I love Restoration Hardware, but they are definitely a luxury brand. Our master bed is from RH, but most of the time the things I need/want are sooo expensive that I just can’t quite push the send button. Believe me I have tried. Besides, it really is more fun and rewarding to do it yourself, right?

On a recent trip to New York we stopped by RH. It was great to see all the different styles and finishes, and we loved it all.  That trip made me think, how can I get this look for less? It’s not just the color, it’s the style, the patina the fabrics, it’s the whole package.

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The result of this musing is a series of posts on how to get the Restoration Hardware look for less. So let’s start by deconstructing RH style into simple parts.
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RH style has been called the weathered European look. It is very antique and architectural. This term fits RH to a tee. They have classic antique style furniture, lots of lovely linen, and simple upholstery. The punctuation point for me is their use of wrought iron and metal. They also have some dramatic modern takes on old fashioned looks. rh1watermark

The palette is gray, flax, dirty old white, the look of old architectural elements and cobble stones.   Notice we have all of these colors in Chalk Paint®. Old White, Paris Grey, and French Linen are just the starting point in this lux palette.

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According to their website they are a luxury brand that acts as a curator of the finest historical design the world has to offer. Or as their CEO puts it “We travel and find items or ideas we can put into a fresh context. We work with artisans and develop one or two great pieces into lines of fabulous furniture.” That is the essence of RH.

Simply put much of the furniture in RH is reproduction antiques. Well, for many of us we scour flea markets, auctions, and Craigslist looking for just the right piece. When we see it we know it, and often it is just that, a worn old reproduction antique.  This vintner table at MCH is a great example of the real deal. French vinterner tablewatermark

Finally, when you read the RH catalog there is a lot of talk about passion. Wait, re read what I just wrote. Isn’t that what we all do in our own way? Ok, we all don’t buy bazillion dollar antiques and have them remade. But, we all take things we like and have a passion for, and repurpose them into a style just like RH.

Just because we don’t all have the moolah to buy the entire RH catalog does’t mean we can’t have the style. With a bit of creativity, paint, and elbow grease it is a luxury available to all.

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As I mentioned this is a series of posts on how to get the RH style for less. These posts will include using Chalk Paint®, Milk Paint, fabric, old wrought iron, and glass to repurpose and restore items we can find every day. Stay tuned for more in this series. For more examples of RH style check out our new Pinterest Board.

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