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Nell Diamond on Bringing Hill House Home, And Its Famous Nap Dress, to Rockefeller Center

By Noah SilversteinFeb 17 2023
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A cursory search into the social media-beloved lifestyle brand Hill House Home will yield a litany of ultra-polished, pristine bedding, homewares, clothing, and accessories befitting a porcelain doll from Victorian England. But upon closer inspection, it’s clear that while pristine is most certainly on the menu, there’s something even more delicious on offer: humor. Founded in 2016 by Nell Diamond, Hill House Home has a penchant for taking the rarefied and making it riotous.

“None of this would’ve happened if we had come into this with a serious mentality,” says Diamond. Case-in-point: the viral Nap Dress®, a classic A-line skirt silhouette with a smocked bodice and frilly shoulders presenting as polished but intended to be comfortable enough to sleep in. “What started as an inside joke has become something we couldn’t have expected,” she explains.

If home is where the heart is, Hill House Home and Diamond don’t miss a single beat. What started as a direct-to-consumer bedding brand has grown into an empire spanning several categories between home and clothing. Now, it boasts three brick-and-mortar stores, including its recently-unveiled Rockefeller Center location across the street from Radio City Music Hall. The Center Magazine caught up with Diamond to chat about the new store, Nap Dresses®, and what’s next for Hill House.

How did the new location at Rockefeller Center come to be?

“I am a Rock Center girlie. I was obsessed with it growing up, I think in part because I didn’t grow up in New York. It was the most romantic space to me in so many ways; it felt like this icon in the middle of the city. Hill House Home is based in New York and I’m based in New York, so we wanted a space here.

I wanted the experience of going to this store to be something really celebratory, and there’s nowhere more celebratory than [Rockefeller] Center. I kept envisioning people seeing a show at Radio City Music Hall and then heading to FAO Schwarz and Pebble Bar alongside their Hill House journey. To me, that’s just the best experience ever.”

What can visitors expect from the Rockefeller Center store that they won’t get at the other Hill House locations?

“As a digital-first brand, we take a very consistent, clean approach [to] our online presence. Thinking about the kind of experience we want our customer to have in our stores, we wanted each location to be really representative of where it is. When it came to Rockefeller Center, we wanted the design to pay tribute to iconic New York. We pulled references from Radio City Music Hall and architectural details around [the area] and brought them to life in the space. It’s this very classic, Upper East Side aesthetic with hints of femininity.”

That brings me to The Nap Dress®—how did this dress become a sensation?

“The Nap Dress is a perfect example of having a solid foundation for a business and then allowing room for magic… I got to a phase in my life where I was a new mom and had just started a business, and I knew for my mental health I needed something that would make me look amazing but also feel comfortable that could carry me through an entire day. The idea started around this smocking concept, which is not new—I’ve seen pictures of my grandma and her friends in the ‘50s with smocked dresses—but we created a technique to give the smocking the perfect amount of stretch that would make you feel held in but not like you can’t breathe.”

Which Hill House pieces are you reaching for so far this year?

“Our printed bedding is always something that gives a room an instant life; we’ve perfected this technique for printing on cotton that looks so nice. Also, our printed robes have gone viral on TikTok because people are wearing them in their get-ready-with-me videos. They’re so cute. I’m also really excited for our Nap Skirt that just came out and can be worn a bunch of different ways; I love having items that can do a million different things in my wardrobe. And last is our Party Platform… our 5-inch heel that’s deceptively comfortable and just makes me so happy.”

Hill House Home is open at 60 W 50th Street Monday through Sunday, 10am to 7pm.

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