Last week I had a meeting in the Flatiron district and decided to check out Restoration Hardware while I was in the area. In addition to having a store full of pieces that seemed totally out of scale to the surrouding dwellings (100"+ sofas? In Manhattan? Really?), I found several pieces of what I call "mass marketed antiques." According to the catalogue, they are genuine salvaged items--iron weights, eyeglass molds, architectural items, etc.--which is why I refer to them as mass marketed and not mass produced.
I still can't stand them. Please understand, this is not merely a slam on Restoration Hardware. They certainly haven't cornered the market on selling such items. They just had the unfortuate luck of being the most recent retailer I've seen and therefore the catalyst to this entry.
Accessories are supposed to be a reflection of the homeowners taste and interests. I'm all for salvaged, recycled and antique items in a room, but not when you can go down the block and find the identical item in your neighbor's house. Or when an item is just there to fill space. A personal trainer having salvaged dumbells in their home? I get it. My mom? Not so much.
So please, be thoughtful with your accents. If you want to use salvaged items, check eBay, craigslist, thrift stores, antique stores, your parents' attic--you get the idea.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in Los Angeles. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.