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Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Miss Silver Sage!!

I eluded in my last post that I had been to the new Restoration Hardware’s New gallery store in Berkley California a few weeks back. I also mentioned that the interior changes and look of their store left me cold and feeling somewhat down.

I don’t know about you, but I am not sure that is what they are trying to achieve. I have mentioned before that I like color, light and airy so it is a given I will not be comfortable in a dark cave- like room.

Where I feel Restoration Hardware might be shooting themselves in the foot, is the look that they now have does not appear to be very versatile to the masses. The look is so distinctive that you might just have to do your entire room over in order to make their pieces fit.

I read this statement on their website, they started with a quote from Picasso:

Every act of creation is first of all
an act of destruction

During the collapse of the global economy, we drew inspiration from Picasso’s words and chose not to listen to the conventional wisdom encouraging us to follow the pack and lower quality to reduce prices. Instead, we saw an opportunity to be liberated, abandoning our past to embrace the future, one that has redefined the essence of who we are. No longer mere “retailers” of home furnishings, we are now “curators” of the best historical design the world has to offer
We’ve destroyed the previous iteration of ourselves, clearing the way to express our brand in a never-before-seen fashion.

I would say that they have definitely done some destruction. There is no resemblance of the old Restoration Hardware, which I personally loved .  I always felt so comfortable and serene in their stores. I really do miss Silver Sage walls with wonderful white trim and architecture. I felt they had a variety of colors and looks that would fit into just about any decor.

They did say they were not going to do what is popular or follow the masses and yet, they have done just that. The style they are projecting has been around for quite some time and I think they have dived in head first with no wiggle room.

Here are some room vignettes from the new look of Restoration Hardware. I must say I do love some of the individual pieces and I will point those out. I am just not convinced it is a smart move to go this deep into such a specific look that has been around for awhile.

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I must tell you that in the store the walls are a darker shade of gray not this soft light color you see in their catalog which is much more appealing to me. As individual pieces I like most of what I see, but to have an entire room done in this is just too much of a good thing.

The city map is amazing and could be used in other rooms. I also believe a linen sofa is a classic, but give me some colored pillows please!!!

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Neutrals, Texture ? Yes, but enough already.

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More of the same with the addition of a chesterfield style sofa.

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Look familiar. Antler chandelier? This has been done forever!(That was said in my California Valley girl accent)

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I rest my case!!

I know many of you in blog land have truly loved this look for a long time and have it in your home. You have become a collector of Swedish, French and Belgian antiques and also have added a few of the industrial pieces. For you this is a look that you love and can relate to, before, during and after Restoration Hardware has moved on.

My whole point is, Why oh Why dive head first into one particular look that has been around for such a long time?! I am just not sure it is the wisest choice. I am not an expert- only a consumer and all of this is IMHO.

How do you all feel about this look? Are you going to jump on the band-wagon?

Enjoy the Process Of:

Really looking at trends realistically and staying true to who you are and what you truly love.



Unknown said...

this isn't "my look" - but i can see why people really enjoy it - it's hard for me to stick with 1 look - i like a little of everything .. but i appreciate it all and every style ..

Muffy said...

Amen! I also like most of the individual pieces, but all of it together is extremely drab & depressing.

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

I wasn't too sure what to think of the new (or old) direction they are taking but I do miss the lighter vibe of the former RH and all the product mix. Now it is larger pieces and less personality (more formula) but I am guessing they found buyers want it? Who knows and time will tell. Good post. Much love XO

Karen said...

RH does have some distinctive pieces, but I find their site and catalog is pretty bland these days. At first glance it almost appears to be shot in sepia because of the lack of color. I love neutral spaces, but I still like to see shots of color in the accessories.

Lisa D. said...

Hi Kathysue:
I was always a big fan of Restoration Hardware & totaly agree with everything you said. I noticed them swithing things around last year and thought to myself what a mistake!! Playing catch up on your blog...thank you!

Allie and Pattie said...

Kathysue, I'm giving you a standing ovation here!! I SO agree with every word! There are RH PIECES I love. The whole lok? Not so much!
xoxo Pattie

Unknown said...

Here's my take on all this...I think RH and Pottery Barn have all created this neutral look....not because it is that beautiful, but because it is cheaper for them to do everything in the same color and tell the public that it is good design. This neutral trend is so tired to me, and I don't think that the majority of the design world or the tasteful public that thinks this is a great way to dress a home. Talk about putting me to sleep!!! ho hum!! I think it's all about the economics rather than good taste! I'll climb down off my soapbox now!

