Friday, November 12, 2010

Honey I Blew Up the Furniture!

Has anyone been to Restoration Hardware (RH) lately? I went there to pick up some shower curtain rings, and when i got there i barely recoginized the place. So i thought i'd give a Roncy Vic review of the new RH.

First impressions:
As i walked in i had this weird feeling...kind of like how Jack must have felt when he got to the top of the bean stalk. The doorways are high, the ceilings are high, the furniture is HUGE. I felt like at any moment, some giant would come out and turn me into a sandwich.

RH has really shifted gears, the place once known for its understated timeless classics has gone through a major make-over, their stores are now painted a dark, moody brooding gray colour. And their new cardboard tags have a black background and small negative font. I actually love the look of the stores, but frankly the low light and dark tags, make checking out the items and their prices more difficult. Perhaps this was by design because once you see the price tags, you also realize that Restoration Hardware has moved up a couple of snack brackets.

OK, so what about the funiture? Well, the only way i can describe it is "Amazonian". And just like the mythical Amazon Woman. The furniture is enormous, but also very gorgeous. At first, I suspected the manufacturer mistakenly used inches, when the design must have been spec'ed in centimeters. There was a 10 foot high armoire. Most of their mirrors were 6-8 feet tall. The style is definitely trendier than the old RH. They now incorporate a lot of Scandinavian influence (grainsack upholstery, rustic matte finished light coloured woods, etc), as well as the trend towards reclaimed wood, upcycled industrial metal and weathered wood. I also noticed, the intentional treatment of furniture as "object" and "object" as furniture - what the hell do i mean by that? I'm not even sure myself, other than to say, if you buy something from there and bring it home, it is definitely meant to make a BIG statement. Nothing there is meant to be mundane, which actually brings me to my first beef with the new RH. Used to be i could count on them for mundane...classic, timeless, luxurious elegance. Not anymore, if you're looking for a perfectly proportioned elegant coffee table, too bad you're out of luck. Instead you will find a 300 pound platform made of reclaimed wood, that can double as a stage if you and three garage band friends want to have an impromptu concert. So what's my second beef? No shower curtain rings! Again the new store is not about mundane everyday items that people need, it's about trophy furniture that people dream about. They have a tiny smattering of taps and hardware, a mere fraction of what they used to stock. Is it too much to ask a place called Restoration Hardware to actually stock...hardware? It looks like you can still get the hooks, curtain rings, house numbers, knobs and pulls on line, but they should mention that if you're looking for hardware, a Restoration Hardware store is not the place to go.

6 foot by 4 foot Balustrade Coffee table

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Started a New Blog

We recently purchased an older cottage in Parry Sound, and while it is in very good shape, the reno-addict in me has already started planning a few projects on the new place. So i'm starting a new blog to share those projects.

Some of the more ambitious reno projects i want to tackle are exterior painting, interior painting, flooring in the bedrooms, new french doors, replacing the wood-burning stove with a freplace, a new bathroom, and a new kitchen. However since it is a cottage blog i also plan on sharing more fun little DIY projects. Some ideas i have are: building Muskoka chairs, building a bird apartment for a purple martin colony, building a bat house, building a vermicomposter and various art projects.

We've closed down the cottage for the winter, so there won't be much action until the Spring, that gives me all winter to dream up new ideas, so hopefully come Spring i'll have lots of projects to blog about. You can follow along HERE

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Pandemonium!

Had a great time dropping off our pumpkin and checking out the other 1000's of pumpkins on display at this year's Sorauren Park Pumpkin Parade. This annual Nov 1st event has really taken off. There were lines of pumpkins surrounding the park, and 100's of people, pets and kids admiring the carving talent, dropping off new pumpkins and taking photos. The atmosphere was like a fall fair. If only there was some live music. Hmmmm...Maybe an enterprising band looking for some exposure, will set up an impromptu concert in the park next year. A good time was had by all. The crowds were so thick this year, we didn't have time to navigate all the way around the park in the 40 minutes that we were there (we had a chicken pot pie in the oven), but i still managed to take some photos of some spectacular pumpkins. Enjoy!

Pumpkins as far as the eye could see:

A little Halloween humour...Pumpkin Pi:

Being the proud Papa of a 7 day old, these ones spoke to me:

And here is a medley of super awesome carving talent: