Whether you’re a chronic home swapper, still in your rental phase, or way too indecisive to buy furniture that’s supposed to last you eons, let’s be honest: shopping for the perfect fit in every room can grow tiresome, and fast. I mean, do you really want to drop $700+ on a table if mid-century modern is going to be out by next Spring? Can you commit to loving any couch ‘till death do you part? What the heck is a credenza again?
If you’ve ever tried to desperately sell a piece of used furniture on Craigslist, you’ll know a few things to be true: 1) Craigslist is a gathering spot of weirdos, and without reason, they’re all interested in your ad (but only for 1/30th of listing price) 2) Just because people say they’re going to show up and have cash to buy your furniture, it doesn’t mean they actually will 3) It’s really hard to get even a fraction of the money you spend on furniture back.
To combat this common problem that plagues today’s decorators, the industry has come up with an alternative: furniture rentals. If you’re picturing a dingy couch passed down from one college renter to the next, complete with PBR stains (at least you think those are PBR stains?), think again. The furniture these companies are offering up for a monthly fee is the kind of stuff that you already swoon over through West Elm’s windows and mindlessly shop at well past your lunch break on Article.com. This furniture is worthy of the tightest tushies and most upturned of noses; it’s the real deal.
While furniture rental is not a new concept, it’s never been done quite like this before –– in a way that is more on-trend than on edge and simply surviving between purchases. The company behind making furniture rental cool (and easy) is Feather, which proudly calls itself a “furniture subscription” company.
The company was, of course, inspired by the founder’s personal experiences. Jay Reno, who is a New Yorker, moved 5 times within 6 years, skipping around from borough to borough in the Big Apple. While moving is painful almost wherever and whenever it takes place, it is especially challenging in a city like New York. As explained in an interview with The Bridge, Brooklyn Business News:
“ ‘Each time, I was presented with an entirely different furniture situation,’ Reno says. Once, when he moved in with his fiancé, they realized a sofa they’d bought on Craigslist would be impossible to squeeze up the stairwell and into their new home. ‘We had to put it outside. Then it started snowing because it was February. We brought it inside, but then we were blocking other people from moving in, so we had to put it out in the snow. It was, like a whole thing.’ ”
Nobody wants “whole things” while they are moving. In reality, in the middle of a move I can barely handle half of a thing. And so, with those experiences in his back pocket, Reno set out to start a company in April 2017, called Feather, which aims to make furniture “a non-issue in your life.”
The company sells the idea of “lighter living” well, giving folks ready access to beautiful, high-quality, on-trend furniture that they can rent for just as long as they need. And what happens when time runs out? At the end of any rental plan, Feather’s faithful followers can renew and keep paying a monthly fee, swap furniture out for a different style, buy the furniture by settling up with the remaining value’s balance, or return the goods.
The biggest draw to rental furniture is of course, simplicity…not to mention the lack of required commitment. Interested parties can search Feather’s selection of furniture from brands such as West Elm, Joybird, and Casper, select the furniture they want (and how long they’ll need it), and get all of the furniture delivered and set up on the same day…no extra charge.
As Feather fights to get through to a millennial generation of renters and homebuyers, they have some competition. One entity Feather could give the side-eye too is CORT, a rental company with a similar model that offers solutions for home and office furniture needs.
On that note, tell your commitment phobia to take a hike…oh yeah, and settle comfortably into your West Elm Eddy Sectional sofa for just $75/month (retail: $1,299).