The new Restoration Hardware store on Newbury street opened in the month of March with great fanfare. It was accompanied with what seemed like the largest catalog mailing in history, that left us wondering “how did they afford to mail that”. Four books arrived to most Massachusetts zip codes, shrink wrapped in plastic, titled RH Interiors, RH Outdoor and Garden, RH Objects of Curiosity, and RH Tableware.
RH, as they now wish to be known, opened in the 40,000 square foot landmark Back Bay building that was once the home of Louis Boston, the high-end men’s retailer. The building itself was designed by architect William Preston in 1862, and was only the second building erected in Back Bay. At one time it housed the New England Museum of Natural History.
Restoration Hardware has completely renovated and restored the building to its former glory, with a spectacular glass elevator and a welcoming glass atrium outside on Newbury Street.
The company is trying to reinvent itself from the original success story that started in 1980 as a niche business selling door knobs, hooks and hard to find hardware, to an up scale home furniture store selling an eclectic line of luxury home furnishings.
A visit to the new Boston store for RH is definitely worth the trip. It is truly an “eye candy” experience for anyone interested in design or decorating. The showrooms dazzle with multiple crystal chandeliers, and everything is monochromatic with oversized furniture in leather, linen, natural wood,and chrome.
The store is truly beautiful and the merchandising excites and enthralls the visitor. Smartly dressed sales consultants walk around with IPads looking up your every question, as to dimensions, what other fabrics the furniture comes in and when it is available to ship.
Plush towels are stacked by graduating color hues in faux french armoires and there are home accessories everywhere, but everything is by mail order, nothing is available to purchase and walk out of the store with. For those of us who like instant gratification, this is not the shopping experience for you…..or me.
The furniture on display is so over scale, you have to wonder who can fit these pieces in their apartments or homes. Along with the over scale size comes a huge price tag.
Each week I see the original antique furniture that have inspired these RH designs at our auctions, only more authentic, more interesting and with the wonderful patina that only comes with age. Like purchasing a new car, the minute these pieces leave the showroom, they are worth a fraction of their original price.
With a bit of research in the past/sold items at Kaminski Auctions I want to share with you the Kaminski original and what it sold for and the RH reproduction, and you can decide for yourself.
The RH Interiors tome that arrived shows The RH Kensington leather sofa starting at $3795.
This a wonderful old Chesterfield leather sofa that sold at Kaminski Auctions DéCoR sale for $1500.same beautiful shape, with the real patina of an old sofa.
The same hold true for this wonderful old club chair . The RH Lowell chair ..
and the comparison piece at Kaminski Auctions that sold for a fraction of the RH price.
The RH vintage french side chair. just a copy of the french style side chairs at Kaminski Auctions.
Recovered in a natural linen these chairs will give you the same look.
The RH French style bergère…
And again, a French bergère at auction covered in natural linen will give you the same look.
The Rh catalog states “Our Chandelier mixes the opulent sparkle of crystal with the rustic restraint of a bronze finished frame.”
The chandeliers at Kaminski Auctions have the same opulent sparkle at a fraction of the price.
If modern furniture is your thing. We have that as well at our 20th Century Modern sales ! You will always find great modern design pieces from famous names like Mies van der Rohe, Nakashima, Sven Eriksson, Hans Wegner and many more.
A CB2 leather Sofa from our 20th Century Modern sale !
The real thing from E. Goyard, Paris !
From their RH Objects of curiosity Catalog..
I could go on and on with the comparisons, but you get the idea. I do wonder who is buying this furniture. Is it people who have no imagination, or just those to whom money is no object. The experience left me very uninspired and I thought, give me the thrill and excitement of a good auction any day !