Perhaps you’ve furnished your home with pieces from the west elm catalog, but what about furnishing your home with the west elm catalog itself? That was the thought of event designer David Stark when west elm asked him to work his magic to celebrate the opening of the brand’s sprawling new emporium on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Stark and his team transformed hundreds of west elm catalogs and mountains of the store’s packing materials into sculptural objects ranging from lamps and clocks to laser-cut cardboard cacti and a shredded catalog armchair that gives the Campana Brothers a run for their favela chic-earned money. All of the one-of-a-kind items will be auctioned at tonight’s private opening bash to benefit the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and will remain on display in the store throughout March.
The project was born from a discussion between Stark and west elm creative director Alex Bates. “We were talking about all of the waste that comes with setting up a store, and then we thought, why not make something cool out of it?” Stark told us this morning, when we were treated to a sneak peek of the new store, which boasts more than 24,000 square feet worth of artfully arranged home furnishings. As for Stark’s favorites among the recycled items up for bid, he points to the clock fashioned from a roll of packing tape (pictured above, at far left) but is torn. “It’s hard to choose, because I like some of the really quick things, and then I like the things that are really complicated,” says Stark, eyeing the shaggy armchair and matching ottoman. “I like the idea that we’re honoring everyday things that you would never look twice at made out of the things that you’d never look twice at.”