The other day a new “West Elm” furniture store opened in downtown Boise.

For those of you who don’t know, West Elm is what you buy when you’ve grown out of Ikea. It’s got a sort of mid-century modern aesthetic, but it’s still cheaper than some other furniture brands.

Like many fashionable stores these days, the national chain is trying to look as rustic as possibly. In the case of this store, that means that the floors and outside display appear to be covered with unfinished reclaimed wood, possibly from a barn.

I say “possibly from a barn” for one very specific reason: when I walk into this expensive furniture store, it smells…very faintly…of manure.

Now, I’m old enough to remember when expensive stores did not smell like manure. In fact, I would say that, if you had asked a designer, “How shall we appeal to wealthy customers?” their first thought would have been, “Do not smell like manure.”

But times have changed, and now all of your fancy furniture comes pre-impregnated with dessiccated cow poo dust.




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