This week in design, furniture supply chain issues reached such an extreme that they were immortalized in a New Yorker cartoon. Elsewhere, industry advances like a new brick building made from recycled waste opens in Manhattan. Whatever happens next, stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading, and more.
Last year, barry Diller‘s media group, InterActivCorp, has purchased Meredith Corp., the publisher of in-house titles such as Better homes and gardens and southern life. Just last week, the company announced it would end print circulation of six magazines it picked up during the acquisition – while no refuge titles were cut, the April issues of Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, EatingWell, Health, Parents and People en Español will be the last physical edition of each title. According to the wall street journalCEO of InterActivCorp Neil Vogel released the news in a company memo last week, explaining that the company would focus on shifting publications to digital-only brands, while investing in its remaining 19 print magazines by improving paper quality and cutting sizes. Vogel also mentioned that the moves would result in approximately 200 job losses, or less than 5% of Dotdash Meredith’s total workforce.
Three leading trade fairs for the design and construction industry will take place at the same time in 2023, Hardware retail reports, as the National Hardware Show has announced that it will be held during Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas from January 31 to February 2 alongside the NAHB International Builders’ Show and NBKA’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). “Holding the show earlier in the year gives buyers the opportunity to start the year with discovery and connection, while allowing more time for critical decisions before big buying events,” said the vice-president of the NHS event. Beth Casson Recount Hardware retail.
Design-led e-commerce platform Spacejoy has announced the completion of a $4 million pre-series in a funding round led by Accel Partners. Founded in 2019 by Arnab Saharoy and Vinay Indresh, the online marketplace uses 3D technology and artificial intelligence to help users discover and visualize decorative products in their homes. With this new funding, Spacejoy plans to further develop its core platform and strengthen its AI product discovery capabilities.
Livspace, one of Asia’s largest interior and home improvement omnichannel platforms, announced a $180 million Series F funding round with lead participation from global investment firm KKR, as well as from Ingka Group Investments (part of Ikea’s parent company, Ingka Group), Jungle Ventures, Venturi Partners and Peugeot Investments, among others. The platform currently operates in Singapore, Malaysia, and India, but plans to expand into new markets in Asia-Pacific, North Africa, and Australia with the recent injection of capital. Other goals include developing its technology platform and digitally integrated supply chain, and hiring new talent to serve the company’s growth.
Canadian upholstered furniture manufacturer Decor-Rest Furniture has acquired two national manufacturers, Superstyle Furniture and Trendline Furniture, along with their brands, facilities and operations. This decision allows the company’s manufacturing capacity to increase by an additional 35%, which the President and CEO JR Marzilli dit will give Decor-Rest the ability to circumvent global supply chain issues and reduce long lead times. “The Decor-Rest group of companies will now be better able to supply products from the combined facilities with additional employees who are already familiar with producing quality upholstered furniture products,” Marzilli said in a statement.
Launches and Collaborations
Interior decorator Heather Chadduck Hillegas was named the organization’s second designer-in-residence at Colonial Williamsburg, joining a program that began in 2019, when designer Anthony Barata was commissioned to redesign the resort’s historic Palmer House In the new role, Hillegas will reimagine the interiors of the historic Nelson-Galt House, the community’s oldest residential building dating back to 1695. For the design of the house, a a number of brand sponsors are providing materials and furnishings, including paint colors from Benjamin Moore’s Williamsburg paint color collection and fabrics from a Williamsburg x Schumacher collection that will debut this spring.
Created to support and showcase the work of international artists without gallery representation, a digital sales platform called TheArtists was launched to present an alternative model to traditional art markets. The non-profit site debuted with three artist selections, selected by the German artist Gregor HildebrandtUK-based Slavs and Tatars art collective and curator Maya El Khalil. In addition to showcasing their work on the platform, TheArtists will provide artists with one-on-one advice and mentorship, including assistance and consultation designed to develop their practice, expand their network, navigate the art world and understand the dynamics of the rapidly changing art market.
After spending more meals at home during the pandemic, consumers are increasingly opting for high-end tableware to host a more glamorous event. On Etsy, searches for fine china increased 39% in 2021 from a year earlier, while searches for antiques and vintage china dinnerware increased 28%. Like The New York Times reports, demand for pieces from brands like Lenox, Wedgwood and Bernardaud is also on the rise on eBay and wedding registry site The Knot, with designers and collectors pointing to the fact that owners are increasingly looking for such pieces for everyday meals rather than saving them for special occasions. “People want to be frivolous in small ways”, Rachel Tashjianwriter and fashion critic, tells NYT. “We’re starting to put more emphasis on fun.”
TikTok has announced plans for a service designed to help small and medium business owners interact with the app, Inc. reports. The SMB Academy will teach users how to implement best practices and create clear goals with TikTok campaigns. Waiting for, Inc.it is Hannah room hit base with Danielle JohnsonHead of Small Business Account Management for North America at TikTok, for tips on how business owners can grow their audience and create lucrative content on the platform.
U.S. trucking companies faced a record shortfall of 80,000 drivers last year, a major disruption for an industry that hauls 72% of U.S. freight. For The New York Times, Peter S. Goodman explains why industry deregulation in the 1980s, combined with the rise of big-box retailers, led to poor working conditions, declining wages, and extremely low retention rates in the profession today.
The homebuilding industry faces obstacles on all fronts when it comes to meeting demand – in addition to shortages of skilled workers like masons and contractors, essential materials like lumber and products like appliances and plumbing fixtures, professionals now face a new hurdle: a shortage of garage doors. This new problem poses a unique challenge to the home completion process, as Emilie Badger explains in The New York Timesin some cases doubling the time it takes to prepare a property for move-in.
Cue the applause
Mr David Adjaye will be the first recipient of the new Charlotte Perriand Prize, created in memory of the iconic French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand and awarded as part of the Creators Design Awards. The Ghanaian-British architect was chosen for his pioneering role in the industry, having been knighted for his work in 2018 and becoming the first black recipient of the Royal Gold Medal in 2021.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association has announced the winners of its 30s Choice Awards for the Class of 2022, unveiled at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Orlando, Florida. The winners are professionals under the age of 30 working in the design and renovation of kitchens and bathrooms and, once selected for their achievements in the industry, are invited to walk the show and identify the best products in six performance categories. For the full list of winners, click here.
furniture designer John E.Black died last month after a long battle with cancer, surrounded by his wife of 48 years, Joyce Lortz Black, his family and friends at his home in Greensboro, North Carolina. Trained in furniture design at Kendall College of Art and Design, Black went on to serve as Director of Design at Baker Furniture, then Vice President of Design before forming J. Black Design with his wife in 2000, a partnership which has resulted in numerous collections for top brands like Century, Ethan Allen, Hickory Chair and more. A celebration of Black’s life and career will be held at the Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point, North Carolina on March 30, where a Design Fellowship in Black’s name has been established to support the Futures Summit. library fall 2022 designers.
Front page photo: Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Colonial Williamsburg’s newest designer in residence, will reimagine the historic Nelson-Galt House. | Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg