Monday, October 10, 2011

Restoration Hardware Megalog

Pity the poor post-person.  Not only is the PO making rumblings about closing sites and cutting hours and services, the carriers had to deliver the new catalog, weighing in at 3.2 pounds with 616 pages!  Clearly this is a new RH - not the company that sold "authentic reproduction" of light fixtures, furniture hardware and paint and stain to replicate antique finishes.  A few years ago RH went down another path - adding unique gift items.  Then the stores started disappearing altogether.

Behold the new Restoration Hardware.  No replacement for antique lamp fixtures, no supplies for refinishing wood, no patch kits for old plumbing.   This is a "new and evolving way to furnish our homes", according to Chairman Gary Friedman. 

There is a slightly creepy photo of Mr. Friedman on the second page, along with some grandiose comparisons to Teddy Roosevelt, but shameless self-promotion aside, who wouldn't want to just move into any one of the amazing rooms?

First, there are the colors - muted neutral naturals.  It's the first thing you notice when flipping through (OK, the second, after you've recovered from sticker shock).  Restful wall colors with neutral colored accessories - clearly Mr. Friedman doesn't believe in the "every room needs a pop of color" theory.

The style of furnishings is a mixture of industrial and architectural elements meet vintage. Steam punk on steroids, if you will.  There are no little tchotchkes.  Size clearly matters here.  The French tower clock is 5 feet in diameter (and costs $ 1195  and as noted in the description, is "non-operational").  The 1595 scrolled map of Florence is 12 feet long (and fantastic):

I can resist the Copenhagen chair ( $1865):

And the 8 foot tall Eiffel tower study model ($1745):

But can we talk about the linens?  Belgian linen that you can almost feel in the photos - soft, faded colors that look like my fantasy of life in an old French chateau. Never mind that outfitting your bed with these beauties could set you back a grand or so - fantasies involving French chateaus don't come cheaply!

And just look at these birdcage chandeliers ( $2525) :

This we might be able to knock-off.  Find a vintage (or a new one shabbied- up), add some twinkly white lights and we could make this for orders of magnitude less.  I'm adding it to my project list!

I know that this catalog is the embodiment of conspicuous consumerism; that no one needs to spend over a grand on a clock that doesn't tell time, or a map that covers an entire wall, or a model of the Eiffel tower the size of Big Foot.   I know that kind of money could feed an entire village of starving children.   But, for a woman who is happy to shop thrift stores, this is heady stuff and I'm smitten!

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