The past few West Elm catalogs have offered one-of-kind finds, such as these pillow covers made from vintage saris ($19 to $24). “We stumbled across these exquisitely soft, brilliantly colored quilted pillows on one of our inspiration trips to India,” says the catalog copy. Pottery Barn, which is part of the same company, carries vintage grain sack table runners ($79). In each case, quantities are limited, and if you order online, you are taking a leap of faith that you will like what you get because each item is one of a kind. I find it interesting that we often go to big boxes because we want no surprises—just something new that we saw a pretty picture of in a catalog. And yet, here these stores are trying to offer a more random, almost flea market experience. I love the actual items, so, I guess what difference does it make who sells them? But somehow it does feel odd buying vintage at West Elm. Does anybody have thoughts on this?
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