers and in-store events.
When you request a catalog subscription, you can also sign up to receive emails from west elm about sales, promotions, new products, trends, new store openings and special events here.
When you sign up to receive emails from west elm, you can also indicate you’d like to get them from Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Rejuvenation, Mark and Graham, and Williams-Sonoma.
How to view the catalog online
You can view west elm’s catalog online here:
Other ways to shop west elm
How often is a new catalog released?
A new west elm catalog is released once a month. A form on west elm’s website allows you to customize your catalog order, requesting one catalog a month, one catalog per season, or holiday catalogs only.
Does the catalog showcase full interiors or just individual products?
The catalog features photos of full interiors, providing “ideas and inspiration” for furnishing and decorating your home. Individual west elm products are named and priced in the fine print.
The west elm website provides the full range of individual products, as well as “Room Inspiration” sections with photographs of rooms furnished and decorated in a variety of styles. Bright + Light, Natural Textures, Roomy Leather + Cozy Touches, and Small-Space Spirit are examples of the living room looks.
Are there any restrictions on requesting the catalog?
Catalogs will only be mailed to addresses in the United States and U.S. Territories, and APO/FPO addresses. You must be 13 years old to receive email messages from west elm.
What are similar catalogs?
If west elm is your style, other catalogs you might like include Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, CB2, BluDot, and Restoration Hardware.
Like west elm, Pottery Barn is part of the Williams-Sonoma family of companies. Founded in New York in 1942 and now headquartered in San Francisco, the store offers furniture and décor in a variety of sizes and aesthetics, enabling customers to design spaces that are just right for them. In addition to Pottery Barn, there are Pottery Barn Kids and Pottery Barn Teen. Pottery Barn has three years’ worth of catalogs available for viewing on its website, or you can request a catalog here.
Crate & Barrel
Like west elm, Crate & Barrel offers contemporary and modern furniture, housewares and décor. The store was founded in 1962 by a young couple with a vision to provide affordable yet elegant home furnishings that would appeal to other young couples. It has since grown to over 100 stores and $1 billion in annual revenue. Crate & Barrel currently has 14 catalogs available on its website. Request a catalog or join the store’s mailing list here.
Part of the Crate & Barrel family of companies, CB2 bills itself as “Furniture and Décor for the Modern Home.” Its furniture is scaled smaller for apartments and lofts and places and has more of a minimalist feel overall than Crate & Barrel’s collections. Founded in 2000, CB2 has 19 brick-and-mortar stores, including 2 in Canada. The store’s catalogs or LOOKBOOKs are available online and can be requested here.
BluDot was selling modern furniture before modern furniture was cool — or at least before mid-century modern made its most recent comeback. Founded in Minneapolis in 1997 by two college friends with a passion for art, design, and architecture, BluDot was inspired by its founders’ passion for affordable modern furniture. Every piece offered by BluDot is designed in-house. BluDot offers collections for both adults and children. To receive a catalog, visit BluDot.com and click on “Catalog Sign-up.”
Restoration Hardware offers furniture, lighting, and housewares of all kinds, including collections designed especially for babies, children, and teens. They are perhaps best known for their authentic reproductions of classic furniture designs. Restoration Hardware calls their catalogs “Source Books” and offers several at a time online. The current collection totals 2,500 pages, and is available in print, for download or via the Source Book app. Request a catalog here.
west elm is a housewares retailer known for its hip, young, urban style. The company prides itself on the fact that 90% of its products are designed in-house, and that it was the first U.S. home goods retailer to offer Fair Trade products. west elm partners with over 35 groups of artisans around the world, including sellers of handcrafted goods on the website Etsy, and has committed to 20% of its wares being handmade through 2020. The retailer strives to be a valued part of its local community by offering classes in cooking, gardening, crafts and more at its stores, and by connecting its customers with other community resources. Founded in 2002 in Brooklyn, NY, today west elm has 112 stores in 85 cities in the U.S. Part of the Williams-Sonoma family of companies, west elm is its parent company’s fastest-growing brand.
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