A Catalog For All Seasons

Somehow with that one purchase of a wicker basket those many years ago, we ended up on a mailing list that’s been traded around like Dana Plato on Circus of the Stars. For a while it was basically the Big Three: Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, and Pottery Barn. Then came the pseudo-mod CB and Pottery Barn Kids editions. But suddenly there were catalogs arriving at our door from places I’ve never visited, like Grandin Road, The Land of Nod, and Front Gate. And then came the multiple issues not only marking the months and seasons, but also “Early Summer,” “Late Spring,” and “Holiday,” which came in addition to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The worst was when I beheld two Pottery Barn Kids catalogs—one for Fall 2011 and the other for Autumn 2011. Whole forests are being annihilated because of this.

And yet I wondered how odd not to receive a catalog from Restoration Hardware, the hardware store for Bobos. But then it arrived: At 616 pages and weighing a massive 2 pounds 14 ounces, the Fall 2011 Source Book is, according to Restoration chairman Gary Friedman, “our largest ever Source Book/Magalog/Catalog.” He knowingly adds, “And we ask that you hang on to it, as we do our part to support conservation and won’t be sending you another one until next spring.” Let’s hope he keeps his word and that next week I won’t be seeing something with similar heft entitled Restoration Hardware Kids.

Jonathan Last calls it porn (the issue did come in a brown bag). He confessed to looking longingly at the $2,195 Aviator Wing Desk, whose description is worth quoting: “Inspired by streamlined World War II fighter planes, our desk is a shining swoop of metal, its shape mimicking the bent wing of a plane. Poised as if for take-off, it features a polished aluminum patchwork exterior accented with steel screws, built around a solid hardwood frame.”

If catalogs are indeed porn for Bobos, the Fall 2011 Source Book is Club International.

Or so I’ve been told.

2 thoughts on “A Catalog For All Seasons”

  1. Two points:

    1. I, too, looked longingly at the Aviator Wing Desk.

    2. In designing his whopping “magalog,” Gary Friedman forgot about those of us who get our mail in P.O. boxes. The magalog, larger than even a New York pigeon, just doesn’t fit.

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