You know what me and Emma have in common? Apart from a sparkling wit and dazzling good looks? Absolutely nothing. Well, almost absolutely nothing. We do have a corner conundrum each and we’ve been wracking our collective brain to fix it. We actually share one massive, independent brain like Krang from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (that is incredibly, not the only Turtles gag in this article, there’s also a Jurassic Park one for your delectation). We thought there was no answer, we were doomed to always rue the right angles plaguing our homes. That is until West Elm came to the rescue like the hero Gotham deserves (Yes, I got Batman in). Before I get Superman and Spiderman in too, I’ll proceed to the article, because with great power, comes great responsibility (put a fork in me, I’m done). Here’s how we created the greatest West Elm corners this world has even known:
Emma’s Corner: let’s get minimal
Let’s talk corners. There’s one specific corner of my living room that’s never been right. It’s the corner with all the plug sockets and internet cables in it, and a horrible old vent that doesn’t seem to do anything at all. It was a corner in need. In need of a large piece of furniture to block out all the gross, and give me a place to store many and varied beautiful things. It needed the West Elm Profile Bookcase. Minimal, matte-finish, with just a hint of flair (those black bars down all sides are borderline erotic), it’s the furniture equivalent of an early-90s Armani suit.
And when you have an expertly-minimal set of shelves to style, what do you do? You go to town on the accessories. If you haven’t yet, go and take a look at this season’s home accessories – they are so good. So very, very good. Take the marble disc, which comes in two sizes (I got the small) and the totem vase, which is so good it makes me want to cry. Then I raided the bathroom department for the long tray, which is something I’ve been looking for on and off for a while, and is best buds with the resin bin a bit further down masquerading as a plant pot. You know what they say, never trust a bin with a plant in it.
Then there’s the Bella table lamp, which looks like a fairytale mushroom and calls to mind Fantasia and pillowy marshmallows and cool Scandi vibes all at once. I am in love with it. We’ll be married in spring. And that glass vase? That’s a candle holder, only I have a vase problem, so when it’s under my roof it’ll be a vase, young lady. And let’s not gloss over the black-as-night Apotheke reed diffuser, which has a rich, earthy kind of a smell to it and, let’s be honest, looks sexy as hell.
Ok, see that plant? It’s a fake. But, like, a fake by one of those old forgers who’re so good you can’t tell the difference between it and the original. Plants don’t live in this spot. I have tried many times and many have perished. So fakes and dried things it is. But those delightful bookends needed a little plantlife in them, I think. And actually, once I’ve burned all my books in a fit of backwards-books-debate rage, those bookends are going to make an excellent pair of plant pots. Or mittens.
To add a touch of delicate shine to the whole shebang I chose a couple of glass pieces. The round picture frame above is magnetic and came with a piece of paper that said, ‘frame your faves’. Only, I didn’t, I framed this bit of old stick instead, which is now to be considered my fave and my best friend. We both like long walks and George Michael, and being dry. Also, it felt like the right thing to do to have a bit of old stick on show for posterity. One day I’ll extract its DNA and create a theme park full of bits of old stick who’ll come to life and try to kill Jeff Goldblum.
That plant pot had to come home with me (and also be used as a vase – nothing is safe). Those wibbly bits down the side kind of make it look like an alien life form. I’m questioning my rationale for that even as I write it. Let’s gloss over it. Movement. It introduces movement into the general arrangement, and that is a wonderful thing. Like, all sculptural and shit? There’s also an equally-good centrepiece in this collection – tap the link to have a squiz.
We need to talk about West Elm’s Shape Studies collection. It’s a range of ceramics and metal objects ranging from mini to maxi sizes, and each one looks kinda chic and kinda homespun and has juuuust a touch of off-kilter weirdness about it. I basically went for the whole collection – the arched votive above, almost all the tall vases, that metal semi-circle with the candle on it. They’re just damn cool, aren’t they? Also, I’m all for playing with texture and height in a shelfie, and these are giving me all of that.
Robyn’s corner: the classy cheese party
Like Emma I have a cable corner. It’s also somewhere I’m trying to retrain my husband to sit as I’ve had a shuffle in the lounge and he is no longer appropriate where he used to perch. So I had to come up with a cunning plan to hide all the horrid electrics, incentivise a seat switch and of course give a heavy dose of wonder. In steps West Elm.
Some people say I’m a genius. Who am I to argue. A Very Stable Genius. And what do Very Stable Geniuses throw at a diplomatic problem like trying to bully their husband into moving from their favourite spot? A party of course! So I decided to throw the cheese party to end all cheese parties with this marble and brass beauty. I’m pretty sure Greta Garbo had one just like it.
But a party wasn’t enough. Jamie Watts is stubborn and his will is unbending. So I gave him the other thing no reasonable man can turn down (steady on) – a side table. Yes, he can now pop his brew on the exquisite antique brass side table rather than place it on the vintage coffee table which *full disclosure* routinely falls in on itself like a broken car in an Acme cartoon.
Let’s talk health and safety: ain’t no one want their beautiful new side table ruined by watermarks. But also ain’t no one want to see my retro comedy slogan coasters so it was time to get adult and invest properly in something I use EVERY DAY. Enter stage left these beautiful marble moon coasters. Hopefully unbreakable, definitely trend-proof, absolutely a complete joy giver.
But ‘woah, hold on a minute, tell me more about this cheese party’ I hear you say. And I hear you. I. Hear. You. Want to know what’s even better than a very fancy and equally weighty cheese board? CHEESE CARVING INSTRUMENTS. Yep, I got me some fancy cheese cutlery. I am officially an adult. I’ll talk you through them, there’s the cheese spade, the cheese letter opener and the cheese Leonardo-from-the-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles weapon. Quite a trio I’m sure you’ll agree*
You know what else Jamie likes to do in his chair? Apart from watch box-sets and fall asleep after ten minutes? Read, baby. That man is a real bookworm so I got him the king of all lamps. A true beauty to ambiently light the space and ensure he can read himself silly without straining those lovely peepers. The Hudson is the finest lamp I’ve ever set eyes on, 60s journalist’s office in his Bloomsbury apartment vibes to the absolute max.
But all this is very chic and minimalist, no? I need some pattern, surely? You bet your ass I do! So I chose the biggest, boldest, most incredible Margo Selby for West Elm cushion in Christendom. Cos West Elm do textiles RIGHT. They really hit the spot with gorgeous throws, splendid cushions and superb rugs. There’s graphic prints, poppy colours, really interesting weaves – the lot. I could truly cover every inch of my home with their accessories and one day I probably will .
And finally, cos I can’t be subtle – what goes better with a botanical backdrop than… more botanicals. I love a print-on-print situation and the West Elm Faux Fiddle Leaf Fig gives me all the drama of a massive plant without the inevitable heartbreak when I kill it. Which is guaranteed. Plus the dog won’t die if he eats it (well he will, but that will be because I beat him to death). So bow at the alter of my cheese-party-botanical-bonanza-burnished-wonderland that is a ‘Jamie Corner’. May he be enticed to sit there for many years to come!
So thank you West Elm for making our collective corner dreams come true. We shall be marvelling at our glorious makeovers for the foreseeable future.
*In no way does West Elm refer to their cheese cutlery like that.