Why have you forsaken me Restoration Hardware?

What happened to Restoration Hardware? When did it get too good for me?

I used to love browsing that store/catalog. Yes, the furniture made me swoon when I looked at the price tags. But they always had some kitsch yet classy odds and en
ds to make me feel like a shopper. An old time clock or some great bubble lamp Christmas lights. Our buffet may be garbage picked but a coat of Sherman Williams and some retro Restoration Hardware knobs and it looked mighty nice.

Now when I browse the store/catalog I feel like I'm sneaking in. The items and the pricing have gone so highbrow. The new theme for fall is even called "Autumn Opulence". Don't get me wrong if someone offered to furnish my house with RH items I would get down on my knees. Uh, to thank them of course. The whole Great Gatsby look is lovely. But what I used to love about them was that they mixed up the highbrow with a little sense of humor. "Some cracked udder cream with that pillowcase Mrs. Lotta?"

Pottery Barn is teetering close to that edge as well. I still love the bright colors and false sense of security I get that all would be well in my family if we had matching embroidered beach towels. I lust for the double wide children's chaise that I picture my kids snuggling up together on after a dip in our blow up pool. But the clever items are starting to get few and far between.

My solution to Pottery Barn's maturity has been to purchase items from the kids and teen catalog for my main living areas. I have great retro print of a drawing of a crayon box in my family room. And though I couldn't afford it at the time, if I had the money that giant sized vintage wooden ruler would be in my kitchen right now. A cool decor item and a discipline tool. "Kids, don't make me get the ruler!"

Wouldn't you just love this picture in your hallway? Well I would if I had 119 bones to spend. I would actually love to undertake making a "real" one but know that cutting out licence plates would put me in the ER with multiple stitches and a need for a tetnus shot.

And these scissors, oh God the scissors! They would look amazing in the bedroom next to my framed button cards. Have I ever mentioned that my most favorite type of art is found object art? (Hence the large crayon drawing in my living room)

Maybe I should install a paypal donation button on the side of my blog. "Please donate a dollar if you enjoyed this blog so I can buy some cool stuff and incite husband to throw his hands up in the air asking why we need more crap. He reminds me of my dad when he does that, it's so cute."

So am I alone in this, or has anyone else noticed the trend?


jen said...

I used to LOOOVVVVEEE Pottery Barn. I actually purchased a few items from them...but man o man...the prices just seem outrageous now. There is a couch in there I am soooo in love with...but HELLLLOOOOO....3500 dollars. OUCH! I still peruse it when it arrives...and dog-ear pages...but that's about it.
The Kids catalog just pushes me to the edge of reason. Soooo much cute stuff...
Another place I used to love and purchase from was J.Crew...but their prices have gotten crazy as well. I mean 150 something dollars for a cotton dress? 75 bucks for a tee-shirt? A T-SHIRT!!!

udandi said...

I dig that map!

the other night on design on a dime (chicago version) the girl blathering on about something and then finally held up a letter she cut from a license plate and said only 25 more to go!

I wanted to know what she paid for 26 license plates to make her alphabet of wall art!

Pamplemousse's Mom said...

Since moving to the middle of nowhere - aka Canada's Capital Region - all I can do is peruse the web sites. And honestly, that's probably a good thing. If we had one in this town, I might buy something and end up in a huge fight with the hubby. And we don't really need any more ammunition. My sleep deprived crankiness creates enough.

chicaloungin said...

I think the squeezing out of the middle class is reflected in our damn catalogs.

It's like this: you want a 5 tank top from Target, whose principles are hard to swallow and the seams will fall apart after 3 washings or do you want that 125 tank top that will last forever but be out of style next month.

Exaggerated? Only a bit. There's an article in The Atlantic this month about the new millionaires (billionaires) and how they have to distinguish themselves from the rest of "us folk" who can charge our way to looking richer than we are... verrrrrrry interesting.

Can't charge a new jet though, can we?

lildb said...

it's why I've stopped perusing their catalogs altogether. I used to drag 'em into the library, erm, bathroom, for more than a frillionth-of-a-second glance, because of all the silly gizmos, and these days it's straight to the recycle bin.


boring times thirty.

Lotta said...

I agree with all of you wonderful folks. The catalogs of PB and RH have been replaced with well just about any flyer in my "library" as well.

Sigh. I miss D on a D. We cancelled cable to afford our gym membership. HGTV and me. We were a team for awhile.

Chica - Interesting. I'll pass that on to my sistah. She's always cooking up a conspiracy theory and she could take that little report and run with it. Picket RH!

Robin said...

I'd noticed the changes at RH awhile back, too. So disappointing. I miss the kitsch.

A few years ago I snagged a 1950s Army-issue gray Steelcase desk at a yard sale for $5. A month later, RH had one just like it in their catalog. Techincally, I saved $1020.

shpprgrl said...

Yes I have. I copycat PB. It's like the show on hgtv where they put together a look but with lower priced stuff. I use the catalog, but find the stuff cheaper elsewhere. But shhhhhh, don't tell. ;)

udandi said...

I looked on the D on a D web site and saw that it cost $101 for her wall art project.

I only have cable because it is included in my rent, although I should spend more time at the gym instead of watching HGTV!

Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

Totally! The catalogue has become like porn to me.

Anonymous said...

I refer to my J.Jill and Ikea catalogs as my porn.

Andie said...


I have replaced my PB and RH obsessions with IKEA. So much more reasonable.
oh, and whatever I can't find there, I get from target.

I hear ya!!!

Lotta said...

I love it and will refer to my catalogs as porn from this day forward! (slams gavel)

I was in Target Supha-store tonight and was actually a litle inimidated by the furniture/accesory selections they have in their boutique aisles. You know the one, India, Africa, Sweden, etc.. It was very moh-deern for me.

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