Top stories from the BOH news desk.
→ Word on the Street: Resimercial If hot topics at this year’s design shows and recent company acquisitions tell us anything, the demand for resimercial—design that incorporates elements of the home into the workplace—is on the rise.
The phenomenon is evident in our own reporting: We used the word (a portmanteau of residential and commercial) on our site for the first time in December 2017, and have watched the enthusiasm and news around the category explode in the months since. What’s behind the fast-growing trend? “It’s not an arbitrary shift in tastes or fashion,” argued architect Jennifer Tulley during a panel at San Francisco Design Week. “It is a requirement caused by a change in the way people in the creative and service industries work.” Byron Morton, vice president of leasing at commercial design show NeoCon, confirmed the increase of companies offering product for the “softer side of the workplace,” which he attributes to the advent of collaborative office spaces.
Furniture designer Petrus Palmér, founder and CEO of direct-to-consumer Swedish home brand Hem, has found a ready audience for his designs in the offices of forward-thinking tech companies and startups. “Before, we had cubicles because we needed tools [like] the stationary computer to do our work,” he explained recently on the BOH podcast. “Now we have smartphones, laptops and iPads, [so] what you’re after is a nice environment where people feel good in that space.” Other brands have taken note too: Herman Miller added a more residential touch to its offerings with its acquisition of one-third of Scandinavian brand Hay; SuiteNY reissued Danish design icon Bodil Kjær’s sleek workplace designs from the 1950s and ’60s, which have decidedly of-the-moment residential undertones; and West Elm, which began offering contract-grade products in 2015, launched a new partnership with leading office furniture manufacturer Steelcase to capitalize on the demand for office spaces featuring the brand’s modern aesthetic with new product offerings and access to Steelcase’s network of more than 800 dealer locations.
→ Galerie gets a new EIC; Domino gets a new owner Jacqueline Terrebonne has replaced Margaret Russell as editor in chief of quarterly shelter magazine Galerie, where she was formerly the design editor. Prior to Galerie, Terrebonne held roles at Coach, Gourmet, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Vogue and Architectural Digest, where she curated the AD100 list. Her first issue debuted in early September. Meanwhile, St. Louis–based digital media company Multiply, which publishes the U.K.-based men’s fashion site FashionBeans and holistic wellness journal HealthyWay, purchased Domino Media Group from the investors who had relaunched the beloved shelter brand in 2013. Editor in chief Jessica Romm Perez and publisher Beth Brenner will remain on staff in New York; Nathan Coyle has stepped down as CEO to take the helm at Pride Media, which publishes the LGBTQ-focused titles Out and The Advocate.
→ Century enters talks to acquire Hickory Chair On the heels of Heritage Home Group’s bankruptcy filing in late July, Rock House Farm (also known as RHF Investments, the parent company of Century Furniture and Highland House, among others) announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire “substantially all assets” of the Hickory Chair, Maitland-Smith and Pearson furniture brands from HHG.
→ Bunny Williams Home alums launch direct-to-consumer venture Former Bunny Williams Home CEO Jennifer Potter and creative director Audrey Margarite have left the venerable brand to launch a direct-to-consumer product line all their own. Called Fête Home, the new collection of home accents debuts in October, with a portion of all sales going to the nonprofit Girls On the Run.
→ House Beautiful website redesign ruffles feathers Legacy shelter brand House Beautiful relaunched its website with a new focus (read: Cardi B’s nursery and inflatable furniture)—and its online followers noticed. The strategy shift, which is produced separately from the brand’s print product, was spearheaded by the site’s new editorial director, Joanna Saltz, who pioneered a similar digital strategy at Delish.com, and new Hearst Magazines president Troy Young, who previously led the company’s digital division. (On the heels of the site’s debut, Hearst announced that Young would succeed David Carey, who joined the company in 2010 and will remain a chairman until 2019.)
→ DECASO takes a stand on fakes DECASO launched a new policy that formally bans reproductions of notable designs in order to keep inauthentic pieces off its platform. The company claims the policy is the first of its kind among online marketplaces; it will rely mostly on self-monitoring, but will also work with advisers to vet items.