RH Jacksonville opens in St. Johns Town Center

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Even before employees cut the ribbon Friday, Nov. 19, to officially open one of the most elegant retail establishments in Northeast Florida, members of the public stood in a long queue, patiently anticipating admittance to RH Jacksonville, The Gallery at St. Johns Town Center.

That anticipation actually goes back more than 20 years to 2000 when the idea for a Jacksonville store originated.

In the words of Kirk Wendland, executive director of Jacksonville’s Office of Economic Development, “We’ve been waiting for this for quite a long time.”

Speaking to those gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Wendland used terms such as “gorgeous” and “amazing” to describe the new facility.

“This place it fabulous,” he said.

DeMonty Price, RH president and chief operating, service and values officer, said he was proud to be in Jacksonville for the store’s opening and excited for those assembled to see what the company had for them.

“Our people back in the home office in Corte Madera, California, work tirelessly, day and night, to bring such amazing concepts to life,” he said.

“I think it’s really a tribute to the city of Jacksonville that they’ve chosen us, and they’ve chosen this location, and they see us as a growing, innovative community that really ties in with what they’re trying to do with their brand,” Wendland said.

In a letter composed for the 2020 meeting of shareholders, company Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman wrote that, at its core, RH is about taste. And one look inside the new store bears that out.

RH Jacksonville, located at 4831 Village Shops Way, is housed in a three-story, 70,000-square-foot building. It is part luxury home furnishings store, part art and interior design gallery, part restaurant and more.

One can shop RH online but experiencing the furnishings firsthand in a high-design environment greatly enhances an appreciation for the quality of the workmanship and materials.

From the moment one steps through the 25-foot threshold of retractable glass-and-steel doors and enters the central hall with its 14-foot ceilings, it is obvious that this is no ordinary furniture store. In fact, customers at other RH locations have actually told company representatives they would like to take up residence there.

Indeed, the central hall shows off the furnishings to advantage in a setting reminiscent of the most luxurious of homes. Natural light enters the hall from a large skylight three stories overhead and is augmented by the radiant emanations of handblown Serenella chandeliers. A grand, double floating staircase invites visitors to the second floor.

To either side, barrel-vaulted passageways lead visitors to sample rooms featuring RH Interiors collections from renowned designers, in addition to unique antiques and artifacts collected by Friedman from around the world.

Here, customers will find furniture for all areas of the home, including highly acclaimed sectionals and other pieces from The Cloud Collection.

Some of the featured lighting is the work of master glass designer Alison Berger, whose award-winning creations have been exhibited at some of the pre-eminent art and design museums.

[Read more about Alison Berger here.]

Where the first floor is devoted to RH Interiors, the second floor focuses on furnishings in the RH Modern collection, exhibited in a 9,000-square-foot space. Here, customers will find compatible lighting, textiles and décor in addition to furniture.

Also located here is RH Interior Design, where designers stand ready to work one-on-one with customers to determine what works best for them, whether they are looking to furnish a single room or an entire house.

Interactive RH Design Ateliers feature a large selection of fabrics and leathers, as well as furniture and lighting finishes.

The RH Rugs Showroom focuses on hand-knotted and hand-woven rugs and more.

Throughout the exhibition spaces, visitors will find works from notable artists. Many of the pieces are prints made with new 3-D technology that captures the authentic brushwork, texture and technique of the originals. These works are presented in cooperation with art collector Portia de Rossi, founder of GENERAL PUBLIC, an art curation and publishing company that, in announcing its exclusive partnership with RH in 2018, Friedman called “the first platform that truly amplifies the artist.”

[Read more about the GENERAL PUBLIC works here.]

Continuing up the staircase from the second floor (or by elevator, if preferred), visitors encounter the Rooftop Restaurant. The seating is largely housed inside a steel-and-glass atrium with French doors opening onto garden courtyards and terraces inspired by those found in Europe.

[What’s on the menu? Click here to get a sampling.]

Opposite the restaurant is the Wine Bar, which features 60 curated wines, 40 of which are sold by the glass. Aficionados will recognize the wines of several well-respected vintners, such as Antinori, Caymus-Suisun, Perrier Jouët and Silver Oak. In addition, rare wines from Napa Valley — normally unavailable in Northeast Florida — are offered here.

Hours of operation for RH Jacksonville are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The phone number is 904-730-1474.

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