March 28, 2012

Yes or No? Deconstructed Furniture

Joni over at Cote de Texas did an extensive post about this subject, but when an advert from Restoration Hardware appeared in my in-box, I took a few minutes to really look at their new deconstructed collection and had to weigh in with some thoughts.deconstruction This image makes my skin itch for any number of reasons… First, the deconstructed look is a bit unfinished and informal for a room that seeming appears to be formal. Then there are the damn books with their white covers. Clearly, if you actually use your books, then you don’t cover them in white paper, just for looks. book_bundles This is a previous Restoration Hardware offering, which I hated. Here.

Itchy. These pieces make my skin itchy because the fabrics look itchy and scratchy. deconstruction2 All of that burlap can’t be too comfortable to sit on. In a short skirt. In the summer. And doesn’t burlap smell funny?deconstruction5Restoration Hardware is putting a lot of money and effort to PR this look, and like their airplane wing furniture, I think that the market for this is very small.venn diagram Probably much smaller than in my Venn diagram indicates. Much much smaller. Here’s my imaginary conversation:

Meg: Come on in and have a seat. I just bought this great chair from Restoration Hardware. It’s from their latest collection.

Meg’s friend: Oh, thank you very much. {and to herself: How sad that Meg could only afford to buy the chair, but that she couldn’t afford to have it upholstered. Ouch, this damn chair poked me with a nail.} It’s a perfectly lovely chair, dear.

deconstruction4 I would also worry about snagging my clothes and my skin on the exposed tacks and the wood looks like it’s pretty rough. deconstruction3 I can sort of understand the faux French- and English-style deconstructed chairs, but this is just all kinds of wrong. And ugly. And expensive.

Thoughts?

38 comments:

  1. Yes I agree with most of the above, it is taking it to far and the market must be so small fro this type of product.
    I have loved the Restoration Hardware change in the last year but this is far to extreme.
    Very disappointing for such a progressive daring company.
    They need to truly ask them sleves who would sit in this furniture?
    Would you?
    Thnaks for a great blog.
    Regards, Daryl Wark

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  2. I do not like it either. Love your venn diagram! It needs to be forwarded to RH Marketing Dept.
    I also do not understand the big attraction to burlap. You are right: it is rough, blah color, and has a weird smell.

    Sarah

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  3. I totally agree. It is expensive, mass-produced, ugly and a little frightening to my clothing. I think the whole point of deconstructed antiques was to show off the work of a master craftsman, the likes of which are no more. Mass-producing it defeats the purpose in spectacularly tacky fashion.
    In short, I hate it.

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  4. eewwwww! I ranted last fall when the 600-page RH catalog hit my mailbox, and I'm re-angered that they've just done it again. This deconstructed junk adds insult to injury.

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  5. Is the joke on us? I mean is this not a chance to see the excellent structure that is there -- here is an opportunity for us to see proper construction of furniture design that has stood the test of time. Honestly knowledge is power and now there are that many more educated consumers.-- what is stopping them-RH to market the line with a customers upholstered needs in mind if they are asked . Granted the price point is at where one may expect a finished item, but the bones are what you are paying for right? Is there average person shocked then educated then a believer in really good structure??

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  6. Anon@11:01... I think that they're not selling this as showing the consumer what great work is under the covers, but that this is the way it's to be displayed in your home.

    I could expand my Venn diagram to include people whose living space could include a piece of un-upholstered furniture without it looking like you were too poor to have it finished.

    I do understand your "educational" aspect, but I think that gorgeous old furniture made by a craftsman in the 1800s is very different fron a mass produced chair made in China.

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  7. I don't want any of these "deconstructed" pieces of furniture in my home. If I'm going to pay full price for them, I want them to be fully upholstered.

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  8. Was your "advert" like the one I got? Three catalogs, weighing AT LEAST 10 pounds, bundled together?

    I'm not a fan of the line - I'd rather buy something that actually is old vs. buying something new (and expensive) designed to look old. But I barely had the energy to look at the furniture, after spending so much time wondering how much catalog production and postage cost!

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  9. I like so many things in their new catalog. And I hate so many things in their new catalog. I never liked this flea-bitten look even in those old French decor books. I am not sure who is buying this stuff, or that ridiculous airplane furniture. I find 95% of his offerings to be so masculine and heavy. They need a woman in the boardroom.

    I think this is just Gary's baby and he does whatever the hell he wants. They don't seem to care about sales. I know a lot of people here buy a lot of their bedding, drapes, lamps, and small stuff, but no one I know could fit one of their couches in their house. And his new "smaller" line - only one sofa actually looks comfortable. Backs are all too low.

    I just don't get it. If I had this kind of investment money and designers and builders at my service, I would be making an exquisite range of furniture that anyone could use - comfortable, reasonable sizes, not weird, etc. I dream about owning RH...

    xo

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  10. IF RH is investing in a catalog that some will no doubt save as a reference book-- The ECONOMY is rebounding-- the cost of such a thing should be embraced and order secure your copy

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  11. oh AGREED -I don't like it AT ALL. Not one bit. What the heck is going on with RH -they used to be so great? Why fix it if it ain't broke!

