Beautiful objects inspired by French style have been appearing in the Restoration Hardware collection for the last couple of years. But this year’s collection marks a reinvention, even a reimagination, by curators from around the world. Looking at the HR’s catalogues, I can’t help but wonder if French style is back in vogue, a comeback led with bravado and imagination by the company.
The catalogues are full of inspirational stories of objects and styles, of craftsmen and designers fond of antiques and notable objects. Blending old styles with a touch of modernity, the company’s curators have created timeless pieces for our admiration, use, and comfort.
If you haven’t been to a Restoration Hardware showroom lately, it is worth the trip. There is an abundance of French furniture pieces from different centuries – from armoires to chairs, French lighting, curious objects like a 19th century Horse fragment, a 20th century Glass Cloches, 19th century cartographic maps of Paris, and antique hand-pressed French botanicals. Even HR’s blank journals are inspired by 18th century “couverture muette,” or mute book of the French Revolution. And this is just a tease of the myriad of pieces found in the catalogues (which, by the way, I heard weighted 16 lbs. combined).
The picture below represents circa 1900 brass brasserie table with elegant and simple lines. I love this table. It reminds me of Paris, of my favorite cafés, of my favorite writer Proust, and of my favorite time in the cultural history of France. This is a must-have for a Francophile.
This beautiful mid-century library is called the French library. It’s made of metal and comes in three different finishes.
If you love big maps and if you have a great wall to showcase them, you can choose from a 1739 Plan de Paris decoupage map, circa 1756 Elevation of the Louvre, or a 1672 Plan de Paris Panel Map. I think the maps are just marvelous and beautifully reproduced. In the baby showroom, I even saw a wall display – a sweet baby dress made from a Parisian map.
The baby collection is exquisite and courtly. If you have a baby or a young child, HR makes you dream of Versailles and tufted luxury. Your child can sit in the Versailles chair, the Antoinette bench, or the mini ondine salon bench (below). You can choose to decorate your child’s bed with a canopy, add a French script tapestry to the wall, cover the walls with French botanicals, and add elegant scones or extravagant ornamentation. Who can feel more a king or a queen surrounded by such elegance!
The French script grand canvas wall tapestry.
HR’s inspiration and philosophy resounds in this sentence by John Barrymore: “A man is not old enough until regrets take the place of dreams.” Thanks to HR, we can continue dreaming in French style.
Website and showrooms: Restoration Hardware
In French Style is proud to promote extraordinary talent, creative people, new companies, style, trends and laughter. We were at D’Clic’s Kickstarter Party at Project One, and we were delighted to witness their new collection and style evolution. We wish them a great start, and much success. Thanks to Chateau Music for the great music and vibes.
Recently I’ve been in awe and wonder about all the creations in the world and all the ideas that make it a more beautiful world, and I came across the story of Krama Heritage. This young company from France is bringing to the US the Krama phenomenon. It is sweeping Paris as I am writing this article, and I’ll tell you why.
Do you know what a Krama is? I sure didn’t. The Krama is the traditional garment of the Khmer people. It is used as a scarf or a bandana to cover the face or carry infants. The Krama is also so beautiful and elegant that Raphael and Alexandru decided to make it a part of Parisian chic with a social twist.
When traveling in Cambodia, the two founders felt a deep empathy and connection to the country and their people. They also saw the aesthetic value of the Krama and thought that it could easily become a Parisian fashion accessory as well as making the people wearing it proud to contribute to a better world. Today while wondering in Paris, Raphael told me you can see people from all ages and walks of life wearing the stylish Krama and embracing the spirit of the company. “Wearing it is transmitting of the hope of the Khmer people.”
The company gives 10 percent of its revenue to a non-profit called “Pour un sourire d’enfant” (For a child’s smile), specializing in schooling and training kids in Phnom Penh. Or, as Raphael explained to me in a communication, Krama Heritage’s raison d’être is the support of social causes in Cambodia with the goal of helping people rebuild their country after a dark past. More social projects will be added as the company expands.
The Kramas are woven in Phnom Penh in small workshops. They come in beautiful colors. I love all the colors, but my favorite is rose. Soon they will be available in the US through retailers, but you can order yours now through the company’s website. It looks like they will arrive in the US within two weeks.
Through the symbolic thread of a scarf, cultures are woven together and the world is better off for it. Let’s support this company’s making an impact while staying Always in French Style.