If politicians can yearn for an idealized past, when America was the land of smoky factories, sweaty kitchens, and hard-bitten farms, what’s to stop the rest of us? Ask any trend-watcher: In these fast-paced, tech-heavy times, few things quicken the pulse of a consumer like beat-up barn wood, throwback Edison bulbs, and rusty-iron anything.
Tracey Berkowitz and her husband, Rod, have been ahead of this curve since the late 1990s, when both were working at Restoration Hardware. Rod was “regional visual manager,” a pioneer in the staging of things for sale. Known in the business as merchandising, the placing of products in transporting settings—picture Ralph Lauren jodhpurs thrown over a Chesterfield sofa—generates warm feelings conducive to buying and is as hard for most people to master as playing the flute.
“I also worked at Anthropologie,” says Tracey, referring to another retailer known for its merchandising, “and we both gravitated toward the same look, which is very rare—so many times a husband and wife don’t have the same design sense.”
Shown: Rod and Tracey Berkowitz, with kids Noah, 12, and Piper, 8, enjoy some rare porch time with their furry 85-pound sidekicks, Murray, left, and Jacques.