RH Tampa, The Gallery at International Plaza opened last week to a flurry of fan fair. Tampa’s top influencers from the worlds of philanthropy, design and art came together to celebrate the unveiling of the new gallery. Guests enjoyed exploring the design space while sipping on champagne and enjoying hand passed appetizers provided by Local in St. Petersburg. Entertainment was provided by RH Music’s own Larkin Poe, and DJ Rob Garza. It was a veritable who’s who of Tampa Bay.
RH Tampa, The Gallery at International Plaza is a first-of-its-kind retail concept that blurs the lines between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, physical and digital. The Gallery debuts dedicated floors showcasing the brand’s newest business concepts, RH Modern and RH TEEN. Spanning nearly 60,000 total interior and exterior square feet, RH Tampa was envisioned as a grand-scale, classical contemporary building filled with fresh air and natural light, and is a study in symmetry, balance and harmony.
Walking into RH feels very much like walking into a grand residence with a welcoming courtyard, floor to ceiling French doors opening to an elegant entryway with the grandeur rarely seen in the Tampa Bay area. It’s an experience to say the least.
As one walks through the space it’s striking to see how each room is carefully designed to showcase the best RH has to offer. From the furniture to the accessories and lighting, it is all available and beautifully displayed. There are no cash wraps, yet each designer carries an iPad or laptop to readily place an order and arrange shipping. To some this may beg the question why venture to the gallery if it’s not a cash carry store. Gary Friedman, RH Chairman and CEO, explained it’s about people being able to feel, sit and experience the curated collections before making a purchase.
The Gallery offers a broader selection of product offering previously available in their retail showrooms. The first floor features the RH classic aesthetic with a focus on transitional design with contemporary leanings. The second floor is where one will find the new product line RH Modern featuring clean sharp lines reminiscent of the vintage mid-century modern aesthetic. Moving up to the third floor, one finds the RH Teen and RH Baby & Child collections featuring scaled down versions of RH selections designed for adult living.
Each collection from the furniture to accessories is curated from a wide variety of artisans and designers. One collection of artwork features a treasure trove of framed vintage sheet music uncovered in Vienna, another features dried flowers carefully stitched to linen and then framed. Not wanting to miss the current trend of motivational quotes, there is one collection featured in the RH Teen collection.
One free service RH offers is their Design Ateliers, where clients can work with an RH designer or bring their own interior designer along to help with furniture, color, rug, and lighting selections. They offer over 100 fabric selections and 92 different leathers from which to choose. Looking at them without a plan could be overwhelming, but the fact that most of their offerings coordinate with each other does make it a little less so.
Merely walking through the four-story gallery will provide an abundance of inspiration as well as a longing to redesign one’s own home.