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  12. Why am I the only one who got excited about this stuff? I have to admit, I only like 1 piece in the whole lot, and it's the chair you didn't include in your post. I thought it would be charming in my family room! They remind me of the old french chairs used in the old veranda issue of carol glasser's house with the red check fabric. LOVE those chairs and I will never find them in real antiques. These seemed like they might be a nice replacement. HOWEVER, I was just in a Restoration Hardware store and was unimpressed to say the least with the look in person. The string is perfectly and uniformly placed and it seriously looks like a fake. Kind of a bad fake. DARN! I really got excited for a minute.. but thanks to visiting the store, Joni and You, my bubble has been burst into smithereens!
    Oh well, I couldn't afford them anyway!
    XO
    Jan

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  13. HATE IT! And truly cannot imagine who would be interested in it. It would really bring down a room of anything of quality. Could be an expensive experiment on RH's side. I think of Axel Vervoodrt having nightmares about this sad spawn. M.

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  14. Tartan Scott recently showed a deconstructed chair and I thought, wait a minute, something is missing. Not for me I'm afraid!
    Di
    X

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  15. This End Up furniture for the Addams Family

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  16. On the positive side, at least when RH employees saw this new line, they knew without being told that they would need to spruce up their resumes.

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  17. Well, just brace yourselves and go read Gary's preface up in the front of the new Source Book, he's invoked the name of Steve Jobs along w/ Jobs' well known commencement speech, the whole thing feels like a set up for us poor schmucks to break away from our terrible bondage to convention, here's an excerpt:

    "Steve’s legacy has inspired us at Restoration Hardware to trust our instincts and follow our heart. The pages of this newly designed Source Book, Outdoor Book and the Special Edition of Big Style/small spaces are filled with examples of our vision to create an inspiring and irreverent style movement."

    "IRREVERENT STYLE MOVEMENT"!

    http://www.restorationhardware.com/content/page.jsp?id=garysp12

    -Flo

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  18. Clearly not for everyone.
    Fabric in person is not as scratchy as you think, and nail heads don't catch or snag silk stockings or other clothing.
    RH does a lot of good stuff. But maybe one or two pieces of their furniture should be used at a time. The catalog styling is bland and overbearing.
    xo xo

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  19. "Trust our instincts and follow our hearts" ... uh, no thanks in this case!

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  20. Definitly ot into deconstructed fake antiques. Some of their new smaller sized furniture would be very appealing if they would offer more interesting color options, particularly in velvets. They've gone so far out on a limb with these collections, and spent so much on advertising, that I wonder how long they'll be in business.

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  21. Well, Meg, had I known this was going to be the new "style," I would have saved the chair that my dog took huge chunks out of. :-)


    ~Monique

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  22. No, no, no. I want my furniture to be comfy and 'nurture' me tyvm.

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  23. Glad I'm not the only one appalled by the three volume, ten pound advertising left on my porch. Must have cost a fortune to make and mail. Took off the plastic and threw it into recycling. I miss the old Restoration Hardware that had excellent cleaning supplies and funky kitchen stuff.

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  24. Linda @ a design snackMarch 29, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    I once asked my good friend Timothy, "what is this?" in regards to a certain fabric (which will remain nameless), with no hesitation he replied: "hideous".

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  25. I call this latest offering from RH the Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. I can only hope the powers that be at RH read your blog and the comments, in order to see what people are REALLY thinking!!!

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  26. RH sores are closing left and right here on the west coast...the must know the buyers are lame..

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  27. Dreadful. Fashion victim. Goes against every bit of my philosophy about furniture!

    My daughter (42) said, "I guess it will separate the wheat from the chaff"!!!! "No one with any taste or understanding will buy any of it!"

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  28. The emperor has no clothes, and neither does his furniture.

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  29. I know a lot of people that could afford to buy their furniture, but it is so time specific, it would not be a good investment. It also looks dreary. I do like the airplane stuff, but want a more elegant look for my house. I thought the company was on the brink of failure a few years ago and got a new infusion of capital. Well, that grace period is nearly over. My husband used the catalog as a doorstop. What a waste of talent and resources. The company will probably be gone inside of three years.

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  30. How many ways can I say NO! Don't get it, don't want it. It is kind of like paying a premium for torn jeans only worse.

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  31. It really looks messy with all those tucks showing. I am not a fan of it.

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  32. Yes. These furniture does not look neat. Anybody would think twice before using this in their living room.

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  33. I absolutely love the line and have you actually gone into the store and looked at the pieces? The cotton part on the seating is soooo soft. The line is very clean for a deconstructed look and is very comfy. My only drawback is the $$$ ouch! Obviously this look isn't for everyone. While I totally love the look, I think it is best for accent pieces and not the main furniture. I plan on making 2 accent chairs that mimic this look. I figure I can do it at a fraction of the cost and if I get tired of the look I can recover the pieces "proper". I think the hardest part is going to be finding the chairs that I want to do this too.

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  34. I purchased mine at the outlet-40% off and plan to have it upholstered. Considering that the frame is made out of walnut (very expensive) and hand constructed ,I felt I could not find anything else with the shape and profile for this price with the same details.

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  35. It's amazing how a little paint can totally transform a piece of furniture!I'm excited to stop by your blog from a blog hop! I'm following you now and am excited to see more amazing recipes! Feel free to stop by and follow office furniture

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  36. love it. it's unlike anything i've seen before and risk taking design grounded in classic forms. the materials are fab, creative juxtaposition of textures. what a whinging bunch of complainers!

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  37. I love the chair...hope to have one soon!!

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