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industrial desk

Restoration Hardware vs Vintage

factorycarts RH: Furniture Factory Cart                           Vintage Find: Industrial Factory Cart

Restoration Hardware has been revived with their latest catalog featuring beautiful antique reproductions and vintage inspired pieces  I wanted to run to the store but as many of you know, the Bolyston street location in Boston closed a couple of years ago.  I am still quite upset about that.   While I love this new direction, I couldn't help but think, reproductions? why not get the real deal.  When I was in New York, I went antiquing at the Brooklyn Flea market.  A lot of the things that caught my eye there are similar to the vintage pieces I love at Restoration.  So, I thought why not do a little comparison.  You be the judge, what's better, the vintage piece or the reproduced piece.  Have fun!

[THE FACTORY CART] Pictured above.   I have been seeing these carts everywhere used as coffee tables so I snapped a shot at the Brooklyn Flea.  The owner was asking $800 for this beauty, the RH versions start at $995.


RH: Pharmacy Bath Cabinet


Vintage Find: Pharmacy Cabinet (Right) and Stainless Cabinet

[THE PHARMACY CABINET] Unfortunately, I don't have pricing information on the vintage versions of this trend but they would be comparable in asking price to the RH versions, which start at $1195.  I really love the steel cabinet on casters - these two retro pieces I found on Craigslist, check out the source, J. Pasternak and Son of Rockland, ME.


RH: Mayfair Steamer Secretary Trunk


RH: Mayfair Steamer Collection                                        Vintage Find: Black Leather Trunk

[THE TRUNK] Clearly RH has picked up on the trunk trend and taken it to a new level with their variety of uses and adaptations.  The Mayfair Steamer Collection features trunks as night stands and dressers (which I must say I am not a big fan of).  And the secretary ($3995) shown above is just wow.... My vintage find in New York is this beautiful black leather trunk with luxurious silk damask lining.  I almost bought it for $60 but alas I was taking the bus home. The RH large trunks start at $999, no thanks.  But count me in for the leather Buckle chair shown with the secretary.

deskandchair swanchairplusdesk

RH: Devon Chair and Flatiron Desk Vintage Finds: Swan Chair (above) Industrial Steel Desk (below)

[VINTAGE CHAIR AND DESK] The Devon Chair by RH ($795), pictured above with the RH Flatiron desk ($1295) is a clear knock-off of the Swan chair by architect and designer, Arne Jacobsen.  The RH Devon chair does have casters and the price isn't bad especially since vintage Swan Chairs start at $3500.  The Chair pictured can be found at Design Within Reach, for $8088 in walnut leather.  The flatiron desk by RH is also nice but a vintage alternative I found is this steel desk, also from J. Pasternak and Son.


RH: Subway Sign Art Large                              Vintage Find: Authentic Subway Roll Sign

[SUBWAY ROLL SIGN] At the Brooklyn Flea, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this framed old subway sign.  Kind of regret not grabbing it, it wasn't bad at $250.  The RH large sign is $795, yikes.  I think I will stick to the vintage one, especially since the roll is an authentic sign from the J line on the NYC subway system.  Point for RH with the 1900s industrial tool chest replica though, shown in the image above.  This chest is stunning, functional, and versatile, performing as nightstand or end table.


RH: Benson Pendant                                Vintage Find: Industrial Pendants

[INDUSTRIAL LIGHTING] These industrial pendant fixtures were eye catching at the Brooklyn Flea.  I thought they would make a great addition to a loft in an old warehouse.  I love the idea of incorporating pieces that allude to the history of the building.  And not to worry, these fixtures can be retrofitted to work with incandescent lamps.  The cost for each fixture was $50, $120 for the three.   The RH Benson pendant is a more sleek alternative, adding diffused light and sparkle.  I especially love the polished nickel finish but you can also purchase it in satin nickel for a more industrial look.  And Benson comes in a variety of sizes, starting at $189, on sale now.

Conclusions I am torn...while I am a huge fan of the industrial and vintage furnishings and their generally more reasonable prices.  I can appreciate that RH is celebrating these chic pieces from years past and adapting them for modern use.   Which were your favorites, vintage or RH?  As you go running out to buy stuff, just don't forget to check out your local antiques markets.