Monday, October 24, 2011

I'll Have a Blue Christmas.

Or in the case of Restoration Hardware, a grey Christmas. I'm really disappointed in the direction the store has taken; from warm and cozy to cold and pretentious. I must not be the only one who feels this way because the store is always empty. What do you think of their new look and direction?



Elizabeth said...

You have no idea how much I hate the new Restoration Hardware.
Let me tell you a little story here. My husband and I knew the founder of RH.

Steve Gordon is the founder. He started Restoration Hardware in Eureka California, when he bought a victorian house, to open it up as a possible B&B. He wanted to restore the house with hardware that was like the original. When he couldn't find a store in the area, he decided there was a need, in a town filled with victorian homes. He had really neat merchandise in the first store, and he would hand write little stories about some of the products and place it near the displayed item on a little card for people to read, sometimes they were things he remembered as a kid, etc. I remember when Steve Gordon leased a building in old town Eureka, with his first brick and mortar store.
My husband worked for him when opened up in his new space, and was employee number 6! I even did window display work for him on occasion.
My husband helped him open his next location in Mendocino, and helped him start his very first attempt at mail order, back in 1984!
We eventually left the area, since we were finished with college, and watched from afar as the store took off.
The odd side story here is that my husband, at one time, worked for corporate Williams Sonoma, and in that time had dealings with Gary Freedman, the now figure head of Restoration Hardware. Steve sold the company a few years back now, and since then, it went into this freaks idea of what this store should be. Ours in town is always empty, and the paint job on the inside is so dark it looks like a flippin cave!!!
My husband said that Gary Freedman was not a nice guy, and thinks the new store reflects this guys esthetic. So, so sad. Especially when you knew how it all began, and how charming it was for so many years. The stuff in there now is so gigantic, it would only fit in giant mansions.
I have a very bad feeling that it is going to tank. The merchandise never changes, and the Christmas stuff isn't even interesting. That place use to be always swarming with people, now it is an empty cave.
Sorry for such a long comment, but I thought you would get a kick out of the story.

LindaSueBuhl said...

what a shame - looks like it belongs to the White Witch in Narnia!

HopiQ said...

A sad picture, and a sad story from Elizabeth. I had an idea about RH of really cool, authentic stuff to use in true renovation of old houses, etc. I ordered a catalog recently (to get some fun mail coming to our new address) and found it an inch-thick monstrosity of the same idea over and over on every. single. page.

Anonymous said...

I am so with you. Whenever their magazine comes, I shudder--definitely NOT a place I would like to live in!