Kelly Wearstler is backing a startup, Airbnb wants your craziest design ideas and more
A paint color that captures the perfect mood is hard to find, with a new vtool ordered by the oice, however, designers can bring their dream hues to life. Whatever happens next, stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading and more.
Vergo, a startup whose online banking tools aim to help designers manage financial tasks like estimates and invoicing, completed a $4.1 million seed funding round led by CRV and investors like an interior designer Kelly Wearstler and co-founder of Thumbtack Sander Daniels, Architectural Summary reports. Founded by an interior designer Rich Kane and co-founder Einar Hohenstein in 2021, the company provides software that streamlines project management and accounting processes for designers, architects and contractors through the addition of industry-specific banking functionality. With the new funding, the company plans to grow its team from 15 to over 100 by the end of 2023; onboard more professionals (Vergo says he has a waiting list of 5,000); and enrich its offerings through partnerships with design-oriented brands.
Material Bank has acquired digital architecture resource Architizer – terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2009 and currently led by CEO David Weber, Architizer serves architects, interior designers, landscape designers and other home professionals by cataloging design projects in an online database and showcasing the best buildings and industry professionals across content, contests and prizes like the A+Awards. According to a statement, the CEO of Material Bank Adam Sandow identified Architizer’s database as a key resource for creating product information, making the partnership a match for the company’s sampling services. After the acquisition, Weber will remain at the helm of the business, which will continue to operate independently as a subsidiary of Material Bank.
New data suggests investors played a major role in accelerating the pandemic housing boom and driving up US house prices, according to recently released reports from Redfin, Freddie Mac and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. As Wealth reportsinvestors accounted for a record 28% of single-family home sales in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 19% in the first quarter of 2021 and 16% between 2017 and 2019. While the majority of home purchases were made by small or investors medium-sized with portfolios of less than 100 properties, the remaining quarter of purchases were made by large investors, including both massive rental companies like Invitation Homes and Blackstone-backed Tricon Residential as well as iBuyers like Opendoor and Zillow Offers, which nearly doubled their share of purchases between 2020 and 2021. “By buying back single-family homes, investors have reduced the already limited supply available to potential homeowners, especially first-time buyers and first-time buyers,” read the Harvard researchers’ report.
The parent company of Southern Motion and Fusion Furniture laid off about 280 workers, or nearly 15% of its workforce, Home News Now reports. The cuts affected employees at Southern Motion and Fusion’s eight Mississippi facilities. According to the CEO Marc Weberthe layoffs were a response to slowing demand, the result of oversupply at retailers – even when consumer interest returns, he predicts, it could take several months or more for new orders to start coming in again and that hiring resumes thereafter.
Nemo Tile + Stone has purchased Tile Market of Delaware, marking the company’s second acquisition in a year following the November 2021 purchase of Modern Stone Consulting. Founded in 1996, Tile Market of Delaware operates a 73,000 square foot warehouse and design storefront center in Wilmington, Delaware, from which it supplies merchandise to the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region. With this new partnership, Nemo’s goal is to expand its business footprint on the East Coast.
Courtesy of Etsy
Launches & Collaborations
Actress Priyanka Choprain collaboration with a business partner maneesh Goyallaunched Sona Home, Vogue reports– a new home and entertainment branch of its Sona brand centered around a 45-piece tableware collection including items such as flatware, textiles and bar accessories. Steeped in an aesthetic inspired by Indian culture, the line’s emerald and white color palette recalls the rich jewelry tradition of Jaipur, while its geometric patterns recall the grand palaces of Rajasthan.
San Francisco-based startup ALL3D, which uses technology to create 3D models and images for furniture makers and retailers in product marketing and design, has launched a new subscription service for home decorators. inside. The platform will allow designers to create and render customer spaces in the form of part images, 3D tours and 360 degree part views, with access to the library of thousands of product and brand pages of the company through four different subscription levels starting at $100 per month.
For Etsy’s newest designer collaboration, the platform tapped a fashion designer and an influencer Aimee Song to select a selection of decorative and lifestyle pieces co-created with the fashion influencer’s favorite sellers. The resulting collection includes a variety of ceramics, decorative pieces and nursery items informed by Song’s degree and experience in interior design, and includes wall sconces and lamps, sculptural vessels and checkered cushions.
Lowe’s has unveiled a series of features designed to help builders enter the metaverse, starting with opening up its library of 3D products to making more than 500 assets available for free download on the retailer’s new online hub, Open Builder. The company also announced plans to release a limited collection of NFT wearables for virtual world builders Decentraland, offering free digital boots, helmets and accessories to the initiative’s first 1,000 participants.
Direct-to-consumer furniture brand Burrow has launched a new partnership with circular commerce platform FloorFound, which allows brands to resell second-hand goods. Burrow will now offer returned items and open boxes such as sofas, lounge chairs, armchairs and mattresses at a discount through the FloorFound store, accessible through a portal on Burrow’s flagship site.
Schumacher has announced a partnership with Scandinavian wallpaper company Boråstapeter and will offer the brand’s original designs as an exclusive distributor in North America. Boråstapeter’s selection of wallpapers are sustainably produced, incorporating raw materials from responsibly managed forests and water-based dyes, with end products produced in facilities powered entirely by renewable energy.
Norfolk, Va.-based furniture maker and design company Mantra Inspired Furniture has partnered with two new representative companies in new territory and will now be available through The Work/Life Group in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming; as well as by Design Lines in Washington, DC; Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Homebuyers are increasingly feeling drawn to nature and, as a result, are driving up house prices in states like Montana, Utah and Colorado. As Robyn A. Friedman reports for The Wall Street Journaldevelopers are responding by creating new communities of homes designed around abundant natural surroundings and outdoor activities – spaces they market not as neighborhoods but as “natural spaces”.
It’s no secret that rents are going up. In Manhattan, median rent hit a record high of $4,000 in May, while nationwide asking rents rose 15% in the same month from a year earlier, according to real estate broker Redfin. As Anna P. Kambhampaty reports for The New York TimesDesperate times often call for desperate measures – for some tenants, that means moving in with a significant other sooner than expected or in less than ideal conditions, all in an effort to find a home.
Courtesy of Airbnb
While most late-night talk shows feature fairly similar sets, William ChatThe former Raw Nerve interview show (which aired from 2008 to 2011) placed the host and guests face-to-face on a one-on-one couch — an unusual choice for the format and one to effect surprisingly good, prompting celebrities to expose vulnerabilities and intimate personal details. For the Dirt Newsletter, Lisa Kwon lays out the history and hidden power of one-on-one, and finds a few pieces that might work for today’s talk show stars.
Call for applications
In response to some of Airbnb’s most unique listings, including rentals housed in tiny shoe-shaped houses, UFO replicas and even a giant potato, the platform announced the launch of the OMG at $10,000,000! Funds. Aimed at designers, architects and do-it-yourselfers, the program will award $100,000 each to 100 people to turn their wildest property ideas into actual listings on the site. To apply before the July 22 deadline, click here.
Homepage image: ALL3D has launched a subscription service for interior designers. | Courtesy of ALL3D