Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Let's talk about the Restoration Hardware "sourcebook"

Did you get your Restoration Hardware sourcebook last week?  My 616 page book arrived on Friday along with the new Restoration Hardware Baby & Child catalog, which was the size of the normal RH catalog.  I haven't ordered anything from Resto since they super-sized their furniture (most of their sofas and club chairs probably won't make it through a standard door), so I was surprised that they decided to spend the money to send the book to me.


A look at their Facebook page tells me that there are others who feel the same way.  While many had positive comments, plenty were upset by the waste of paper.  There's a statement about RH supporting sustainable forest management on the back of the book, but I thought that rang a little hollow. 

After getting over the amount of paper used (one Facebook comment referred to the sourcebook as "a small tree"), I started thinking about the transportation costs for all those books.  How many people actually called an 800 number with a catalog in hand to order something in recent years?   Don't most people place catalog orders online these days?  Was the book really necessary?

Before I recycled the sourcebook, I took a look at it and snapped a few pictures of the pages (I know I could take screen shots of these on the RH website, but this was easier).  The pictures are great, but after a while, I started to realize that they were almost void of color.  A couple pages looked like they were in black and white or sepia.  I know some people buy into this look completely, but I can not imagine living in a home that lacked color.


The baby catalog was even worse.  The images were very pretty, but they made me sad.  Don't babies like color?  The scientific answer is yes.  Don't older children like color, too?  Based purely on my observation of friends' children, the answer is yes.


There's a certain amount of irony there, isn't there?


Did you get the sourcebook?  What did you think of it?
[Share to Pinterest]

21 comments:

  1. I have taken my address and name off of all catalogs mailing lists, I don't want any.  There really isn't any point, with the internet and my desire to stop shopping, anyway.  I think that book is a huge mistake!  They should be embarrassed!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love to look, but never buy. a) too expensive b) too costly c) won't fit through the door d) blah.
    I'm not a color freak (gray walls) but RH is way to bland for my taste.  The only possible things I covet are the linen sheets and curtains.  I have some RH curtains and some lamps, which were on sale but still pricey.  Then a grandkid broke one (glass) and I replaced it with a Target knock off (plastic)  for pennies.  Should have gotten that in the first place.  The RH book is just too much.

    ReplyDelete
  3. People who decorate with color are doing the same. You are being unfair and disrespectful of people who have different tastes.

    For the record, I liked the catalog even if it is not entirely my tastes however it is in a reasonable budget and often they have excellent reproductions for things I do need to replace. I am glad to keep the book on hand.

    ReplyDelete
  4. On the whole color topic, it's clear that the people who decorate their child's bedroom this way are most likely doing it for themselves, not because their child likes it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I threw mine away. No recycling in my town.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I recently did a post about this catalog on my blog, too. I think I'm in the minority here but I'm a huge fan of it. Perhaps not of the fact that they delivered it to so many people (would have been a better idea, IMO, to deliver it by a request-only form on their website or 1-800 number) but I do actually like how huge it is. How they used the same pieces and rooms over and over again in different combinations. I think it IS useful as a sourcebook and I like to think that the monochromatic room allows the reader to imagine their own colorful additions. Sometimes when I see a room that is colorful and obviously "finished", it's hard to imagine how I would add my own touches.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gah, RH has really moved in a BORING direction.  And their stores are SO dark.  Not that I can afford to buy anything there but when I browse, I feel like I need to bring a headlamp.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My husband loves that store. We are getting a few pieces of furniture from there in the near future. I actually keep mine. It's easier to show him what i want then dragging him to the computer. So in a way instead of wasting them I am just hoarding them. I try doing the whole tree hugger thing but 60% the time it's just to much work or I really just don't care.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree about the waste of paper.  Without so much paper and mailing costs maybe they could lower their prices.  Not sure I buy into their new style.  Very one note.  I've only bought occassional things from them in the past year or so.  The stores are devoid of most of the accessories.  They must be ordered.  Are they making money?

    ReplyDelete
  10. No, it is not an attack, but it is not fair. I am simply sharing an opinion that I think it unfair for people say things about people with nurseries in that style. Personally, I am happy to see the RH's youth line as certain items are higher quality than a lot of chain retailers but at lower prices than the truly high end retailers of comparable quality and production sources. If you walk into a place that will sell you a $3000 crib, this is what you will see. Read Ohdeedoh, there are debates all the live long day until people are blue in the face about nursery styles but the bottom line is all parents lovingly make nurseries; the in-utero child can't pick paint colors. At the end of the day, all of them are great and it is unfair to say they are not.

