news digest | May 21, 2024 |
Design Holding rebrands, home-staging demand is on the rise and more

This week in design, the latest eye-popping amenity offered by high-end condos and rentals is an at-home immune-boosting IV drip service—though critics say the effects of the high-priced treatment basically amount to drinking a glass of water. Stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches, events, recommended reading and more.

Business News
Design Holding—the Italian company that comprises brands like Louis Poulsen, Audo Copenhagen and Fendi Casa—is rebranding as Flos B&B Italia Group. According to a statement from CEO Daniel Lalonde, the new name nods to two of the group’s “foundational brands,” while also setting the stage for “future growth and acquisitions.” Moving forward, the group plans to further develop its direct-to-consumer offerings through its stores and target growth in Europe, North America, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.

Demand for home staging is on the rise, according to a new report from home renovation and repair platform Thumbtack, which found that requests for the service increased by 10 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the cost of these services has also increased in the last few years—up 18 percent to $1,816 compared with 2019. According to real estate agents, the extra attention on home staging may stem from sellers’ efforts to stand out in a market where 7 percent mortgage rates are causing potential buyers to shy away.

U.K.–based online magazine Design Week has been acquired by its web development company, Interconnect, Dezeen reports. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The news comes just a few months after the publication’s parent company, Centaur Media, announced in January that it would be closing down the publication “with immediate effect” following 38 years in operation, citing a strategy shift toward its “core audience of marketers.” Under new ownership, the magazine plans to recruit new staff and relaunch later this year.

Michigan-based office product manufacturer Fellowes Brands began winding down operations at its Trendway furniture plant this month following a February announcement that it would be closing that brand permanently, Furniture Today reports. The process includes a series of layoffs that will begin this month and conclude in October with a total of 117 job cuts. In a letter, CEO John Fellowes stated that the company had “reached the point of exhausting its resources and support” for the brand, having determined last year that it was in an “unrecoverable” condition. Following Trendway’s closure, Fellowes will continue operating in the contract furniture industry through its remaining brands, producing products like height-adjustable tables, organizational products and modular walls.

In 2023, 93,000 new single-family homes for rent were built—representing a 39 percent increase from 2022 and the most in any single year ever, according to housing consulting firm John Burns Research & Consulting. As The Wall Street Journal reports, the boom is primarily playing out in cities with fast population and job growth, including the outer-ring suburbs of cities in Arizona, Texas and Florida. According to experts, builders are hoping that record-low home affordability—influenced by high mortgage rates, elevated home prices, and rising insurance and home maintenance costs—will continue to keep even high-earning Americans in renter status.

Launches & Collaborations
The Inside debuted a pop-up shop last week at The Current shopping center in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, marking the company’s first venture into retail. Open until August 31, the space will house a curated selection of custom furniture and decor, chosen to encapsulate the New England coastal summer home aesthetic.

Chasing Paper tapped Austin-based lifestyle brand and online editorial community The Interior Collective for a wallpaper collection. The resulting assortment features four new prints—Layered Stripe, Market Floral, Posey Stripe and Vintage Plaid—that each draw a blend of inspiration from traditional English interiors and Texas Hill Country.

New York interior designer Billy Cotton has teamed up with local architects Joerg Thoene and Ilya Korolev to launch a new architecture firm called CTK. The 14-person venture will focus on adaptive reuse, preservation and new construction, spanning residential and commercial projects.

Recommended Reading
If you’ve seen the now-viral social media series Boy Room, then you’ve had a glimpse inside some of New York’s most squalid residences: those inhabited by men in their 20s and 30s. For House Beautiful, Charlotte Barnett chats with series creator Rachel Coster about helming the show and helping her video subjects with basic design principles like painting their walls, investing in real furniture and simply getting rid of garbage.

In the last few years, direct-to-consumer kitchen brands seem to have narrowed in on a strategy for cornering the millennial market: offering toylike cooking products and appliances, available in pastels and primary colors. For Dwell, Megan Reynolds takes a closer look at how the movement dubbed “Kindercore” took over the kitchen—and how it ties into an equally strange phenomenon where toy cookware made for children has taken on a muted, practical appearance.

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter, which recaps the week’s stories, and get in-depth industry news and analysis each quarter by subscribing to our print magazine. Join BOH Insider for discounts, workshops and access to special events such as the Future of Home conference.