If you've ever roamed the Pinterest-perfect showroom of a Restoration Hardware store, falling in love with every leather sofa and Belgian linen drape you pass only to have your shopping dreams dashed by the price tags of aforementioned items, you're not alone. We spoke with a woman who has worked at Restoration Hardware for nearly a decade. While she does not represent the company in an official capacity, she gave us the inside scoop on where shoppers on a budget can find deals at the beloved home chain based on her personal observations. Check out what she had to say below.
There's More Than Seasonal Sales
Since introducing their membership program about a year ago, Restoration Hardware has shied away from big seasonal sales. "We used to have certain times of the year where we would have our Fall lighting event or our Spring bed and bath sale, but now we've started this membership program," the employee says. She does, however, add, "There are still times randomly throughout the year when items will be discounted, so definitely you want to keep your eye on the website. If there are things that you're liking, I would definitely suggest that you track those things."
It Pays to Be a Member
If you'll be spending more than $400 at Restoration Hardware in a given year, then it makes sense for you to become a Restoration Hardware member. "I definitely would recommend the membership. It's $100 for the whole year, and that entitles you to 25 percent off of anything full price anytime, and an additional percentage off of sale items at anytime." That percentage off can really add up if you're buying a single big-ticket item or several smaller decor pieces.
If You Have Patience, You Can Save Big on Floor Items
See something in your local Restoration Hardware that you absolutely have to have – but can in no way afford? Tell a sales associate to contact you when they switch over their floor display. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, the items on display get deeply discounted. "Over the past couple weeks, we switched almost the entire store . . . we got rid of a whole bunch of stuff. So we had been keeping a list for like three years of clients who would want props or furniture pieces whenever they were going to go on sale, so we did try and contact as many of them as soon as we knew." While there's no guarantee the floor item you like will be sold or that sales associate will contact you, it's still worth a try!
Restoration Hardware Outlets Have the Deepest Discounts
"We also have clearance centers and outlet stores," she says. The hodgepodge of items they sell at a rock-bottom rates come from a variety of places. "Sometimes it is just transferred from the distribution center for space issues, sometimes it is furniture items that we've loaned out to clients until their actual piece is ready, sometimes, very rarely, it is a custom piece that the client just really hates and they changed their mind and they get something else, so those outlets are really great if you're on a budget."
Don't Forget About RH Baby & Child
"If you are living in a smaller space and you're kind of early 20s to mid 30s age range, you may also look at our baby and child and teen collection. A lot of those looks are really sophisticated, but the price point is much lower."
Take Advantage of the Atelier Service
One of the perks of shopping at Restoration Hardware is their atelier service, which is complementary to members. If you're not a member, she says, "Most of our associates are designers, so they won't bill you for that time [assisting you], but they'll be able to give you a really good perception of how it's all going to come together, and the atelier is an open space, so all clients can just go in and take a look and touch and feel."
Employees Get a Healthy Discount
Planning to completely redecorate your home? It might make sense for you to get a job at Restoration Hardware. Their employee discount is substantial. Previous reports have listed it at 40 percent off retail while our source told us, "It just got bumped up actually, so it's 50 percent off of full-price items, and then an additional 30 percent off of sale items."