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La Dolce Vita in Central Indiana

Indianapolis’ DeHaan Estate welcomes luxury furnishings shoppers

With its dramatic curved architecture, travertine floors, indoor and outdoor sculpture, and Tuscan vibes, Christel DeHaan’s gracious 151-acre estate feels more like something you’d expect to find in Italy than Indianapolis. Ever since construction finished in 2007, curious passersby have been longing to get a look at Linden House, the late philanthropist’s Palladian-style home northwest of downtown Indianapolis between Butler University and the Newfields campus. Now, they finally can.

“The DeHaan Estate is one of the most magical properties in North America, and we are honored to open its gates to the public for the first time,” RH Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman said in a press release announcing the opening in November 2023.

Main dining room by RH Indianapolis

Founded as Restoration Hardware in Northern California in 1979, the luxury home furnishing company now elevates furniture shopping to an art form, assembling a global portfolio of high-end galleries in the U.S. and Europe to consider, typically homed in notably significant buildings.

DeHaan’s 42,000-square-foot former residence has been reimagined as a fitting new home displaying more than 70 precisely curated museum-quality showrooms featuring RH’s distinctive contemporary furniture and accessories aesthetic — along with globally sourced art, antiques, and artifacts — to the fullest advantage. DeHaan purchased the former Benedictine monastery of St. Maur Priory in the early 2000s and lived onsite until her death in 2020 at age 77. When it hit the market, RH wisely moved fast, teaming up with a Colorado-based developer to claim the nearly turn-key estate for a cool $14.5 million, the highest residential property sales transaction in Indiana real estate history.

Photo by Amy Lynch

RH Indianapolis welcomes shoppers for an immersive experience. In the main foyer, a greeter provides helpful instruction on how best to navigate a self-guided tour. Follow the bust-lined hallway to the right, then leisurely make your way back through one dazzling room after another (and the RH Interior Design Studio) toward the center. If you’re not awed and overwhelmed by that point, venture into more main-level and upstairs vignettes in the west wing.

“From the immaculately groomed grounds and tree-lined driveway, to the massive stone terrace and boat dock overlooking the lake and forest, and the perfectly proportioned rooms filled with natural light from the abundance of windows, RH Indianapolis is a place to come and dream, be inspired by the architecture, get lost in the views, enjoy a meal in the grand ballroom, or sip a glass of wine while strolling through the gardens,” Friedman added in the press release.

Caviar-topped grilled avocado by RH Indianapolis

With a rain-evocative pendant light installation by L.A. glass designer Alison Berger hanging from the soaring two-story vaulted ceiling, the Dining Room — a name simultaneously understated and meta — acts as a stunning centerpiece for the entire facility. Amid lunch and dinner menus of mostly French bistro-inspired fare, a caviar-topped grilled avocado starter, a superlative burger, and the decadent butterscotch crème brûlée all rise to the top.

Jeff Jaeger, a recent first-time visitor shopping with his wife Debbie to furnish a home they’re building in nearby Fishers, sums up the experience succinctly: “I never would have believed this was Indianapolis.”

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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