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Yes, silver sage...fond memories! We painted our master bath that color a long time ago. Now it's in a desperate need of a renovation....just like RH...HAHAHA!


Like anything Kathysue....A little of it goes a long way...but a whole room is very predictable.

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dear Kathysue,

Well, for a certain 'rudderless' percentage of their catalog viewers this might work. For those of us, with a strong personality and therefore also an awareness of HOW to design our own interiors, it is useless. Let them try their luck for shooting at a downward pointing style. They will figure this out soon when they yield less of the color 'green'...

Sunny greetings from Georgia,


Averill said...

Oh Kathysue, I'm SO with you. I hate hate HATE the "new" RH. And can you believe their darling Baby & Child line is now like this too? Who wants all that gray and faux industrial in a nursery?!?!?

WIP said...

I went into my local RH just as they were debuting the look and an associate asked me what I thought. I said too dark. She agreed. And I like dark and dramatic. I have a number of RH pieces that I enjoy and I covet the crystal ball bookends but overall I don't see this look really selling. And the point about too many neutrals in stores is both a reflection of the economy AND all those staging people on HGTV who stress driving all the personality out of your house so you can sell it. I guess I will go neutral when the time comes but I am not going to live in boring for now.

Heidi said...

Hi Kathsue!
I agree with you! I got my catalog from RH and took a very brief look and tossed it into the recycle bin. Every page looked the same. It was a pain finding the individual pieces, because everything on every page blends together. So NOT my look. Although I would love a few items here and there, IF they were genuine and I had found them on my travels! But, not the RH mass-reproduce, highly marketed, highly priced pieces. I don't want my home to look like everyone elses!
good post, food for thought, thanks!
Heidi - Heart and Home

Maria Killam said...

It will be interesting to see how well they do. I was surprised to see how reasonable a chair in there was though. . .

Marcus Design said...

I do agree that the look is a little over done. I like a little more of an eclectic look, where things look like they have been collected over time.

style chronicle said...

Agreed! It looks like an ogre should live in these spaces. RH must be buying into the American supersized mentality!!

vignette design said...

Well Kathysue, you nailed it. And thanks for speaking out. Almost everyone agrees with you too. I find it interesting that RH revamped their whole look too. Although, some of their furniture from before was pretty model home looking. I like some of the new pieces, but not the whole look.
It's the whole Belgian, neutral look. I say enough! Enough rough seagrass, enough dreary walls and enough drab fabrics. Give me color, pretty color and soft rugs underneath my feet.

Emily A. Clark said...

Kathysue, Just wanted to thank you for the sweet comment on my NYC trip recap :)

And, I tend to agree with you about RH's new look, btw.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Restoration Hardware certainly has changed and not for the better. Walking through that store now feels like air being let out of a balloon...it is depressing and definitely lacks character and personality. Great post.

Pauline Wiles said...

Agreed - it's very, very distinctive and you're quite right that it may well be hard for us (the masses) to work it into our existing decor. It's a while since I was in a store: I should check it out in person.

Kat said...

I've not been in RH in quite some time, and am sorry to see them head in this direction. I always loved the airy feeling of the rooms, and this is very dark and somewhat boring to me. I really like the first room, but it is screaming for some color somewhere. It will be interesting to see how this goes over. Kat

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I am new to your beautiful blog and I scrolled down to see the molding post...I love molding; so much bang for the buck.(-: You might be interested in seeing the post I did today combining molding, and and other materials, for a decorative effect I just finished on my family room ceiling.
Oh! I love nuetrals but I also like a punch of color.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

...I am back again to tell you that I went to your archives as you suggested and saw the wonderful pictures of your entry hall and bathroom...with the molding.(-: It is just georgous. The only trouble is that now I want a black and white marble floor too! I am going to become one of your followers...but it just might be dangerous; you have so many great ideas.

Chats with Jack said...

I *really* enjoy your blog! Thank you so much for your kind comment.

Now down to business: I HATE the new RH. I even complained in my Facebook status as soon as I received the catalog.

At a time in history when such a large part of our population is down and out, do we really need cold, cement, gray furniture? And a whole room of it?! {following}

Maria Killam said...

Great post, thanks for including it on my page today!

Rebecca said...

I just posted about how I can't stand their new remodel. It looks terrible. What were they thinking!