Friday, May 16, 2014

Restoration Hardware, France and the Napa Valley Come to Greenwich

Invite for the RH Launch party

Last night in Greenwich, I attended the opening of the 'new' Restoration Hardware store on Greenwich Avenue.  The store reclaimed a historic space, a post office built in 1917 that in recent years only had 4 people left working there.  For years, those of us who live in Greenwich always thought the 17,000 square foot space was gorgeous but vastly underused.  After it was sold in 2011, everyone in town speculated about what it would become. The big reveal came last night during a party hosted by company ceo Gary Friedman, Town & Country's Jay Field and Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant.  While the renovation has been underway, residents have watched as all of the walls of the original structure were kept, some of the floors (not much but some) and the inside totally gutted.  The result is nothing short of spectacular for a retail space.  
The rain held off and the night turned out to be beautiful.

Like the catalogues that show up in your mailbox weighing 17 pounds, this store is going to be a true icon in retail marketing. The patios, design spaces are gorgeous and literally bring the entire breadth of RH's furniture to life. The amount of planning and foresight that must have gone into this space must have been staggering.

The light fixtures on display are remarkable, so many you can't even count.
The party to launch the store, which promised to let people party all night, also delivered.  While there were definately some faces from NYC (Uma Thurman among them walking through the crowd relatively unnoticed) the crowd was, by and large, a Greenwich crowd.   The wine and champagne was plentiful and the hosts brought in Per Se to do the food, which was a bit disappointing as shining a light on a local chef\catering company would have been easy to do.  But the name of the game last night was luxury and Thomas Keller is local to the Napa Valley and while RH's homage to French design is obvious, it's Northern California roots is more subtle and I love that Gary Friedman is trying to show his clients a little bit of what makes Napa so special.

The party set up a nighclub like atmosphere 

In addition to Per Se, RH (new branding) has a relationship with Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley  and the Bespoke Collection. The wine bars featuring Blackbird Vineyards wines, were numerous and servers walked around the spaces refilling glasses, something you rarely see in a Manhattan setting but common to a Bay Area event where wine is celebrated. Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley is based in Yountville, California, in the heart of Napa Valley and is a beautiful design space featuring art, sculpture and a wine bar.  

Ma (i)sonry Napa Valley website

We visited last year during our month home in Napa and bought a wonderful sculpture called All Together Now by Giuseppe Palumbo.  If you visit the Napa Valley, Yountville should be on your list, wonderful restaurants (Keller's Ad Hoc is to die for) and now a burgeoning bastion of art and lifestyle (how's that for alliteration!).

For more information about RH's retail plans, below is a link to an interview with Gary Friedman.  Welcome to Greenwich, as a native Northern California girl I'm happy to have a little bit of home on the Avenue.  Also below, is an article I wrote about Napa last year for KD Hamptons.  Have a great weekend.

Lifestyle Spaces

Napa Valley Travel Diary

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