Welcome to Basket Case, wherein your trusty VICE editors scour the proverbial aisles of our favorite online retailers to bring you a smorgasbord of the absolute best things to buy. In this installment, we're playing Supermarket Sweep at the massive furniture and home goods warehouse that is West Elm, bringing you everything from comfy mid-century modern couches to faux fur throws.
Long have we coveted our neighbor’s wife, but far longer have we coveted their West Elm bar cart. The home goods and furniture site has set the gold standard for a contemporary but mid-century modern-centric home aesthetic with its quality natural materials, construction, and eye for statement pieces [mushroom lamp has entered the chat]. If we’re browsing the web for new furniture on payday, we’re peeping West Elm; if we’re browsing the web on literally any other day, we’re probably peeping reselling sites such as Kaiyo for pre-loved West Elm pieces. Any way you slice it, we live to let our home decor aspirations wander West.
If you’ve made it to the second paragraph of our love letter to West Elm, chances are you feel the same way. But we also understand that not every rise-and-grind crypto drop-shipping king has the time to pore over pages upon pages of bedding, outdoor furniture, and storage solutions. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to peruse every corner of the home emporium, and bring you only the best of the best-sellers and (seemingly immortal??) West Elm warehouse sale.
We’ve taken the deep plunge, and come up with 1970s-inspired statement lamps, bed frames that provide you with extra storage, and the most comfortable leather couch we’ve laid our talons on. Dim the lights, put a Parliament record on, and let’s hop into the definitive VICE guide to shopping at West Elm.
The best sofas and chairs from West Elm
This Cloud Sofa dupe
Restoration Hardware’s Cloud Sofa has become the go-to couch for rich people who want to feel like they’re sleeping on a swan, because it’s deep-set, is made with 100% goose feather pillows wrapped in down fibers, and matches pretty much every style of decor. The starting price for one of those babies is around $6,000, but West Elm’s Harris Sofa is a handsome dupe that starts at prices as low as $760, which is some true police-slacking witchcraft.
A leather sofa is for life
Out of all the Big Daddy investment pieces of furniture we’re trying to bring into our home (the holy trinity ATM being: a dining table, media center, and couch), a leather sofa will truly put in the work to anchor your living room with an elevated aesthetic that says, “I don’t smoke cigars, but I could tell you where to get the best ones.” The Thierry leather sofa is also a cut above the rest when it comes to leather seating, because it’s not just another Googie leg mid-century modern leather couch (as much as we love those); it’s a giant leather marshmallow, in the chicest way possible. And if you’re going to shell out for a leather couch, wouldn’t you want one you can truly curl up on? It’s like the squishier cousin of the iconic Togo couch.
The one living room chair to rule them all
The Auburn chair is one of West Elm’s best-sellers, because its slightly extended seat cushion makes it extra cozy to post up in four hours on end while
doomscrolling reading a book. It comes in four versatile colorways, but the indigo twill shade is especially forgiving of salsa and wine stains.
The adult bean bag chair
Low and behold the Modern Lounger, which sure is a fancy way of saying “adult bean bag chair.” The comfortable cube comes in four colorways and a few different fabrics, including a buttery cognac-colored leather.
The best bedroom furniture
This is your first adult bed frame
Welcome to the bed frame life, jabroni, where our mattresses, backs, and sex lives are all way better supported. West Elm’s Simple Bed Frame is an elevated launching-pad into the world of nicer-than-basic bed frames. It’s not as much of a commitment as a headboard-equipped bed frame, but it’s so much better than one of those metal frames that feels like a mouse trap.
A dresser and a bed in one
Aside from making you look like a well-adjusted adult (peep that stately headboard, mate) West Elm’s Emmett bed frame is the best storage bang for your buck, and will save you from the plight of shoving random boxes and bags under your bed to accumulate dust. You could buy another credenza/bookshelf/dresser, or you could get a two-in-one solution with this clever design.
Daybeds are peak (affordable) luxury
If you’ve been nesting in your home for a while, you might find yourself getting bored with the seating set-up. This daybed-couch hybrid is definitely a treat at over a grand, but that wood wraparound treatment is JB Blunk dreamy, and a fire addition to liven up your stale foyer, living room, or guest room.
The best bedding and throws
A silky Tencel bedding set
When we sleep in these pearly Tencel bed sheets, we wake up feeling “Birth of Venus”-fresh. They’re cooling and smooth in texture, unlike some linen bed sheets that require a few rounds in the washing machine before they start to soften up.
