Everyone is talking about Restoration Hardware.
Not about the massive Moorish walnut studded king size bed or the vintage leather boarding school boxing gloves you’ll find in its vast inventory of home design offerings. But about the formidable shrink wrapped tower of catalogues from the retailer known for its grand gestures, large furniture and big footprint.
Like many Washingtonians, I arrived home a few days ago to find a shrink wrapped chunk of 13 different Restoration Hardware 2014 catalogues plunked by my front door. The largest is Interiors (514 pages) and the smallest Objects of Curiosity (116 pages).
I knew immediately who this gift was from: last year I had written about the joy of receiving my 8-pound pack of Restoration Hardware catalogues.
This UPS label said 17 pounds. I was irritated at having to lug the stack into my kitchen and then having to use a box cutter to free what the Resto people like to call the “source books” entombed inside. I immediately Instagrammed a photo and found other kindred annoyed spirits.
“Its an insane cinder block of catalogues,” says Annie Elliott of Bossy Color, a Washington designer who also wrote about the issue in her blog. “It would be hilarious if it was not so toe crushing. The concept is not necessarily a bad one. They say they only want to mail to you once, unlike the Crate and Barrel or Serena and Lily catalogues we seem to get every other day. I’m a designer so I might hold on to catalogues for a while, but if you are a person with limited space, just where are you supposed to put them?”
Search for #restorationhardware photos on Twitter and you will see a gallery of poly-wrapped hunks. Some are shown on front steps or brick entry ways, there’s a wall of catalogues stacked high in an apartment house mail room; someone has scrawled on the mailing label of one “Return to Sender. This is a disgrace.”
— Steve Kazanjian (@stevekazanjian) June 4, 2014
— Geren Lockhart (@gerenlockhart) June 3, 2014
The popular home blog Apartment Therapy addressed the big question in an interview with Restoration Hardware’s Big Kahuna Gary Friedman (CEO). Friedman told Apartment Therapy’s Maxwell Ryan that instead of getting catalogues 12 times a year, it is “much better for the environment “ to ship them this way and that “certified carbon offsets have been purchased to balance all impact.” Many comments following the blog are not loving this.
In the back of each “source book”, it states that they are “printed on PEFC-certified paper sourced from responsibly managed forests in North America” and that “the books are fully recyclable, as are the poly-wrap bags.” There is a website and phone number listed should you no longer want to receive the mailings.
So now that you have your new reference library of luxury home furnishings, what will you do with it? Got ideas? Please send or tweet or Instagram them .