Restoration Hardware (hard to swallow)

November 3, 2011

I need to do a check-in with you, my readers – friends, friends of friends, family, other designers, and lovers of all things designed.  I’m not one to say anything disparaging and can usually find the “good” in things but I have a problem with Restoration Hardware.  I’d like to go on record as having said there are things available though RH that are beautiful, things I would own or spec. for a client and that I’m 100% behind the use of a neutral palette… BUT, am I the only one that see’s the over scaled furniture, faux finished, faux old and airline furniture all a bit over-done?

Last September Gary Friedman launched his newest concept, a dramatic, sun-lit Restoration Hardware design gallery in a handsome Palladian showroom in San Francisco’s design district. It’s placed beautifully behind a tall wall and a pair of grand portals, with a terrace and sunlight galore, right in the midst of top design showrooms and the finest antiques galleries. The new gallery is at 188 Henry Adams Street, San Francisco, in the former home of Ed Hardy San Francisco Antiques. Ed Hardy, who built this Palladian masterpiece, and who should take all the credit for it, is knowledgeable and uniquely insightful in matters of antiques and decorative accessories, and he will stay on as a consultant.

Gary Frieman made a great splash last year by revamping the whole Resto product line. He introduced what many design fans and design bloggers have called ‘the Axel Vervoordt look’ for its insistently beige tones and neutral coloring, heavy linen upholstery, off-beat antiques, industrial findings, rusted metals and use of raw wood. ( blogger Joni Webb of Cote de Texas wrote brilliantly about this new collection and the Belgian style.)
Restoration Hardware has done a superb job on many items available now on-line and in stores, and adapting sofas with a typical Belgian understated monochromatic décor with plain linen upholstery for the masses is great… But, the Belgian flea-market rough-and-tumble “antiques” thrown in throw me.

3 Responses to “Restoration Hardware (hard to swallow)”

  1. richard Crisman Says:

    I get what you are saying and agree, however, I think they have to over-state it to get the look and feel across to get you to buy just a piece or two. Looks FAR better than most “mass” furniture retailers and a strong POV, but not for all and scale is HUGE for many. Would love to do a huge modern barn style house in this, plank floors, yada yada. New store in BHills supposed to look amazing. BTW, friend (SB) just did most of his PS house in RH, and it looks great with his mix, and service, inc. delivery was excellent, that counts for a lot …. now I think Gary should dress his age and stop putting his pics in the catalogue and posing with celeb’s. done. X

  2. bill barr Says:

    Thx for your comment RC, I totally agree. They do ALOT right, edit out the crazy bits and it’s very chic… The new store in Boston ( opening where the Louis store once was on Newbury Street ) will no doubt be beautiful! maybe I should offer my services and get back in to VM for retail!?!

    BTW… have you seen the new rug collection, its great!

  3. Drapery Rods Says:

    Hello Billbarr,
    Thanks for the info, If your looking for that old time look, restoration hardware may be just what your looking for. You can find restoration hardware readily available online or at local specialty hardware stores that carry a large selection of door hardware and cabinet knobs and pulls. You can find restoration hardware in all price ranges such as a solid brass mortise door hardware set that was custom made for a door which is about 31/2 inches thick. It came at a price of $1200 so you know I took great care in installing it.
    I’ll be back to read more next time

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