On September 13 and 14, Business of Home invited more than 450 interior designers and trade professionals to New York City’s Metropolitan Pavilion to discuss one looming, macro question: What is the future of home? Over two days and 27 programming sessions, attendees enjoyed presentations, panel discussions, fireside chats and Q&A’s with 42 speakers, moderated by BOH’s Kaitlin Petersen, Fred Nicolaus, Sophie Donelson and Dennis Scully.
Day 1 of the Future of Home conference kicked off with a keynote by Adam Davidson, author of The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the 21st Century, who spoke about the power of storytelling, followed by Scully moderating a lively conversation between entrepreneur Leo Seigal and Los Angeles–based designer Jake Arnold, founders of the online design platform The Expert. Next, Nicolaus talked with three industry players who are focused on the state of diversity in the design industry and working toward measurable change: Caroline Baumann, co-leader of the Diversity in Design (DID) collective and former director of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; DID co-leader and Work & Co partner Rupal Parekh; and Eddie Opara, partner at DID member organization Pentagram and senior critic at the Yale School of Art. After that, Petersen sat down with three designers—Rajni Alex, Kati Curtis and Eneia White—to discuss leveling up at High Point Market. To close the morning, design visionaries Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler shared their thoughts about the future of life at home.
After lunch, Scully led a conversation on the nature of design collaborations, with the help of two of the industry’s most seasoned pros: home guru Martha Stewart, founder and CEO of Martha Stewart Omnimedia, and Jim Shreve, president and CEO of Baccarat North America. Then, Austin Allison of Pacaso chatted with Nicolaus on the future of residential real estate. Following that, Brian Morrissey, author of the newsletter The Rebooting, sat down with Dwell CEO Zach Klein and Mélanie Berliet, general manager and senior vice president of the Home Group at Dotdash, to discuss what’s ahead for the media industry. Did you know that one in three millennials doesn’t have a credit card? Bree Blazak, vice president of enterprise sales at Afterpay, shared that surprising fact during a conversation with Petersen, after which Harvard Business School’s Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury discussed the future of “work-from-anywhere.”
Following a short coffee break, the programming concluded with three designer case studies. First, Kelly Finley spoke about her plan to become the CEO and creative director of her San Francisco-based firm, Joy Street Design. Next, Marie Flanigan appeared via video to share a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her window-treatment selection process, courtesy of Hunter Douglas. Finally, Cortney Bishop, founder of the full-service interiors firm Cortney Bishop Design, took to the stage to explain why she puts the client experience first—and how she brought her business to that point.
Outside the theater, attendees were able to mingle and interact with four curated brand experiences. In Gallery CB2, products from the company’s forthcoming Spring 2022 collection were displayed in a museum-like setting. Crate & Barrel kept an eye on sustainability in The Green Haus, a lounge space designed with earth-friendly products. Guests were able to calculate their carbon footprint and enjoyed cold-press juices. High Point Market appeared as The Design World’s Destination, an interactive map with QR codes highlighting the city’s various neighborhoods, plus designer testimonials. Nearby, Universal Furniture celebrated being Runway Ready At Home by showcasing pieces from Tranquility, the never-before-seen second collection from Miranda Kerr, which were upholstered in new performance fabric by Crypton Home. The space also featured a pop-up shop of the supermodel and entrepreneur’s organic skin care line, Kora Organics.
With the guests’ comfort and productivity in mind, Crate & Barrel and CB2 outfitted two lounge spaces. Benjamin Moore also offered larger-than-life charging stations to keep attendees going during the two days of programming.
At the end of Day 1, guests were invited to the EQ3 showroom for a cocktail reception.
Images by Kevin Lau for Business of Home.