I have been squatting in the Restoration Hardware mansion for 7 weeks
Here's my daily schedule.
Toward the end of 2022, I finally got on the #househacking train! For me, this means using Airbnb to rent out my 1-bedroom apartment to hentai enthusiasts. (I live right by an expansive manga shop.) I am absolutely raking it in, but the drawback is I don’t have a place to stay most days and nights unless I want to eat into my landlording profits.
Enter Restoration Hardware, former purveyor of interesting drawer pulls and kitchen monotaskers, now the place you go to buy a credenza that will intimidate your ex when they spot it in the background of your Instagram story from their burner account.
RH’s Austin location is 60,000 square feet, 4 stories with a rooftop terrace, and the epitome of gothic colonizer chic. Even for Restoration Hardware, who regularly creates unhinged architectural fictions, the Austin showroom is on another level.
Now that my apartment is rented out nonstop, I knew RH would be my ideal pied-à-terre. There are no security cameras anywhere, and the employees either leave you alone or actively avoid you. Yes, IKEA could be a more practical option—they have food, running water, some working kitchens, and drains—but status is very important to me.
Here’s what I do in a day to furtively live at Restoration Hardware.
7 AM: Wake up, usually in the fuzzy chaise. I’ve counted 54 beds in the mansion so far, but crisp sheets will look very obviously slept on, so most nights I sleep on the fuzzy chaise as it already looks disheveled.
7:30 AM: Wash my face and brush my teeth in the big black dish using water from my CamelBak. The big black dish is important—due to its unique form, the average employee is unlikely to notice I’ve left wastewater in it.
I also select a wig from the wig console, whose location I regularly change to avoid detection. A wig is important to prevent being recognized after so many consecutive days.
7:40-8:50 AM: Read on the fourth-floor veranda. (Currently reading The Poisonwood Bible!)
9 AM: Employees arrive and unlock the doors. I hide under a bed and meditate.
9:40 AM: Belay down from the third-floor balcony now that the alarm won’t sound. I could just use the store’s one street-level entrance, but it’s highly visible, and belaying is more impressive.
9:50 AM: Walk to Starbucks Reserve, where the barista Keith has 9 grande cups of water no ice and 1 to 3 fig bars waiting for me free of charge. In exchange, I let him tell people we’re dating and lend him wigs from time to time. I decant the cups of water into my CamelBak.
10:10 AM: Re-enter Restoration Hardware normally, as they open to the public at 10.
10:15 AM-4:30 PM: Choose a room and work undisturbed on my laptop, taking a short break for a fig bar. NOTE: The key here is to blend in by looking equal parts like an employee, a customer, and a piece of furniture. Think Lydia Tár.
4:30 PM: Light rooftop calisthenics.
5:00 PM: Dump my wastewater from the big black dish onto the Yard House patio. It’s a busy time of day, so no one will notice, and Yard House is always inexplicably wet anyway.
5:30 PM: Dinner! Move my laptop setup to one of the 8 dining tables where I’ve been secretly growing oyster mushrooms within the centerpiece. Nibble surreptitiously.
6:15 PM: Store begins to close. I hide in the fabric samples.
7:30 PM: Employees leave and all doors lock. I emerge from the fabric samples.
7:30-9 PM: Free time! I usually hook up my TRX to one of the larger canopy beds or ponder the Artifact.
9 PM: Shower and brush my teeth using the CamelBak and the big black dish.
9:30 PM: Retire to the fuzzy chaise.
I hope this has inspired you to discover your own househacking truth. Please do not tell Restoration Hardware about this. Thank you!
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loving this modern adaptation of the mixed up files of mrs basil e frankweiler