Monday, March 22, 2010

Is Restoration Hardware diluting the integrity of Belgian and Industrial design?


I received the new Restoration Hardware catalog the other day.  While flipping through, I noticed how  their new designs are heavily focused on swedish design with reclaimed wood and industrial designs.

As a designer, I am never happy when a unique design aesthetic becomes mainstream.  It waters the integrity of the design down AND lowers the value of the true antiques.

Here are some photos of some very talented designers and antiques dealers that have made their name from Swedish and French design.
Houstonian Designer Pam Pierce via Cote de Texas


Houstonian Designer Pam Pierce via Cote de Texas


Lars Bolander Designs


Lars Bolander Designs
Lars Bolander Designs
Suzanne Kassler Design


Tara Shaw Antiques


Brooke and Steve Gianetti's kitchen via Velvet and  Linen Blog
(notice the industrial stools - I believe they are vintage medical chairs)


Steve Gianetti office - Giannetti Home and Velvet and Linen Blog
(He collected industrial artifacts and gears)


Industrial Light from South of Market in Atlanta - photo via Velvet and Linen


Each one of these designers and/or architects has a very special gift in finding unusual antiques and a wonderful design aesthetic.  I think that Restoration Hardware has really taken something from them and other designers who specialize in this aesthetic.

Here are the Restoration Hardware items:

Belgian linen covered french chairs

Reclaimed wood trestle table
                            Reclaimed wood baker's shelves           Industrial stool
Reproduction Gears

Reclaimed wood kitchen island


Brickmaker's Table
(Velvet & Linen blog had a giveaway of this table several months back - not a restoration hardware one)

Reproduction French Feed Sack Pillows

Belgian Linen upholstered sofa, reclaimed wood mirror, industrial tripod lights....

I wonder how these designers feel?

 Once, we sold a home that I had designed and the person who purchased it took photos of everything I had designed in order to replicate it!  She even went so far as to bring a woodworker in to measure my antique dining room table to have it built.  Now, I would have sold her the items which were all antiques but she was trying to do it on the "cheap".   (This is extremely insulting to a designer...it feels like stealing.)

I would love to know your thoughts on the Restoration Hardware reproductions.

Au revoir for now!