Faux fur throws, for mystery
Binging your favorite TV shows on the couch with a regular blanket is relaxing—but binging your favorite shows on the couch with a faux chinchilla fur blanket? That turns you into a 1940s gangster with a heart of gold and a really angry (and really hot) ex-wife. Good thing you’re enshrouded in the mystery and plushness of West Elm’s best-selling throw, which comes in 11 different colorways (faux fur-ways?) and textures, from a cottagecore shearling to a wintry ermine white.
The best storage
A minimalist bar cart
Whether you’re building your very first bar cart or your fifth, West Elm’s three-tiered Yamazaki cart has enough space to put all of your bitters, whiskeys, and natural wines on a rollable pedestal—but the design is also ambiguous enough to double as a side or bedroom table, should you ever want to shake things up.
An adult shoe rack
We need a place to rest our bones after a hard day’s work, and to slip off our Docs without fumbling around the house. This mid-century modern shoe rack will give you the foyer you never knew you could have in your apartment, and make your whole space look so much more put-together now that there’s a home for those errant shoes and house slippies floating around.
A dresser for any room
It’s a pretty ambitious move to name a dresser after one of the most charismatic and multifaceted zodiac signs, but the Gemini dresser lives up to its astral namesake; it’s six drawers could house a hefty portion of our wardrobe, but the minimalist design also makes it entirely living room-appropriate.
The best outdoor furniture
This mid-century modern set
We don’t just want a seat for our tuchus when we’re relaxing on the patio after work. We want to feel like we’re sipping pretty in the Catskills, in the lush yard of someone in a way higher tax bracket than us—and for that, West Elm’s eponymous wood loveseat and chair set is *chef’s kiss* perfection.
An Adirondack chair
Are you even outside if there isn’t an Adirondack chair on your horizon line? The Portside chair would be an impressive throne for any aspiring cult leader in the Swedish countryside.
The best decor
A blobby mirror
It’s like the 12th Commandment says: Square mirrors are for squares, round mirrors are for portholes, and blobby mirrors are for people who are really good at sex. Hang this asymmetrical treasure anywhere in your home to add more visual interest, and give the illusion of more space.
You could put your darling plants in reggo terracotta pots, or you could bring in a bit of rattan to turn your living room into a tropical paradise, and let your guests know that not only can you mix up a mean Zombie, but you know all the best places to zipline in Costa Rica.
The best rugs
Add a jute rug for layers
One of the most affordable and durable rugs you can buy, a jute rug is made from the soft fibers of the Asian jute plant and looks elegant either on its own or as the base of a layered rug aesthetic. I once had a friend who straight up carpeted his home in jute, because it’s so affordable and scratch/pet-friendly.
Colca wool rug
The Colca rug—not to be confused with cloaca—is woven by hand in a Fair Trade Certified facility, and designed to give you the impression that you’ve just scaled the sides of Teotihuacan, which may be the salvia speaking, but either way, this rug’s geometric pattern slaps.
A washable sheepskin rug
Winter is coming, and one way to make it more bearable is by swaddling our toes with a faux-sheepskin rug first thing in the morning. And if you’re worried about scuffing one up, fret not: West Elm’s signature blanket is completely washable, so you can move it from the floor to the accent chair if you decide to shake things up.
The best lighting
A glass mushroom lamp
One of the 1970s’ best creations, Murano glass mushroom lamps are the perfect blend of ambient, amber lighting and futuristic design. This ribbed mushroom lamp is a modern take on the classic, and a top candidate for any place in your home that could use a little warmth in that I’m-an-hour-and-a-half-into-my-shroom-trip kind of way.
This mid-century modern lamp has a USB port
… Speaking of futuristic lamps, this best-seller comes with its very own USB port, and now we’re wondering why every lamp doesn’t come equipped with such a handy feature.
Imagine the prismatic glow that this dome will cast over your friends at your next dinner party. Not only will you be spoiling them with a slappin’ charcuterie board, but you’ll be blessing their selfies with some Studio 54-worthy lighting.
‘The Dark Crystal’
For the folks whose personal brand includes a nod to Jim Henson’s 1982 dark Muppet-core fantasy, we give you this gem of a table lamp.
Now sit back, right-swipe these killer home goods, and enjoy your parent and Tinder date-approved home.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.