Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's in a Ruehl?

Last weekend the girls and I ventured to the Galleria to find sandals from Melisa before her big cruise at the end of the month. We hopped store to store to store, stopping at our favorites until we came along a new addition to the mall venues: Ruehl No. 925, (pronounced Rule). The exterior of the store looked like a row of old Brooklyn brownstones, squished together with iron gates and window boxes, complete with seasonally appropriate greenery.

Knowing that I wouldn't care for the clothes, I could help but be slightly interested in the interior design of the place, curious of what lurked among it's dark (and I mean DARK) halls. So we moved in, immediately greeted by a bouncer. Yes - A Bouncer! Was this a club?

Long halls lit only by track lighting that resembled fresnels stage lighting with shutters only on the small scale, featured dark charcoal walls and ceilings, gorgeous hardwood floors in a warm cherry finish, and strategically placed area rugs and leaning wall art. Oversized lampshades and paper lanterns covered bare bulb pendant fixtures and were dotted throughout the store.

The more I explored, the more I thought of the little gambrel on our street that I kept urging Scott to let me buy. Granted, these walls were dark. Very dark, but the overall feel of the store did feel like a home - an expensive, well decorated, dark home. I could see the walls of that little house painted in a deep charcoal, the ceiling adorned with these beautiful track lights. Hardwood floors adorned with beautiful kilim rugs and black and white art framed in chunky black frames with wide white mats leaning against the wall.
I don't know that I could live like this daily - but a walk through sure tempted my design senses!
The cash registers are located in the "garage" of the complex, next to the covered patio which is complete with club like lounging space. Who would go into Ruehl to chat is beyond me, especially since they keep the music so loud no voices could be heard - without shouting of course.

The handbags, jeans, gloves, and scarves are all layered onto these beautiful hardwood bookshelves in sections of the living areas of the store. Deep charcoal turns to deep cloudy blue and then do a deep sage green as you move your way in and around the store. A mirrored hallway, complete with spot lights is almost begging for a cat-walk - but I did resist.

Super large, overscale pieces - like this lampshade are found throughout the store, atop tables and benches, providing just enough muted light to see where you're going. The clothing is highlighted by the track fixtures and several hanging pin lights.

So, not having a single itch to buy a stitch of the overpriced clothing Ruehl sells, I do have this comment to make on their interior design - lovely. Dark, but lovely!