Well, I must say, the Restoration Hardware store in West Palm Beach is something to see.  Say what you will about Gary Friedman and his Restoration Hardware mega brand (It is a controversial topic, especially among designers), but the new 26 million dollar, 80,000 square foot store welcoming people driving down Okeechobee Blvd. is a sight to behold.  It sits on the median so you literally cannot miss this mansion like structure.  It is a perfect showplace for the all of RH's lines in the interior, exterior furniture, lighting and accessories categories. 

ph:Palm Beach magazine

Restoration Hardware was required by law to include 1% of the cost of building to public art.  It satisfied this by having street artist  RETNA  create a hieroglyphic/calligraphy style graphic mural on the entire eastern facade of the building.  RETNA's contribution is valued at $500,000.00

I did enjoy how beautiful the store is.  You know what you are getting with the RH name.  What was off putting to me, however, was the $8.00 valet fee.  I really felt nickeled and dimed.  I inquired as to whether they would waive the fee if you bought something or ate in the restaurant and was told no. That stuck with me!  There are no other parking options because of the store's location.  I thought a better business practice would be to pick up the parking and customers could just tip the valets.  It's the little things!

We went for lunch and stayed for the shopping.  The Rooftop Restaurant was worth the trip.  They do not take reservations so put your name in first, then shop while you wait.  Since retail is becoming very experiential, you can have a full meal, coffee or drinks as you slide into one of their cloud sofas and admire the view.  I wanted a coveted seat by the open door with a beautiful view straight down the  boulevard.  It really is a spectacular greenhouse space.  The center fountain made me feel as if I was in a far off place.

Ascending and descending the stairs felt quite glamorous.  A "hall of mirrors" effect  was felt, as the faceted points of light and color bounced off the reflective surfaces, as the sun shone brightly from above.

Every vignette from every vantage point had a wow factor.

This view highlights the massive water wall opposite the front door as you drive in.

The public restroom wasn't bad either.

"While we enable our customers to shop online, we’re physical creatures," Friedman says. "We still like to congregate. We like to see each other so we don’t feel alone. Our vision is to bring back the tradition of great gathering spaces. When I was a kid, we’d go to the café at the department store, and that was a highlight for me. It was such an experience, and I think that’s been abandoned. The sense of humanity in physical retail has been lost, and we’d like to bring back that spirit of congregation."  
  I can get behind that Gary Friedman!

Meatpacking district ~ you're next!

 photo 1,10 via RH, photo 2 Palm Beach magazine

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