The stylish, free-spirited woman who shops Anthropologie has always been able to pick up a stack of homey soup bowls or an ikat quilt along with her floaty dresses. This week, Anthropologie launches an extensive new home collection with furnishings for nearly every room in the house.
Anthropologie’s catalogues are known for the focus on romantic yet nonconformist fashion and a small collection of home furnishings, from quirky candlesticks to the random floral velvet chair sitting provocatively in what looks like a crumbling Eastern European train station (although it’s probably in Brooklyn).
On Thursday, the company is launching Anthropologie House and Home Journal, a 72-page online catalogue of nearly 250 designs for living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms. The printed catalogue will be in the mail and available in stores a few days later. Anthropologie has 193 stores in the United States, Canada and Europe. And with all the additional home items now being offered, on Sept. 17, the company is debuting the Registry at Anthropologie (www.anthropologie.com/registry), an expanded version of its earlier wish list feature. Couples can register for copper-clad nightstands, tufted Suzani rugs or scalloped plates decorated with bees.
The new catalogue is the company’s first expanded foray into decorating an entire house in the Anthro look. (It offered one much smaller purely home catalogue a few years back.) You’ll find lots of upholstery and mirrors and lighting, including new versions of the company’s signature drippy crystal chandeliers. Some of the furniture designs are a bit less edgy and a little more subtle and there is a broader choice of price points. Sofas, for example, range from about $1,800 to $5,000.
Last Wednesday, I interviewed Andrew Carnie, Anthropologie’s executive director of home, who spoke from the company’s Philadelphia headquarters.
Tell me about the new catalogue.
We wanted to show a slightly different assortment, and we wanted our customer to be able to decorate the rooms she loves the most with Anthropologie. We styled the aesthetic for three types of customers. “Romantic” is classic with a twist, rich in color and lots of feminine shapes. “Optimist ” is much brighter and more optimistic, with bold florals; it’s glossy and shiny in feel. “Artist” is . . . the artisan and handmade lover who likes the kind of Moroccan feel of lived-in, layered bedrooms and interesting use of materials.
Are your clothing and home trends related?
Loosely. We try, especially in bedding, to align ourselves with the basic design concepts of each season in fashion. We all travel to similar places, and those places influence a lot of what we do at Anthropologie.
I was blown away by the more than 200 drawer pulls, starting at $6 apiece. How did you all become so famous for this tiny accessory? What are the new ones made of?
Nobody does hardware like Anthropologie. We travel the world to find inspiration and turn our crazy ideas into reality. Change out the knobs on your dresser and you change the look of your room for under $100. We have ones in brass, leather, wood and alabaster, and ones painted to look like a peacock feather.
What’s coming next? When is another home catalogue due, and will you open special Anthropologie home stores to show the larger pieces?
It all depends on the success of this one. We do have a good feeling about this or we wouldn’t have done it. Our initial strategy for the assortment is Web-based. We don’t have space in our current stores to put all of these rooms of furniture. We will figure out our retail strategy for next year based on the results.
What are your favorite pieces from the new collection?
I especially like the hand-carved dining chairs in the Romantic home that epitomize what we are trying to do. Each one is individually carved in India with things like two rabbits kissing, or woodpeckers, owls or deer. Pieces like this show how we are trying to build a home business that is unique and special.