Spring forward with West Elm

Before the Hols I got to meet up with the always inspiring Alex Bates, West Elm's creative director, to get the lowdown on what was happening at WE for Spring, and what we can look forward to for - dare I say it - Summer!

Alex's current influences centre on both the art world and artistic expession - Art Basel in Miami and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo - as well as architecture and the move towards greener materials, and then travel, she absolutely LOVES the Jaipur region in India. In store, terrariums and indoor gardening is big news at West Elm this coming season since they are, as Alex explains, healthy, wonderful and calming and we should all be living with plants (and the collection designed by stylist Shane Powers is gorgeous). There'll be more antique influences, like in the rather swank Modern Windsor Chaise (here) and the Scroll Headboard below, which takes a trad form and re-interprets it so it can be layered into an interior to give it what Alex would descibe as soul - it really is all about the mix this year at WE, and how you personally interpret their pieces.

One of Alex's most fave pieces from the new line is the artist designed rug collection, expecially John-Paul Phillippé Art Rug, a fantastic modern design which is woven using natural un-dyed wool (it's lovely enough to hang on the wall). Tabletop steps it up too, as does a whole new look at bath, which encompasses three different looks that you'll see hinted at throughout the store - Swedish, Globalist and Naturalist - and then for Summer keep an eye out for WE to move into the kitchen and really get into cooking and entertaining in a big way, as welll as intro-ing the first David Starck Summer collection. Phew!

From the top - Here's one of the Shane Powers layered indoor garden pieces. Next is the Scroll Headboard, as well as some lovely block printed bedding. Then there's the John-Paul Phillippé Art Rug, see what I mean about hanging it on the wall? LOVE this mixed-up tabletop shot. And finally, here's a bathroom to definitely get stylishly wet in...