Merging of Work and Life Fuels Growth of RH Contract
RH Contract, the commercial division of retail heavyweight Restoration Hardware, partnered with Interior Design to launch “The Office Reimagined,” a pop-up space previewing the division’s newest workspace products. The event last week drew 130 designers, no easy feat on a balmy summer evening in New York.
A select group arrived early for a VIP roundtable discussion with Claire Eeles, global business-to-business leader at RH Contract, and Interior Design senior editor Mark McMenamin, who honed in on the inspirations behind the company’s new commercial products and its ideas for the future of workspace design. Eeles credited the division’s success to its cultivation of a “lifestyle brand” that attracts hip clients—think LinkedIn and Uber—with non-traditional office spaces merging life and work. She explained how the company’s “practice what we preach” ethos breeds curated collections for RH’s own offices, adding that the market’s trend towards customized, casual workspaces and home offices has dovetailed nicely to fuel the division’s growth. McMenamin added that RH Contract’s ability to “remain teachable” over the past eight years has made it an asset to designers. Tom Oprea of Oprea Design Group even compared working with the division to “having a warehouse next door.”
Eeles also touched on the debut of RH Modern, a home division that will feature carefully curated furniture and design with clean lines and a modernist aesthetic, particularly in glass and shiny metals. The collection’s first retail space is slated to open in Los Angeles later this year.
Grant Greenspan, principal of the Kaufman Organization, was also present for the conversation, since the event was hosted at 19 West 24th Street, the latest redevelopment from the Kaufman Organization’s Madison Square Portfolio. Demonstrating the company’s belief in workspaces that are outside the box, artwork by street artist Skott Marsi filled the elevator bank, and a glass elevator wall gave attendees a prime view of “the new workplace”—the market that, after all, RH Contract was born to serve.