Here is what I received in the original box:
(similar glasses approx. $28 value for 2)
(approx. $27 value for 2)
(similar small bowls approx. $7 value)
Here is what I received in the second box:
14" x 72" (approx. $45 value)
Izola Happy Hour Coasters Set of 6 ($15)
Simpatico No. 45 Candle 8 oz ($27)
Cost of Box: $55 per box
Approximate Value of First box: $62
Approximate Value of Second box: $127
Impressions: I was really excited to try this box because home related boxes are quite rare in the world of subscription boxes. As I mentioned earlier, this is a new subscription box and they are still trying to develop their system and work out the kinks so I will give them a little slack for that. They did ship the boxes quickly, the items were wrapped and protected nicely for shipping (although nothing in the first box came in it's original packaging), the items are from quality brands, and even their black boxes are nice sturdy material that can be re-purposed.
The First Box
I, like many other subscribers, was not overly impressed with the curation of the first box. The items seemed completely unrelated in their colors and style. I thought it was also odd that they did not include a information card or letter about the items they included or their values. (I will note that it seems like everyone received a different mix of items so I guess that is why they did not bother to go through the trouble of including information cards/letters for each person.) Although they included the minimum number of items they said they would, the total value of the items was clearly not the $120 advertised. The prices I listed above are guestimates based on prices I found online for similar items. At first, I was not sure if the glasses were tumblers for drinking or decorative candle votive holders. Through some online searching, I found that they are etched and hand-painted wine glasses but I will probably use them as candle votive holders. However, they are clearly intended for Christmas because of the holly berry designs. I think it would be a good idea for them to not send out items that are not in season. It's almost summer; no one decorates with holly berry motifs outside of the Christmas holidays. I later discovered from someone else's review that the green embroidered squares were cocktail napkins. I thought the small bowl was a dipping bowl for eating at first but it says it is not for food on the bottom. I suppose you could use it for holding loose change, jewelry, etc. I also noticed a partially ripped off price sticker on the bottom, which I thought was not a good presentation.
The Second Box
I had high hope for the second box but I wasn't much more impressed with it than the first one. The table cloth is like plastic and it's black. It's too long and doesn't look good on my cherry stained dining table. Perhaps I can cut it and use it to line some of my kitchen drawers or cabinets. I do not drink whiskey or any other alcohol and would never use the stones in my drinks. Perhaps I can use the glasses for water glasses, low vases, or more candle votive holders (with some stones or sand & seashells on the bottom). The coasters are made of paper, which I hate because they warp easily. I will probably just throw these away. The candle smells nice so I will be using it.
The value of the second box was twice what the first box was, bringing the total value of both boxes to approximately $189. I did eventually receive the retail value that was advertised but the only item I like is the candle, so essentially I paid $55 for a $27 candle! I will make the best of the other items because it wouldn't be worth the cost and trouble to trade the items. So this box was not a good value for me personally.
I really want the Burke Home Décor subscription service to succeed because I really like the concept of a home decor related box but I'm putting my subscription on hold or cancelling until they get the kinks worked out and start doing a better job curating the boxes. This first go round I think they promised a box that they obviously were not prepared to deliver on yet. At least now they know that subscribers expect better curation for a $55 box and will hold them to delivering on the retail value that they advertised. I can live with the box not having a really high retail value as long as the items are at least valued at the same cost of the box, but I do expect the items of a home decor box to be coordinated pieces. I think in the future, they should allow themselves more time to put together well thought out, coordinated boxes. The original box was shipped in a matter of days of announcing the release of this new subscription box. I can't imagine that their staff had adequate time to put some real thought into what they were putting into each box. And I assume that these boxes are made up of clearance and remainder items from the Burke Home online store. I think that if they want to send out misfit clearance items, parts of incomplete sets, etc., they should consider reducing the cost of the box. There isn't much entertaining you can do with only 2 napkins or 2 glasses. And it's difficult to decorate with and make good use of pieces that are this random in style and color. In the future, I think they should consider focusing on themes for the boxes so there will be some cohesion to the pieces. For example: fireplace mantel theme, dining theme, living room theme, bookshelf styling theme, desk/office theme, vanity theme, color themes, etc.
I am really glad that they acknowledged that the original box was less than stellar, apologized, and made an effort to make things right with subscribers who were willing to go out on a limb and trust their new subscription service. I am looking forward to seeing how their service develops over the coming months. Hopefully they have learned a lot from the subscriber feedback of this first shipment and succeed in the long run because I would like to continue my subscription with them in the future.