Style Pick: RH Austin
Under One Roof
The gallery at the Domain offers jaw-dropping design and sumptuous shopping
by Sallie Lewis
Photographs by Reagen Taylor
WHERE IN AUSTIN can you find one-of-a-kind fine art and furnishings plus a personal design atelier, with an indoor-outdoor rooftop park and conservatory? As of Sept. 15, the answer is unequivocally the new RH Austin: The Gallery at the Domain. If it wasn’t obvious before that the rebranded Restoration Hardware offers much more than cabinet pulls, the new four-story, 60,000 square-foot store makes it muy claro.
Long admiring Austin’s lively and creative spirit, RH Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman decided to open a grand scale gallery in the burgeoning Domain complex.
“We loved the location and what was being developed there,” said Friedman of the Domain center. Austin marks the sixth installment of the brand’s new Next-Generation Design Galleries, which are masterfully elevating the customer experience while shaping the company’s creative trajectory.
The new Gallery at The Domain invites people to think differently about the places they call home. Each level is a separate entity, executed with thoughtful, artistic installations that bring RH products and services to life.
Take the 11,000 square-foot Rooftop Park & Conservatory on the Gallery’s summit, complete with running fountains, open-air pavilions and mature heritage olive trees. The space begs to be enjoyed with a hot coffee in hand, while chatting with a friend and taking in the brand’s outdoor furniture collections.
One floor down awaits the RH Modern exhibition space. Here, visitors will find carefully curated, contemporary art pieces integrated throughout the furnishings and décor.
Have a need for custom design? On level two, amid a library of lighting finishes, hardware, linens and leathers, a design team is ready to collaborate with shoppers to bring RH’s timeless signature elements into their abodes.
Woven throughout these spaces, architectural details are like little paddles to the chest to jolt your imagination. Palladian-inspired passageways line the periphery, while inside a double floating staircase coils upward in a rain of helix crystal chandeliers and gilded mirrors. Savvy retailers have caught on to the fact that shoppers get antsy being inside any space too long and are incorporating more natural light into the shopping experience. Natural light floods in through a multitude of glass and steel French doors and windows, urging the outside in.
“We like to say we don’t build stores, we build galleries,” said Friedman, adding that the designs are intended to connect with people emotionally while changing the way we see and feel the spaces around us. “That’s really what we’re trying to do.”
Read more from the Architecture Issue | October 2016