Armed with a cocktail and a digital camera, I scooped out the opening of West Elm’s spacious (24,000 square feet!) new store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side this past Tuesday. This is the third NYC location for the sleek contemporary furniture and housewares company. Just last month, West Elm — part of the Williams-Sonoma brand — opened an eco-friendly outpost in Emeryville, Calif.

Although NYC’s newest West Elm wasn’t “built from the ground up using green building practices” like its Bay Area sibling, green was the main draw at the store's bustling unveiling. There were a decent selection of green homegoods prominently displayed, but it was event planner and DIY master David Stark’s creations made from recycled West Elm packing material and catalogs that elicited the most ooohs and ahhhs.

Sadly, Stark’s whimsical objects d' eco-art weren't selling retail because I bet they would have been hot sellers. They were designed as one-off silent auction items with proceeds benefiting the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Stark's collective work, titled "Packaging Repackaged," reinforced that with a little patience, imagination, and a few craft supplies, anything — even shredded catalog topiaries and cardboard box cuckoo clocks — is possible.  

For more on David Stark, head on over to Design*Sponge and check out a video interview and DIY project

West Elm, 1870 Broadway, New York, NY 10023. 212.247.8077

Photos: Matt

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Green dreams on West Elm Street
Event planner David Stark helps West Elm celebrate the opening of its new Manhattan store with recycled flair.