to eat / worst buy of the year – west elm rose gold flatware

Updated below…

You remember how I was super excited to finally get the West Elm rose gold flatware? Well, to my extreme disappointment, it tarnishes. It was supposed to be sturdy enough for every day with its plated stainless steel. I’ve been trying to return it but West Elm won’t send return labels and only does UPS pickups. I’m at work during the day, and you know. Note: the rose gold flatware is currently not sold online, but they do have another gold set that has a matte finish.

I eventually bit the bullet and mailed the flatware back to West Elm. I’d only purchased two sets so they conveniently fit in USPS Priority Mail’s padded flat rate envelope (~$6). West Elm proceeded the refund. Finally! Based on comments left on this thread, tarnishing was not isolated to the rose gold set but also the matte gold set. 

Upon further research, I set my eyes on the Portuguese-made matte gold Almoco flatware that is sold at Design Within Reach. Each set is 25% more than West Elm’s, but I found it for a good price nearby (and enjoyed dragging my friends to pick it up with me on an exciting Saturday night). Each set is beautifully packaged in a display box. Each piece is also significant more substantial looking than West Elm. I will review the Almoco after some use…

Almoco Update 1: I’ve been using this set for a while with no complaints. I treat it like my former Ikea set – I’ve left it in the sink with dirty dishes, I’ve run it through the dishwasher (handles down and somewhat dispersed), and I also handwash and set to dry. It still looks like new! I’ve seen it go on sale at Design within Reach but the sales are extremely infrequent.

Almoco Update 2: I’ve been using Almoco for over 2 years. No problems. I hand wash, throw in the dishwasher, or leave them in the sink to soak. If you use the dishwasher, follow their instructions — handles down and disperse. Two thumbs up!

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19 comments
  1. Cara said:

    Late night Ebay Pickups. Good times.

  2. Tai' White said:

    Wanna sell me yours?????

    • irene.likes said:

      The West Elm set?

  3. How has the Almoco set been? I’m considering getting some but am concerned about scratching and tarnishing. Thanks!

    • irene.likes said:

      Hi Shannon, I love the Almoco set! I don’t treat it any differently than my Ikea stainless steel set and it still looks as good as new! I highly recommend it!

  4. Megan Vohs said:

    Ugh!!! THANKYOU for posting your experience with the West Elm set. I had the same problem, finally called customer service, and had a new set sent to me.

    They did the same thing. Start to tarnish and rust. So now trying to decide if is end them back and get something else,or I keep them. They’re just SO pretty!

    • irenelikes said:

      Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one. I returned my set and got the Design within Reach one instead which is matte gold and even more beautiful!

  5. Thank you for writing this post! I was in between both – and wondering in general how they would hold up. Your post sealed the deal, I’m off to pick up the Almoco set this weekend! Thank you!

    • irene.likes said:

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you like the Almoco as much as I do!

  6. Petri said:

    Do you use your Almoco everyday? Do you dishwasher it? My wife and I are considering upgrading our Ikea set this Christmas. Some people have expressed concern that the gold plating on flatware. (I haven’t read about this with Almoco, just others in general)

    • irene.likes said:

      I do, but I handwash. I do not have a dishwasher. Sometimes I soak it for a few days and do not have any issues with the gold plating. The West Elm flatware’s coating was much shinier and looked less sturdy, if that helps. The Almoco set IS heavier and much more solid than the Ikea set I had.

  7. Amber said:

    I have had an awful experience with West Elm gold flatware as well! I found your blog today when trying to figure out if it was just me…West Elm said they hadn’t heard any complaints about the flatware. What an expensive mistake I made…unfortunately they aren’t replacing mine, but offered me 15% off another set. :(

    • irene.likes said:

      Hi Amber, I just read your post. So sorry to hear this happened to another West Elm flatware set! My initial email was replied to by Pottery Barn (since they own West Elm). Not sure if writing an email or letter would help?

      • Amber said:

        Thanks for the suggestion! It is SO disappointing because they are so beautiful.

  8. Hannah said:

    Thanks for this review. I was contemplating the West Elm set, but definitely don’t want to deal with tarnish. Did you get the gold Almoco set or the copper? The photo you posted seems more copper than yellow gold on my screen but I thought maybe it was just my computer. Thanks!

    • irenelikes said:

      Gold… I think the copper is new.

  9. Jenny said:

    Thanks so much for your review! I really wanted the West Elm gold flatware when I saw it on sale but your review stopped me in my tracks.

    Now I’m seriously considering the Almoco set! Do you need to dry immediately as they recommend to keep them looking nice? I like to just set my stuff on a drainer to dry and want to use it everyday!

    • irenelikes said:

      Hi Jenny. I find the Almoco pretty low maintenance. I’ve run it through the dishwasher, can leave it in the sink with dirty dishes, and also hand wash and set it in the drainer to dry. No problems! I use it every day.

  10. Celine said:

    I purchased 8 of the gold set. After a few months, the gold started wearing off and rust began to form. I called West Elm and they said I had to bring it back to the store to return it and that they would definitely take it back. But the manager refused to take them back without a receipt. West Elm puts out cheaply produced, disposable products AND has poor customer service. I’d rather take my $ to Ikea, thanks.

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