Wayfair and Arhaus are gaining market share, housing inequality is rising and more

This week in design, tiny pieces of furniture are popping up in surprising places. Stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches, events, recommended reading and more.

Economic news
This year, first-time buyers accounted for the smallest share of the real estate market in more than four decades, according to the National Association of Realtors’ annual buyer and seller profile. As The New York Times reports that this year’s group was also the oldest, whitest and wealthiest on record since the association began tracking data in 1981, with white buyers accounting for 88% of home sales during the year. past year, compared to 82% last year, making it the highest. level in 25 years. The figures are directly correlated to an increasingly competitive housing market. As interest rates climb, middle- and middle-income people have been squeezed out of the market by buyers who can pay cash, widening generational and racial disparities in homeownership.

Wayfair continues to dominate the home goods market, according to market research firm YipitData’s Q3 2022 Home Goods Market Share Index, which found the e-commerce giant holds the largest share of the sector with a slight year-over-year increase. Another rising retailer is Arhaus, which has seen its market share climb to almost double that of last year. Down were Bed Bath & Beyond, which saw the biggest decline among the top 30 home retailers this quarter, and Bob’s Discount Furniture, which fell five spots to 23rd place. Overall, the report found that while consumers have been shopping for household items less often this year, average consumer spending per quarter continues to rise, with average quarterly spending $3 more this quarter. compared to 2021.

According to a new study by the Environmental Working Group, high levels of PFAS – a toxic substance often found in consumer products, sometimes called “eternal chemicals” – have been found in baby textile products. The organization commissioned an independent lab test on a variety of baby supplies from retailers like Amazon, Target and Old Navy, and found the bedding in particular had the highest levels of detectable PFAS. Although the chemicals have been found in a variety of clothing and household items, detecting them in baby products is particularly harmful because children and infants are more vulnerable to chemicals than adults.

Tampa, Fla.-based door manufacturer Masonite International Corporation has reached an agreement to acquire Endura Products, a Greensboro, North Carolina-based door parts manufacturer, for approximately $375 million in cash. Following the completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Masonite will integrate Endura into its North American residential segment, with Endura President Bruce Procton and his management team remaining in their current positions. Founded in 1954, the third-generation family business employs approximately 800 people in four facilities and has been a Masonite partner for nearly 25 years.

Arizona-based furniture maker Lorts Manufacturing announced its permanent closure last week, effective immediately. The third-generation owned company has served the home, office and hospitality sectors since 1966, and cited recent industry challenges including the pandemic, supply chain issues, shortages labour, inflation and economic conditions as contributing factors to the decision. In an announcement posted on the company’s Facebook account, owners Ty and Michelle Lorts said that after exhausting personal and company resources, their creditors withdrew their support, prompting the company to close.

The High Point Market Authority has added six new members to its board of directors, effective January 1. Global Trends Ambassador for Maison&Objet Patti Carpenter, Vice President of Marketing for Universal Furniture Neil MacKenzie, President of Green & McClure Furniture Griffin McClure, CEO of Valdese Weavers Blake Millinor, President of J. Banks Design Group Joni Vanderslice and President of West Design Group Taylor West will all serve two-year terms ending in December 2024.

Left: The evolution of the Worthen brand will also include an expansion of its digital marketplace offerings Courtesy of Worthen | Right: An artwork titled Cuyahoga Valley National Park by Emma Dailey Courtesy of Otentu

Launches & Collaborations
Brass Beds of Virginia, a maker of handcrafted custom beds, has relaunched with a new name: Worthen. The 50-year-old company’s brand evolution will also include an expansion of its digital marketplace offerings and an increased focus on three demographics for customer growth: millennial designers, hobbyists DIY design and boutique hospitality.

San Francisco’s online design marketplace Wescover has teamed up with Salt Lake City designer goods platform SideDoor for a capsule collection of artisan-crafted home products. The assortment will include items created by New York-based textile and wallpaper designer Jill Malek; Austin Studio Circle and Line; and two Los Angeles manufacturers, furniture company Bend Goods and textile designer K’era Morgan.

A new e-commerce platform called Otentu has been launched with the aim of connecting interior designers and everyday users to one-off, small-run pieces created by students and recent graduates from the top 250 art schools and of design around the world. . The market includes interior design, photography, and artwork, with each submission reviewed by Otentu’s advisory board, which also offers students guidance on their career trajectories and business practices.

recommended reading
Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the founders of New York design studio Roman and Williams, celebrated the company’s 20th anniversary by reminiscing about how a studio in their Long Island home called Sea Ranch was the center of their lives and their creativity. For The New York TimesHilary Reid tells how the couple developed the idea for the business, its success in New York and the new Ovo collection.

A new recycling process turns old pieces of concrete and broken glass into bricks for a renovation and expansion of Design Museum Gent in Belgium. As Nate Berg writes for fast business, the “Gent Waste Brick” – designed by London architects Carmody Groarke – will cover the exterior of the museum and contains one-third the embodied carbon of a typical brick due to local sourcing of base materials and the way the bricks harden. The architecture firm hopes to replicate this process with other clients if it meets building certifications, regulations and insurance standards.

Bryony Roberts, the founder of Bryony Roberts Studio, designed a three-day installation outfitted with soft cushions outside Lincoln Center in New York City to demonstrate how a public space can be inclusive for “neurodiverse people”, a term used to describe developmental conditions like autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and dyslexia. As Elissaveta M. Brandon writes for fast businessRoberts will continue to build spaces designed by self-advocates, occupational therapists, and organizations like the Marcus Autism Center and Parent to Parent that are better suited for neurodiverse people.

Cue the applause
The Anti-Defamation League honored three furniture industry leaders for their contributions to their community, as well as their support in the fight against anti-Semitism. The 2023 winners include Michel Smith Boyd, principal designer and owner of SmithBoyd Interiors; Irwin Novack, CEO of Kane’s Furniture; and Rachel Tronstein Stewart, president of Gardner White Furniture.

Call for applications
The International Society of Furniture Designers is moving the fourth annual Innovation + Design competition to April 2023. The event features professional makers and designers who create their own products, including designs from top independent and student furniture makers in the accessories, dining room furniture, light fixtures, occasional storage, side tables and seating categories. For more information or to submit an application before January 13, click here.

Homepage Image: Flow Light Chandelier by Holon Institute of Technology Graduate Lee Comisioneru | Courtesy of Otentu