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I rented West Elm home decor through my Rent the Runway subscription — here’s how it worked and what it looked like

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Rent the Runway

  • Sometimes all it takes is a little change to make your living space look and feel brand new again.
  • You can now rent home decor like pillows and throws through Rent the Runway’s new partnership with West Elm. They come in bundles that take the place of one of your rental spots in an Unlimited or Update membership.
  • As someone who uses Rent the Runway to experiment with my clothing style, I appreciated the parallels with the home goods rental experience. There were many options to choose from and they let me take more risks with my interior design style. The pieces were shipped to me and they were just as easy to return.

Every so often, I get a pressing urge to change something in my life. Why not try a new type of exercise class? How about a new hairstyle? (Not bangs, though. Never bangs.) Though consistency is comforting, it’s also natural to crave change in your everyday life.

Home decor is one example you might’ve considered switching up. However, given the surprising expense of high-quality home goods, it’s just not financially — or environmentally — responsible to keep buying new throws and pillows that, quite frankly, you don’t really need.

Earlier this year, Rent the Runway announced a solution through a partnership with West Elm: home textile rentals.

Applying the same concept that drives the success of its designer clothing rental program, the introduction of this new product category lets shoppers rent home decor at a fraction of its retail price.

The idea is that you can refresh your living room and bedroom, two areas of your home you probably spend the most time in, without spending as much money or generating waste.

I tried renting some West Elm home decor through Rent the Runway. Here’s how it works and what to expect:

To start, you can find all the available bundles at this page.

Rent the Runway

There are Living Room, Bedding, and Pillow Bundles, with styles ranging from abstract and geometric patterns to more traditional striped prints and solid colors. You can stay neutral with some light linen quilting, or be adventurous with jewel tones and unusual textures.

In order to rent a bundle you need to be a Rent the Runway Unlimited member ($159/month) or Update member ($89/month). With the Unlimited membership, you can rent four products at a time and make swaps anytime throughout the month. The Update membership lets you rent four products each month. One Home bundle counts for one slot in your rotation.

This month, I rented three pieces of clothing and then added the Blue Velvet Living Room Bundle as my fourth rental. Home items ship separately from clothing, so they might not all arrive at the same time. While my clothing came in a garment bag, my West Elm products arrived in a box.

Connie Chen/Business Insider

Inside the bundle:

The Living Room Bundle included an acrylic weave throw, two different pillow covers, and two pillow inserts. You’re allowed to keep the pillow inserts.

Using my home decor rentals:

Since my living room has a lot of neutral colors and lacks a variety of textures, these pieces were a bright and fun change. The throw was very soft, while the pillows were both comfortable and visually interesting.

I’m planning on moving to a new apartment next year, and I know I want to improve my interior design game by then. The advantage of renting these West Elm pieces is not only that I could refresh my current space, I could also figure out my still-developing personal style and determine through trial and error what types of home decor best fit my personality and preferences.

Connie Chen/Business Insider

Returning the bundle:

Rent the Runway includes a bag and return shipping label for you to return the pieces whenever you’re ready. Since you can keep pillow inserts, you only need to return the covers. I personally would’ve preferred to return the inserts as well, but understand that they would make it more difficult and bulky to return the whole package.

You don’t need to wash the pieces before returning them. Rent the Runway will clean them for you.

Other benefits of renting home decor through Rent the Runway:

An exclusive perk of this Rent the Runway-West Elm partnership is that you get a coupon for 20% off at any West Elm store. If you like shopping at West Elm, this is a nice benefit to take advantage of.

The bottom line

You don’t always need a drastic change like a big new couch or table in order to experience your living space in a new way. Trying new pillows, throws, and sheets is a low-risk way to refresh your living room and bedroom. Rent the Runway makes the switch even less risky and more convenient by renting you all the necessary components from West Elm.

Rent West Elm decor from Rent the Runway

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