RMH Design Puts a Modern Touch on Vintage Appeal

By Grace Kuikman

It’s likely that you’ve seen designs by Robin Harmon, owner of RMH Design. In recent years, six of the outstanding residences featured on BAPA’s Home Tour have undergone beautiful transformations designed by Harmon, and certainly you’ve spotted someone wearing am item of clothing from her boutique and thought, “I wonder where she got that…”

Why did Harmon decide to couple home décor with clothing in her “eccentric lifestyle brand” business model? “There’s a strong connection between home and clothing,” she explained. “People tend to dress like they decorate their home – modern, casual. The patterns they love on their bodies they love in their homes.”

The shop’s clothing line has evolved into the RMH Boutique, which offers true vintage clothes (nothing is newer that 1970s) as well as unique pieces created through the collaborative efforts of Robin and two designers.

In late February, Harmon celebrated the most recent reimagination of her showroom. It is well worth a visit, even if you think you’re not in the market for an update in home décor or personal style.

For Your Home

In the five years since Robin founded RMH Interiors + Design at the corner of 103rd and Wood Street, she has expanded three times. Because of her creative approach to design and merchandise, every visit to RMH is filled with new surprises and ideas. Today, she has clients all over the city.

Harmon’s home designs offer classic style and quality, personalized for each customer. The showroom is a visual delight of merchandise and samples available at this one-stop shop for any size job, from design and paint selection for small projects through total remodeling jobs.

RMH carries quality lines of fabrics for window treatments and upholstery, paint, tile, flooring, counters, wallpaper, rugs, cabinets and more. RMH carries lighting from 25+ vendors, and furniture from almost as many. “I carry merchandise from the same manufacturers you see at Restoration Hardware and Walter E. Smithe,” Harmon said.

RMH also offers vintage furniture that is restored and/or repurposed, blending in modern updates for a unique contemporary look and function. Services include reupholstering, repair, reproduction of decorative elements, refinishing and painting. ) and new,

“Every one of my projects is different,” she said. “That’s because the design is not about me, it’s about my customer.” She also believes in passing her savings on to customers.

“People are so intimidated by the word ‘designer,’” she said. “They shouldn’t be! Design services do not have to be expensive. I work within a customer’s budget.”

“I never imagined that I would be someone who would hire an interior designer,” said Jared Boyer, whose 1920s revivalist house was on BAPA’s Home Tour last year after Harmon helped with the selection of paint, window treatments, hardware and other details. “It seemed like a luxury that was far outside of my price range. But my wife and I had been thinking about paint colors for several weeks and we were not making any progress. Robin’s price was less than the cost of two gallons of paint. Since hiring Robin, we’ve never had to repaint.”

For Your Wardrobe

The RMH Boutique spring collection is in and offers classic clothing for the modern woman as well as Vintage Row, the expanded vintage clothing/accessories section. Harmon’s RMH Boutique is based on the quality and style of vintage. New clothing comes in sizes 3 to 32. Customers select the pieces they like; some garments are in stock, and some are ordered in the size and color a customer wants.

The boutique also offers new and vintage purses, scarves, hats, and gloves as well as jewelry by from various designers, including local designer Susan Larsen.

RMH Design showroom, 1802-1806 W. 103rd St. Hours: Mon. and Tues., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wed. through Fri., 12 to 7 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sun., 12 to 5 p.m. Info: www.rmhinteriors.com. Design appointments, 773-865-6173.