First Michigan store offers furniture and home goods as well as work of 10 state artisans

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Modern home goods retailer West Elm may be headquartered in Brooklyn, but its new Birmingham store has a decidedly Michigan feel.

The 15,000-square-foot store, which opens to the public at 10 a.m. Thursday, will sell the wares of more than 10 Michigan artisans, including soaps, handcrafted wood bowls, gift wrap, prints and tote bags, as part of West Elm's Local initiative.

"Detroit has an amazing network of makers and local artisans," says Nicole Sutliff, West Elm's director of public relations.

Behind the counter is another ode to region and its automotive history with a one-of-a-kind installation made of salvaged wheels, hubcaps and gears.

The new store, located at 215 W. Maple across the street from Anthropologie, is the first West Elm to open its doors in Michigan and one of 13 new locations opening across the country this year. West Elm is known for its modern mid-century designs and clean lines.

Sutliff says West Elm had been considering Metro Detroit "for quite some time," waiting for just the right the location to open a store. They picked Birmingham because of its proximity to residential communities and local interior designers such as Jeffrey King Interiors, Corey Damen Jenkins and Kim Dent.

"It's a resource for them as well," says store manager Wyndal Chapital.

The new store, decorated in a mix of metals, salvaged wood, and soothing creams and grays, has a wide array of products on site, including sofas, dining sets, bedroom sets, linens, tableware sets and accents. At the center, in an area called the Loft, salvaged wood from Pennsylvania covers the ceiling.

Sutliff says displays, now featuring West Elm's fall and holiday collections, will be changed at least four times throughout the year. The Local initiative, started earlier this year, also will be changed periodically.

The Local initiative "really brings an entrepreneurship to the store," says Sutliff.

And if you need design help, West Elm has it: Customers can sign up for a free in-home design consultations in which a West Elm consultant will come to your home to help you with your decor and design. As of Wednesday, 10 customers had already signed up for consults.

"We're so excited to be here," says Chapital. "And we've created 42 new jobs. That's powerful."

mfeighan@detroitnews.com

(313) 223-4686

West Elm

Located at 215 W. Maple in Birmingham, it opens at 10 a.m. Thursday. It's open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. The first customers who spend $50 Thursday will receive a special gift.

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