More furniture price hikes, Sotheby’s faces lawsuit, and more

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Thanks to online real estate sites like Zillow, an internet connection is all you need to view homes for sale around the world. As a result, a variety of social media accounts have sprung up aiming to shine a light on the wackiest interiors left behind by past owners, featuring everything from indoor waterslides to extensive taxidermy collections. Whatever happens next, stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading, and more.

Economic news

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson received a reprimand from his ethics counselor last week after failing to disclose certain text messages linked to a costly makeover of the leader’s Downing Street apartment, The New York Times reports. The renovation project, overseen by Johnson’s wife and executed by an interior designer Lulu Lytle, got the British leader in hot water after asking a prominent Conservative Party donor to arrange funding for the overhaul – a process documented in previously undisclosed messages to Christopher Geidt, the Prime Minister’s independent adviser on ministerial standards. Lytle described her displeasure at being caught up in the backlash of the project, particularly media coverage that misinterpreted its aesthetic, inspired by the Middle East and Africa, as “colonial bohemian” and exaggerated the cost of his services. “I hated every minute,” she told the FinancialTimes. “I found it incredibly disturbing to be caught up in a political storm.”

Sotheby’s is facing a class action lawsuit, The arts journal reports. A complaint filed last spring by Francois Fenwick, a former accountant at the auction house, alleges that she improperly classified the workers as independent contractors as opposed to full-fledged employees, thereby denying them benefits and violating New York’s labor law. freelancing is not free. Sotheby’s legal team filed a motion in November to dismiss the case, calling it “devoid of factual allegations”. Plaintiff’s attorney has now asked the court to decide whether Fenwick was an employee or an independent contractor; if they find out he was an employee, the more than 40 additional people who work at the auction house could also be denied benefits. Fenwick’s attorney and Sotheby’s both declined multiple requests for comment from The arts journal, and a motion hearing for the lawsuit will be held Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Importers and manufacturers of crate and upholstery products are implementing price increases this month, which means retailers and customers will soon pay more for products shipping in 2022, Home News Now reports. Companies like Martin Furniture, Manwah USA and Hooker Furnishings are imposing increased shipping surcharges, while other companies are raising prices in response to double-digit increases on materials like fabric, metal and wood frames, as well as the higher rate of pay needed to attract employees. As shipping, material, and labor costs continue to rise, some companies are considering further changes to their pricing structure in the coming months.

Former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann heads for the residential estate, reports The Wall Street Journal, while the billionaire and entities related to him have bought stakes in more than 4,000 apartments across the United States Although Neumann was ousted from the coworking company in 2019, he explored the residential space during his stay there with the short-lived WeLive, which operated several communal apartments before being closed when the business ran into financial difficulties.

The first-ever “MetaReal” mansion, which combines a real-world home and a virtual counterpart in the metaverse, will hit the market soon, Forbes reports. The house was created by ONE Sotheby’s International Realty and Voxel Architects, as well as general contractor and collector NFT Gabe Sierra. The buyer will receive both a virtual home in the Sandbox metaverse and a physical home in Miami, slated for completion later this year. The 11,000 square foot home will feature seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms in its physical and virtual iterations, and will be auctioned off in 2022 for an as yet undisclosed reserve price.

In the latest supply chain news, surging home purchases last year, coupled with a shortage of building products, forced some new homeowners to move into unfinished homes. According to The Wall Street Journal, while the flow of goods and materials needed to produce windows, garage doors, appliances and paint remains blocked, homebuilders are now limiting options for floor plans or building features. design. In Sacramento, Calif., city officials even set an interim policy allowing builders to finish homes with temporary garage doors, while builder Epcon Communities was forced to install gutters and downspouts after that buyers have already moved in.

B2B sourcing platform Geniemode, which offers home furnishings from India and neighboring countries, announced the closing of a $7 million funding round led by Info Edge Ventures, Home News now reports. The company is currently partnering with more than 100 furniture and home decor suppliers, and with the new funding plans to expand its technology to onboard more buyers and sellers and expand its offerings to new regions. geographical.

Launches and Collaborations

Chairish now offers European products on its e-commerce marketplace, adding 200,000 products from the continent to its site. The expansion follows the company’s acquisition of Pamono in August 2021, Europe’s leading online marketplace for vintage and antique furniture and art, and means buyers of Chairish can now access new furniture, works of art, carpets, lighting, decoration and more in places such as Barcelona, ​​Lisbon, Copenhagen, Vienna and Rome.

E-commerce marketplace The Nopo (short for Nomad Pop-up) has partnered with three designers to create curated shops on its site. To celebrate the launch of its new professional designer program, The Nopo Designer Society, the company called on designers Kathy Kuo, Ginger Curtis and Karen Wolf for each gather a unique selection of tableware, accessories and decorative items.

Model houses

The designer lineup for the fifth annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach has been announced on the organization’s Instagram account. This year’s cohort, which will reinvent an estate at 3001 Spruce Avenue in West Palm Beach, includes 25 designers, including Beth Diana Smith, Amanda Reynal, Noz Nozawa and Chris Godard.

recommended reading

Real estate sales hold a unique place in the world of second-hand goods, pushing interior designers, high-profile dealers and amateur treasure hunters to swoop down in fierce competition for the homes of the recently deceased. For the new yorker, Lizzie Feidelson dives deep into how the phenomenon was born and where it’s headed in the age of the pandemic – all the while setting the stage, translating lingo (“wall pockets”, Hummels and Lladrós galore) and introducing the cast typical of sales assisting characters.

In the world of the Animal Crossing video game series, users have the ability to customize their virtual home with a huge selection of furniture – precisely, 436 different options when the series debuted, a number that has skyrocketed to reach 1,900 over several updates. In fact, many pieces of furniture closely resemble iconic pieces of canon design—blogger Nate Pfeiffer chose a variety of examples from the game with their real-life counterparts, drawing parallels with Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier and Isamu Noguchi.

Orlando Soria, interior designer, home influencer and HGTV star build me, is well aware that his life seems almost perfect on screen. That’s exactly why he decided to chronicle the ups and downs of the past two years of his professional and personal life in a sprawling post on his site. Between poor working conditions, tumultuous real estate projects and health issues, Soria is honest about the not-so-pretty side of being a public figure in the industry. “If you’re going through a similar set of professional and financial issues, just know someone who might seem ‘successful’ because of their TV show and social media presence, someone who’s experienced a great deal of privileges and opportunities, also floundering, out of breath, trying to stay above the surface of the water,” he wrote.

Cue the applause

The winners of the New York Product Design Award have been announced, honoring the efforts of product designers, design teams and manufacturers around the world whose designs have improved everyday life. For the full list of winners, click here.

The Dallas Market Center has announced the winners of the 32nd Annual ARTS Awards, selecting manufacturers, retailers, sales representatives and other regional professionals for their excellence in the industry. Among this year’s winners are January Showers by Jan Showers & Associates, which won the sole award in the interior designer category, and Barry Goralnick by Product Designer Award winner Barry Goralnick Architecture and Design. For the full list of winners, click here.

Homepage image: To celebrate the launch of The Nopo Designer Society, the platform selected designers to organize pop-up shops on the site. | Courtesy of The Nopo

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