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Ain't No Party Like a West Elm Party (With Marigold and Mint on the Side)

Remember when West Elm opened way back when? It was awhile ago, we know, but stretch your memory a little and think back. Got it? Wish they were having more cool parties now that they're old news? We've got you covered. Our buddies over at West Elm are totally bringing it this week (and for the next few weekends), so we highly recommend heading over for some pretty killer discounts and fun flower arranging.

First up: a customer appreciation night tonight. From 6-9 pm you'll get 10% off, they're offering refreshments, and you'll be able to enter a raffle for a shot at cool prizes.

What's way cooler: for the next three Saturdays, they're bringing in the pros from Marigold and Mint to teach customers about flower arranging. From 10 am to 3 pm on April 28th, May 5th, and May 12th, they'll have fresh flowers on-hand in the store and florists at the ready to help you arrange your own stuff.

Not enough? We talked to Katherine Anderson, owner of Marigold and Mint to get a preview of the tips you can expect this weekend. Enjoy, flower-loving friends.

Flower arranging as a hobby has exploded recently. Why do you think that is?
Katherine: Flowers are pretty. They are mood-lifting. They make the person arranging them feel pretty, and you can buy your materials( flowers, mason jars) at the grocery store.

Say I want to start arranging flowers on my own at home. What are five crucial things I absolutely have to have to do it right?
KA: [You'll need] the sharpest knife or pruners; clean, cool water; a container to use as a vase -- get one at West Elm!; flowers or branches or anything growing in your garden or on your street; a sense of proportion; and a flower frog is great to have, too.

Now say I'm completely inept at create anything even vaguely aesthetically pleasing. What's a totally fool-proof arrangement I can do on my own?
KA: If you want to try to create an arrangement or need to get flowers on the table for a dinner party, I'd actually say buy a plant, or 3, and pot it in the most interesting container you can find. If you are determined to arrange something, buy 1-3 types of different flowers but in the same tonal family and combine them in a vase.

What's your personal favorite flower or style of arrangement?
KA: My favorite flower tends to change with the season. But peonies, especially tree peonies, are right up there. Same with heirloom daffodils, such as the variety 'Guy Tabor.'

What can customers expect at the West Elm arranging sessions?
KA: Fun fun fun! And tons of spring flowers from my organic farm to use in arranging.

My friend's moving in to a new apartment and I hate the idea of getting her a lame run-of-the-mill bouquet as a housewarming gift. What's something cool I can do that's outside the box but still pretty?
KA: It won't be run-of-the-mill if you look for unusual blooms that are in season, such as Leucojum (they look like giant Snowdrops) or fluffy double-petalled cotton-candy pink Angelique tulips in spring. Then tie the bunch with a pretty ribbon or some twine with a note attached. These are harder to find, but worth the hunt!

What's the biggest mistake you can make when arranging flowers or picking an arrangement for your home?
KA: Stuffing your vase with too many kinds of flowers and/or too many colors. And not knowing when to stop. Think line, color, proportion.

All the details, here:

West Elm

2201 Westlake Ave., Seattle, WA 98121