David Stark For West Elm

What is gray and white and metallic all over? This has been in stores since the beginning of October so perhaps you've seen it in person... but tell me, what do you think about the winter collection from David Stark for West Elm? I love the whole handmade take -- it's very much what I'm used to seeing over here in Europe this time of year and what those of us online have been seeing for years now thanks to the influence of independent artists and crafters who have been sharing their garlands, handmade flowers and other paper crafts on their blogs and in their online shops.

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

To see our world go a bit mainstream is somewhat surreal -- it's great that people are catching the crafty bug, including those at the top like those who run these large retail companies. I love how much our online community has helped influence this trend. Plus, this kind of handmade, uncomplicated decoration is something you can use all winter long not just for 6 weeks during the Christmas season. For instance, I'd use most of this stuff until Spring and beyond -- I even use garlands in the Spring and Summer (mine are from Lobster & Swan on Etsy who started making them ages ago with recycled paper).

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

David Stark for West Elm

To think, there was a time when table settings and decorations such as these would not have been offered simply because craft was regarded as something mom's did with their kids and certainly not elevated enough to be sold to the public or even seen as a trend by top designers. I love that people are getting "real" in design more and more -- that the guard is dropping slowly and decorating is evolving into being a bit more personalized, cozy, tied in to the lifestyle of the family, budget-conscious... Sure, there is always room for high end (and their should be, mixing high and low can result in a gorgeous space and if you have the money then why not spend it) but I remember a time in design not very long ago when handmade and DIY was not considered an option unless you were flat out broke or you didn't confess that you'd actually covered your headboard yourself -- you did that in college but once you were grown up you hired out or bought it finished.I remember growing up with a mom who made our curtains, shower curtains, roman shades, you name it -- people looked down on her sometimes for it! Nowadays I think if you told someone that you made your roman shades yourself they'd think you were quite amazing and want to know how you did it so that they could try it too!

I love how the handmade movement has given so many the green light to do as they wish. Lots of us did it long before we were told we could, but it's just nice that the rest who may not have had the courage to DIY can suddenly feel like it's cool to craft. Good. It's about time.

I love these table settings and pretty decorations so I thought I'd share them with you in case you're looking for a little inspiration for decorating your nest this coming season! Yay to David Stark for his lovely collection, too. He's such an inspiration to so many...

(images: west elm)