    I recall RH producing reproduction hardware that was impossible to find
    decades ago. I'm glad to see a source book of them returning to carrying
    reproduction. I remember, years ago, when my parents had a historic house
    restored and it required certain fittings to specification to maintain registration, it was something silly like a knob or latch. They were
    going to have them custom made however by some stroke of luck, RH (which was not big by any means at the time and few people knew of it) was
    carrying the exact one necessary for a fraction of the price of
    fabrication. Yes there were smaller retailers who could have it fabricated overseas but it would have taken longer and cost more. Catalogs are not the same thing as a shelter magazine. Your vote is where you put your money, no one is wrong or in poor form to shop there. Simply recycle it as I do the scores of Pottery Barn catalogs they insist on sending me from all their lines every few weeks despite my objections. End of story.

    And of all your commenters, I do agree with A Walk in the Closet. Clearly many of you do not shop there or use their items so you shouldn't have a sourcebook. But I still maintain that a person's house is their house, even if you want wacky fabrics and shag carpeting. If your inspiration is Axel Vervoordt or if you prefer Jonathan Adler, well by all means, it is your space.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was really turned off by that montrous catalog. I don't like the direction that RH has taken their products, and I haven't bought anything from them in ages. It made me angry to throw that huge waste of paper in the recycling bin. What were they thinking??
    I did not receive the baby catalog (yet) but the lack of color would be a turn-off for me too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I blogged about this source book today. I was much more interested in the rationale for sending out such a huge printed catalog via mass mail in this day and age. There is no good reason to mass mail something like this anymore - it's poor marketing and shows poor sense of corporate responsibility due to the waste.

    ReplyDelete
  13. For those interested: http://markdbeasley.com/2011/09/thunk-the-mystery-of-the-massive-restoration-hardware-source-book/

    ReplyDelete
  14. LavenderandliliesAugust 5, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Some of my baby's furniture came from there but you are right there is a lack of color.  Also I find RH pretty overpriced.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have to agree. I was pretty appalled at the size of it and immediately thought about the waste of all of those trees. I am fine with browsing the store or the website. I didn't sign up for the catalog so I am baffled as to how I ended up with it, but now it's off to the recycling bin.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm surprised by the comments that RH is wasting resources by printing a catalog.  If you decorate and redecorate and redecorate once again, you are continuously buying and wasting.  The printing of a catalog using sustainable forest management dosen't even compare. 

    ReplyDelete
  17. ::raises hand::  I am color-phobic & am a fan of neutrals, ha! What I don't like about RH is that their prices are astronomical & their pieces are ginormous (like you mentioned).  Who lives on that scale unless you own a McMansion or a chateau?!  To be even more judge-y, I feel like recreating antiques & hiking up the price for said faux antique is silly. 

    Of course, I thumbed thru that catalog simultaneously thinking "What a waste of paper." & "Ooh, I want that."

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi, I happened to be at my mailbox when my mailwoman was dropping off the catalog.  She had a huge stack of them, and told me they were going in everyone's mailboxes.  She didn't like how heavy her job was that day because of the Resto catalogs.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jeannine, you already know we are in agreement! One comment I saw remarked on the chandeliers over every crib. C'mon, moms out there -- who does that?? I would be so afraid (reasonably or not) that it would fall on my baby's head. Also, I mean REALLY (and this comment could apply to any of the fancy baby catalogs), who really spends that much money outfitting a nursery that you're just going to have to change in a couple years?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm a little late to the discussion, but their catalog did upset me...for an entirely different reason it seems. Beyond the waste of resources, the size of that catalog (and the size of the mailing) are such an obvious indicator of grossly inflated prices. I purchased a rug on clearance from RH 4 years ago, and I still received that catalog. There is no reason I should still be on their list after a year or two.  They are wasting an insane amount of money by maintaining a mailing list of customers who haven't returned for years. All that money they spend printing the huge book, and mailing to that bloated mailing list, are passed on to the customer through higher prices. The larger the book gets, the higher their prices go.

    I can't imagine I would ever purchase from RH in the future, every time I see a piece of theirs I am just too aware how much of the price is because of their extravagant advertising campaigns & promotional materials (not to mention the plethora of high rent storefronts). I would much rather get more for my money at a smaller business or a local shop...or, since most of their designs are direct copies of vintage/antique pieces anyhow, I could get the real deal for just as much money.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nice book .Its really well written.Each topic is well explained. Thanks for this post.Keep sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy! Leave a comment!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.