Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stupid Furniture

I got the new Restoration Hardware catalog today. I had read that they revamped their furniture line and was interested to see their new style. While they have a couple of lamps that I wouldn't mind owning, most of the stuff is ridiculously bad. It is not just over-sized and impractical, but also looks like you would need a tetanus shot after coming in contact with it. Much of it is iron or has iron hardware, which I'm pretty sure shows rust in a number of the photos.

Take a close look at the photo above and you'll notice that the desk is a large trunk. While it might make me feel a little like Alice after she drinks the potion, if I owned it, that is not a feature I generally look for in a piece of furniture.
Also, all of the not-so-little drawers and such are canvas, a sturdy fabric for sure, but still a fabric. Maybe not everyone is as grubby as I am, but I can't imagine an area filled with pens, ink cartridges, a printer, etc, not warranting a surface you can wipe down occasionally.
The desk is part of a collection of 18 trunks that serve as various pieces of furniture. You could have your whole house look like the movie set of a dock in front of a 20th century steamership. The whole catalog looks like a movie set. Everything is huge. It makes the furniture on Pottery Barn look like it belongs in a studio apartment. There's lots of linen - always a practical fabric for a couch or a dining room chair.
It looks like they mixed Donald Trump's sense of scale and penchant for Roman columns and then upholstered everything using Diane Keaton's wardrobe. Throw in a dash of lukewarm steampunk and you have their new catalog.

So I don't like their new stuff, big surprise, and big deal. What I can't figure out is who they are marketing this stuff to. To me, the stuff like the trunk would only appeal to people with apartments too small to hold it, and the linen wrapped couches to people who buy furniture for model McMansions in Florida? Who knows.

All I can say is, it's not doing anything for me.


  1. This is a WONDERFUL post! I totally agree. I used to spend time browsing in RH after going to C&B but since they've come out with this new line of Italian, overpriced, oversized, warehouse furniture, I've lost all interest. This stuff looks like you'd get slivers sitting on it: unfinished wood with (you're right) spots of rust on the metal parts for authenticity, but very very very expensive! I can't imagine who's buying it; not me, for sure. I don't get it. In a similar vein...I used to buy almost all my work clothes at Banana, but then they decided to go all teeny bopper, so that ended that. I then started buying Eileen Fisher on sale (too expensive otherwise) at Macy's, only to discover last week that they've dumped Eileen Fisher for Juicy Couture. Who's buying all this stuff?

  2. Very interesting. I had not heard about RH's redesign so I'll be interested to see this catalog for myself. Based on your pics, I totally agree with the 'lukewarm steampunk' analysis. It actually reminds me of what Pottery Barn has been doing for a while now, which is mass producing stuff that has been engineered to look as though it's a vintage one-of-a-kind flea market-type find. I gather it's an aesthetic that's for wealthy people who are too lazy to be interesting? I don't know.

    All of that said, I think those vise bookends are pretty cool.

  3. The Galleria store has just announced it's CLOSING! Ha! I wonder if they'll get a clue and change what they're peddling, but I doubt it.