Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inspired by Life.... and Catalogs

It's the start of catalog season, and as I'm gluttonous for all design, I eat catalogs up. Since the internet now houses the inventories of actual products, the format of catalogs (for the companies who still bother to produce them) has the shifted dramatically. Rather than listing products, they act as inspiration, and sell lifestyles.

The Restoration Hardware Fall Collection catalog arrived this week—
The chairman/CEO opens the catalog with a powerful letter, which struck me because it's message I agree wholeheartedly with. Here's a snip:
"Introducing over 500 new pieces that are a personal expression of a lifestyle that reflect the juxtaposition of form and function, past and present and an environment that is both relaxed yet refined."

This is exactly the ambiance that I am striving for in my house (but with brighter colored walls, the catalog displays a lot of taupe—Martha and her palette should pay their studio a visit. ).

It's a vintage, yet modern feel—placing antiques (or in the case of Restoration Hardware, pieces inspired by antiques) in the home amidst contemporary pieces to create a fresh look.

The CEO's letter places the company in a new era, calling them "'curators' of the best historical design has to offer."

I'm not an expert on history or historical design, but I love this tribute to the past. So many admirable and beautiful pieces have already been designed, and it's time we embrace them and continue to use them in a functional way, rather than turn our back on them.

Check out the Restoration Hardware website (and request a catalog!—the website is nice, but doesn't do the printed catalog justice with it's call outs and historical notes.) I direct you here, not with the goal of getting you to drop a bunch of cash and purchase the RH Fall Collection (it's not like I'm on commission or something!), but to encourage you to incorporate pieces from your community, family, flea markets, etc. into your daily style. Take the pieces from your past and use them to inspire the present!

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