news digest | Dec 26, 2019 |
Chip and Joanna Gaines expand their empire, e-design startup nets $30M and more

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and after a few days off, time to catch up on what’s crossing the BOH news desk. In our weekly digest, a roundup of need-to-know (and nice-to-know) news.

BUSINESS NEWS
Danish textile brand Kvadrat will work independently in the U.S. beginning in 2021. This will conclude its 18-year partnership with U.S. brand Maharam. On January 1, 2021, the brands will pursue the U.S. and European markets separately. Until that time, the partnership will continue, with the brands running a joint venture in Australia.

Bangalore–based home design startup HomeLane raised $30 million in funding to expand its proprietary technology, reported TechCrunch. The series D round was led by Evolvence India Fund, Pidilite Group and FJ Labs. In the past five years since it was founded, the startup has garnered $46 million. HomeLane connects users with local designers and brands, having established 16 experience centers in seven cities in India to do so. Now it plans to move into eight to 10 more cities. The news follows competitor Livspace’s $70 million round of funding earlier this year. In other words: India is a hot market for e-design.

OPENINGS, AUCTIONS AND EVENTS

Chip and Joanna Gaines expand their empire, e-design startup nets $30M and more
This is what $200,000 worth of sleep looks likeCourtesy of Hästens

A James Bearden exhibit will open at the Gallery at 200 Lex in New York Design Center. Curated by local luxury furniture store Weinberg Modern, the exhibit will feature delicate steel works with painted polychrome and dyed glass enamel, inspired by Netherlandish paintings. Opening in January, this will be the first exhibit at the gallery in 2020.

Swedish bedding brand Hästens has partnered with Lotte New York Palace for the Hästens Ultimate Sleep Suite. It’s the only public venue for the $200,000 Vividus bed, which takes about 350 hours to make. Those who book the room first meet with the hotel’s in-house sleep curator for a customized experience that includes the guest’s slipper and pj’s size and all of their favorite teas. Rates begin at $10,000 a night.

LAUNCHES, COLLABORATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS
New York designer Sheila Bridges’s collaboration with streetwear brand Union LA has expanded into speakers. Union announced its new partnership with sound technology brand Sonos. The limited-edition Sonos One SL features Bridges’s signature print, Harlem Toile. The designer has also kicked off a partnership with Fabricut—through its brand S. Harris, Harlem Toile de Jouy wallpaper and fabric will be available at 60 showrooms nationwide.

Chip and Joanna Gaines expand their empire, e-design startup nets $30M and more
Pottery Barn Teen's collaboration with AquafilCourtesy of Pottery Barn

Waco, Texas–based design team Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV fame, have expanded their collection for Target into furniture. Starting today, Hearth & Hand With Magnolia carries accent benches, console tables and more.

Pottery Barn Teen has created a new rug in partnership with Aquafil: the Watercolor Dots rug. Rather than virgin nylon, the rug comprises ECONYL yarn, made of recycled materials such as fishnets, fabric, carpet flooring and industrial plastic.

RECOMMENDED READING
Essayist Samantha Irby takes to The Cut to describe finding the love of her life a little later than expected, and what it is like to build a home together: “Cue taking off our glasses to signify the start of a makeover montage, passionately kissing in an airport, and the part where we spend the rest of our lives gazing at them over a farmhouse sink and pristine marble countertops in a clean and sunny Nancy Meyers kitchen.” It’s not entirely related to design, but it’s the holidays, which felt apt for sharing a story on finding your forever home.

Manhattan real estate chatter continues on its trend of a shrinking market. The New York Post crunched the numbers, rounding up the “biggest losers” in the real estate market for 2019, with the greatest loss tagged to a three-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue.

Airbnb intends to increase its spending on the safety for its users, The Wall Street Journal reports. After WSJ penned a list of questions concerning safety issues, the home-sharing platform announced a commitment to spend $150 million on safety initiatives, adding that to its list of preparations before a highly anticipated IPO early next year.

Chip and Joanna Gaines expand their empire, e-design startup nets $30M and more
Sheila Bridges's collaboration with Sonos, via Union LA

CUE THE APPLAUSE
The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame has opened nominations for its 2020 inductees. All members of the foundation are able to nominate or second a nomination. Find nomination forms here, and submit by February 1.

British brand Andrew Martin has named New York designer Daun Curry as the 23rd International Designer of the Year. This year’s panel of judges included Gerry McGovern of Land Rover and Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe. Curry was selected for her whimsical metropolitan interiors.

The founder and CEO of the Red Dot Design Award, Peter Zec, received the Cross of Merit on the ribbon of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his influence on the design industry. Every year, works in product, communication and brand design are recognized and given a Red Dot Award. The Red Dot Design Museum has also helped to establish the city of Essen as a design destination.

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