news digest | Dec 28, 2021 |
More fairs postpone for COVID, a White House plan for the trucking industry, and more

The holiday break is here, but the home world hasn’t stopped grinding—just look at Martha Stewart, who’s now selling a replica of the Nativity scene she made in a pottery class during her stay in prison. Stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading, and more.

Business News

The highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus has put a sudden damper on holiday plans and home world events alike in recent weeks. The latest event to face cancellation is the Maison&Objet design fair, originally scheduled to take place January 20 to 24 in Paris. In response to the French government’s announcement yesterday that indoor events must be capped at 2,000 people to prevent the spread of the virus, event organizers have decided to postpone the fair, which is now rescheduled for March 24 to 28. Additionally, The Winter Show, an art, antiques and design fair originally scheduled to take place January 20 to 30 in New York, has been postponed due to the rise in infections. The organizers plan to explore new spring dates for the 2022 event. These shows join German fairs IMM Cologne, Heimtextil and Domotex, and the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair—all of which were slated for early 2022 and shut down as a response to the renewed spread of COVID-19.

The White House has announced plans to boost support of the trucking industry, Home Textiles Today reports, citing a need for updated infrastructure as the booming demand for consumer goods has strained capacity along the supply chain. The Truck Action Plan includes steps to be implemented immediately, along with goals for 30-, 60- and 90-day timelines, which include employee recruitment efforts and new apprenticeship programs, a survey of driver compensation, and a series of roundtable discussions with members of the industry.

ABC Carpet & Home has attracted ire from customers in recent months over unfulfilled orders and a general lack of communication. According to the New York Post, dozens of customers have taken to the retailer’s Facebook page to voice their concerns after submitting payments on still-undelivered furniture and carpets as far back as a year ago. The discord comes after the 124-year-old retailer was purchased in August by a consortium dealing in Persian rugs, which rescued the store from its pandemic-induced bankruptcy. In response to the recent complaints, a spokesperson for ABC has said that its new owners are “focused on delivering a great shopping experience to customers,” and are not obligated to complete orders placed by customers with the store’s old owners, but are doing so voluntarily despite supply chain challenges. Meanwhile, recently filed court documents have revealed that the landlord of ABC’s flagship space at 888 Broadway in Manhattan’s Flatiron District has asked a judge to force the retailer’s leaseholder to catch up on rent or clear out of the space.

Sustainable building startup Cove.tool has completed a $30 million Series B funding round led by investment firm Coatue with participation from Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition, Mucker Capital, Urban Us and Knoll Ventures, TechCrunch reports. The Atlanta-based company’s software offers architects and contractors the ability to input the details of a project and receive tips for optimizing daylight, HVAC systems, solar energy and sustainable materials to reduce carbon usage, conserve energy and decrease construction costs. Since launching its software in 2017, the company has expanded to 15,000 users across 30 countries, and plans to add to its product suite and provide carbon reduction analysis for the architecture, engineering and construction industries with the new capital.

Showroom Representation

Brooklyn-based children’s furniture studio Franklin+Emily’s seating, storage and workspaces will now be carried online and in stores and catalogs by Pottery Barn Kids as well as through the sites Maisonette and Scandiborn.

Recommended Reading

In 2021, the world weathered its second year of a global pandemic—and as people got closer to home, interiors seemed to get even more interesting. T: The New York Times Style Magazine surveyed some of their best home-centric stories published this year, from Florentine villas to modernist Southampton beach houses.

While e-readers can condense piles of books into a single device, there’s nothing that quite compares to the sight of a well-stocked home library—in fact, there’s now a name for this particular comfort. For The New York Times, Julie Lasky explores what it means to be “book-wrapt”—a term coined by author Reid Byers to describe the sensation of being surrounded by one’s favorite volumes. “Covering the walls of a room, piled up to the ceiling and exuding the breath of generations, they nourish the senses, slay boredom and relieve distress,” writes Lasky.

In Memoriam

Interior design industry leader Ruth Lynford passed away on December 3, 2021, at the age of 97, leaving behind a barrier-breaking legacy as a woman navigating a male-dominated profession, according to a statement on NYSID’s site. After graduating with a degree in architecture from Washington University in 1946, Lynford joined a Manhattan-based architecture firm, where she helped elevate female architects and interior designers and later assisted with the passage of legislation recognizing interior design as a legitimate profession in New York. Along with founding the interior design nonprofit corporation New York 11 Plus, Lynford’s accolades include induction into the Interior Design Hall of Fame, a Design Icon designation from Interior Design magazine, and the role of founding president of Interior Designers for Legislation in New York.

Homepage photo: ©Ivan/AdobeStock

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