By Andrea Bennett | December 1, 2016 | Home & Real Estate
You'll want to move in to the new RH Las Vegas, the gallery at Tivoli Village—and that nicely aligns with CEO Gary Friedman's vision.
RH CEO Gary Friedman says this rooftop won’t become a party space, but it’s already hosted one of the year’s best, and Las Vegans might not take no for an answer.
Known for design that offers a unique take on traditional forms, Restoration Hardware has made a latter-day leap into contemporary furnishings with the launch of RH Modern. But while other home furnishings and design businesses move toward selling in the virtual realm, RH CEO Gary Friedman is assertively going the opposite direction. Namely, in openings like the new RH Gallery (340 S. Rampart Blvd., 775-464-0770), which, at 60,000 square feet over four floors of a classical contemporary manse, anchors the expansion of Tivoli Village. It is immediately recognizable, with its charcoal-gray Venetian plaster exterior, an entrance of 30-foot-high glass-and-steel arches, and courtyards filled with lush fig ivy and towering date palms. A rooftop park and conservatory is studded with mature heritage olive trees—as if someone lives here. And that is quite the point, as Friedman told us in a recent conversation about RH’s future.
I hesitate to call RH Gallery a store, since I’d like to just move in.
GARY FRIEDMAN: Most retailers build a storefront or slap up a big box building. We’re building spaces with fresh air and natural light—really more home than store. We don’t do this because it’s a novelty idea. It allows people to explore and experience in a realistic and abstracted manner. Our consultants in the Design Atelier are there to understand how people can amplify their own space and even help them conceive a space that they might not be able to imagine on their own.
In Vegas, the rooftop area seems particularly inspired because of our weather.
GF: We’re excited to be in Las Vegas, and we’ve allocated more outdoor space here than to any other Gallery because we know that people love their outdoor spaces. We’re trying to express who we are in the most authentic and dynamic way we can.
Customers are encouraged to relax and experience this outdoor furniture in its breezy environs.
I understand the idea of experiencing a space, but 60,000 square feet is really large!
GF: Where other retailers are shrinking, the physicality of our brand is really important. The more three-dimensional the experience, the deeper connection a person can have. If you’re selling commodities, this isn’t so important. There’s no need for a person to interact with a box of Tide laundry detergent before they buy it!
How do you see the RH experience evolving?
GF: These new design galleries are in their very early states. There will be a whole floor dedicated to RH Modern—our new business in the last year. The vast majority of team members are interior designers or consultants with strong design backgrounds. Our design ethos is based on our belief that the most pleasing design is a reflection of human design, and we are helping people realize their own vision.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF RESTORATION HARDWARE