9.09.2010

What up, Restoration Hardware?

As a devout shopper of Restoration Hardware, I feel it within my jurisdiction as a consumer to send them a big ole WTF??? Have you been in their stores recently? Have your perused their catalogs recently? If so, then you'll (hopefully) understand my shock and total disappointment at their new merchandise.

Before I go on, let me just say that during my research for this post I was astounded at the number of google images that a search for "restoration hardware" produced. Who are these weirdos that take a picture of an RH in a mall? Just seems like an odd thing to do. I'm just sayin'...

Maybe the store at Crabtree Valley Mall just got really unlucky, or perhaps they aren't finished yet, but in any case, their store is HORRIFIC. It's the polar opposite of what it used to be and I won't be surprised if RH employees are given Prozac as part of their benefits package. Let me see if I can set the scene for you. Here's a pic from their website: I kid you not when I tell you that the paint in the new store is the color of the banner in the above photo. I mean walls, trim, they even ripped up their light wood hardwood floors and traded it for the equally dark, cold polished concrete floor. It's like a tomb. And there are spotlights everywhere lighting up the few floor displays they have. It's like walking into Abercrombie & Fitch - only without the blaring music - you'll be damned if you can actually SEE anything you purchase.

Here's what most people think of when they think of Restoration Hardware: Ah yes, the good ole days. The days of crisp, white, glossy trim, hardwood floors, stained and sanded furniture, classic chrome hardware, and a rainbow of the most luxurious paint colors in the world (*No really, they have GREAT paint), and let's not forget the Turkish Towel.
Now it's all gloom and doom and dark and cold in the store. The merchandise looks like it was found in some dusty old carriage house from the 1600s. It's french vintage, but not sensible vintage. It's like "even-the-French-wouldn't-buy-that" vintage.

For example, here's a few mind-blowing pieces they currently offer:I mean, really? REALLY? And this floor lamp is HUGE. It absolutely towers over you and is more like adding a full-on column to your room. No.While a beautiful picture, something about those beds make me feel like I'd be a first class passenger living it up with Leo in Steerage on the Titanic. They just don't beckon me to come have a nap.Do I even NEED to say anything here? Who needs a sleigh in their house? Hint: NO ONE.And this...well, while I understand it's historical inspiration point having studied a little bit of furniture design history, I just can't imagine anyone having this in their home. Except people with money to burn. People who have more than 10 rooms in their house. People who can probably afford to buy everything in RH just to match this ONE chair. It's just not sensible.And I saved the best for last. An Aviator Chair. Yes, it's wrapped in riveted metal sheets and the seat is inspired by the cockpit of a plane from yesteryear. REALLY?!?!?!

I hate to hate on RH. I have an entire bedroom suite from them and I LOVE it. We have a coffee table, too, and several of those heavenly turkish towels. And we've used their creamy paint and curl up with their great couch throws. But now...now it's not the same. It's sad and cold and dark. And don't get me wrong. I appreciate the era they were pulling from when designing this new stuff, I just don't think many people are going to actually BUY it - especially in a down economy. I miss the old RH. The one with all the fun throw-back toys to play with, the one with the glossy white trim and endless beds and sofas on display that would virtually hug you when you sat on them. I just don't know why they took of in this new direction, but I sure hope they turn back soon.

10 comments:

  1. OMG! You READ MY MIND!! I was just talking about them the other day that their new designs are totally horrendous! They look like pottery barn on steroids. I too miss the clean, simple lines! Oh I hope they go back to their old ways. Seriously..I think you were inside my head!

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  2. hah! I posted something VERY similar. I'm so sad about all the changes!!

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  3. Kelley,
    http://catalogliving.net/page/1 :) I think some of these pictures came from Restoration Hardware. I just saw this on someones fb profile and thought of you!

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  4. You are totally right on target!! I was in a RH today. Next time, I'll bring along some night vision goggles!

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  5. I completely disagree with your post. The new Restoration Hardware is chic plain and simple. I have heard other people make similar comparisons to yours about it being like a tomb, but to me, inside the store it feels more calming than damning. Of coarse with this said, I am on the other side of the fence. I was never interested in the monotony of the previous style, fortunately you still have Williams Sonoma Home for that. Resto's new pieces are neutral, versatile and can used as foundational building blocks in anyone's home.

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  6. I was really sad to seen the catalog. It feels so out of touch with American today. So drab and boring. no color, no passion, just very removed-the opposite of vibrant. Won't be buying anything.

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  7. OK,so this is a WAY late post, but I have been thinking the same thing ever since they turned to the dark side. It's like Gotham City in there. I find myself getting antsy after about five minutes and seek refuge in the Pottery Barn next door.

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  8. a good combination is pottery barn, restoration hardware and tolix gunmetal dining chairs. beautiful combination ,don't care what others think,because i give those people maybe a year or two and they will like what they now hate....my experience...

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  9. Wow. I'm surprised by the backlash.
    I absolutely LOVE the aviator chair and only wish it came in a purple or red seat. It adds a cool, industrial/retro feel to a modern living room. Of course it won't go in the average country-styled suburban home, but don't we have enough of that style already available in Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel? Kudos for brining something new to market, Restoration Hardware!

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  10. I love the furniture they carry now and I loved what they carried before too. But I appreciate a good opinion... too each their own.

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