I’ve worked in retail for a long time so it really takes something drastic for me to be impressed. Well, last year Restoration Hardware did it.

For a number of years RH had been struggling along with many other stores, and the economy didn’t help that fact. I nervously kept an eye on them (and Z Gallerie) for indications of their demise (I’ve lost neither, thank goodness). There’s two ways to react to the sluggish economy. A lot of retailers decided to downsize their inventories and revert to “tried and true” merchandise that would be a sure thing for the extra finicky customer. Unfortunately this resulted in tired stores and boring assortments. And it didn’t do much to motivate the customers who wanted to buy.

Or you can go ballz to the walls, throw away everything and start from scratch. That’s what RH did. They reinvented themselves, completely changed their inventory mix (well, some basics remain in hardware and hand lotion!) and remodeled all of their stores to reflect this change. I absolutely love love LOVE when a business takes an “It’s all or nothing” stand. (Remember when Abercrombie & Fitch sold old men’s golf sweater vests? Wait, I guess they still do only it’s worn with little else!!)

The best thing for me is while I wasn’t exactly the Cape Cod, Buffy goes to Harvard, vacation in Martha’s Vineyard kind of style lover, I absolutely ADORE all the new over sized, distressed and neutral tone pieces they offer now! Huge over scale distressed leather furniture paired with weathered wood cart coffee tables. 9 foot tall wardrobes and french linen pillows!

Luckily I work in a store that specializes in antique, distressed, beautiful furniture and accessories that is now starting to reflect the colors and tone of this trend (not sure if RH started it or not). In a way that blends old with glitz, contemporary and weathered. This, as it turns out, is even MORE me!

Like this:

My own place is full of repurposed furniture, refinished (by me) tables and the like. I love sparkly accents and mercury glass to offset the heavier distressed pieces. But honestly, besides the RH french linen pillows I splurged on last November, I hadn’t changed anything in a while. So when the ceiling was replaced (due to a leak that developed directly over the Christmas tree during a rainstorm last winter) making it necessary to repaint the walls (someone else will paint for me?) I jumped at the chance for change . I ran out and got some Benjamin Moore ‘Revere Pewter’ (“A light gray with warm undertones, this classic shade creates a unifying look that calms and restores. A great transitional color, it’s perfect for an open floor plan.”) for accent walls. Nice!

That coupled with the new smooth white ceiling (lost the popcorn in the process. Bonus!!) made a great starting point for incorporating some of the Rogers and RH feel, and sassy new ATTITUDE! (Too much? Sorry.) I have a few things up my sleeve and plan on cranking out some projects. I will keep you updated on the changes.

So, do you think RH will make a big comeback? or do you think it’s the bright flash before the end of a star’s life? Add a comment!

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