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We’ve written about how the co-living phenomenon is “disrupting” the New York City market, fueled, in part, by an increasingly nomadic renter. Whether this is because renters are into experiences not things, too busy traveling the world and/or running a startup, or have lives and careers with less stability than they’d like, is another question.
So it makes sense that several companies are looking to shake up the home furnishing market, with furniture rental services that do the literal and figurative heavy lifting for renters, ostensibly reduce waste, and make attaining decent-looking furniture and style—without the commitment or significant cost—possible.
These companies serve many types, including new transplants, professionals here for the short-term, stagers, and commitment-phobes, and yes, people who want to mix things up in their decor. (For those who are skeeved out by the idea of sitting on a couch that someone else used for a spell, you should know that inspections and deep cleanings are part of the review and intake process. Mattresses, which all of these services offer, are rented new, and in the case of Mobley, are donated, not disposed after use.) Most items are delivered in three to seven days.
While there are several players in this field, not all serve the New York City area. The three below do.
Aesthetic: Feather wants to help you live out your adulting fantasies (regardless of your age), with stylish and modern pieces from brands such as West Elm, Joybird, and Pottery Barn, as well as its in-house brand Feather (which includes furniture that looks a lot like what’s offered by the name brand companies it stocks).
Merchandise: Furniture options include couches, chairs, dressers, beds and mattress, and even air conditioners. They also have pieces for outdoor living and kids’ rooms. You can shop by piece or select a package for a ready-made room setup. (For example, the Plumas Living Room Package—"sophisticated without being too serious"—includes a chair, couch, floor lamp, and coffee table for $166 a month. (Non-members pay a steep $571 a month.)
Cost: Feather offers two ways to use its services: as a member, and as a non-member, with costs heavily favoring membership, as illustrated by the relative package costs above.
Members must sign on for a year and pay $19 a month plus the cost of the individual rental fees, which are significantly discounted. The perks of membership include free first time white-glove delivery and assembly (non-members pay $99), and one free change annually. Both levels have monthly required minimums; for members, it’s $29, non-members must pay $99 a month. There is a minimum use term of three months for non-members. For both levels, payments can go towards the cost of purchasing the items.
Nice extras: Feather has a fun style quiz that takes into account your life circumstance (like moving or updating), your budget (IKEA or ABC Carpet & Home) and style preferences, and if you need to move, Feather will ferry its merchandise for you for $198, and you can swap out, add, or remove items at that time.) The company also says it stocks furniture that is made from ethically-sourced materials, and intended for long-term use.
Aesthetic: Similar to Feather, but a bit more generic and starter-apartment feeling. But the prices, a bit lower, appropriately reflect that.
Merchandise: Mobley outfits living rooms, bedrooms, home offices and dining rooms, and offers all of its products under what is essentially an in-house “brand.” Pieces have names like “Zia End Table” and “Zephyr Sofa”; even its memory foam mattress is called the “Alvin.”
Cost: Mobley offers lease terms ranging from three to 12 months, with a minimum cost of $49 a month. You can rent by the package as well here, with the mid-range Ergen Living Room (“the perfect blend of Scandinavian design and comfort”) going for $97 a month.
Nice Extras: Mobley offers a window into what your neighbors are decorating their spaces with, thanks to a “sold out” feature. (The downside is some items may not be available.) Mobley reps will also work with you to provide a Certificate of Insurance to your building if needed.
Aesthetic: Contemporary, so you won’t find out-there period pieces, high-end designer items, or antiques. Pulling from Casaone’s catalog, you could do looks ranging from Hollywood Regency to Mid-Century modern to college senior crash pad. They also offer packages, from simple (a small room) to deluxe (21 items for an apartment), as well as mini decor sets.
Merchandise: A lot. Casaone, which is a resource for everyone from expats to students to stagers (the company specifically mentions these groups on its site) far and away has the largest inventory. Scrolling through its offerings is kind of like shopping on a site like Wayfair, with all kinds of furniture, and lots of it. In addition to the usual furnishings, Casaone also stocks art, rugs, decor items, beanbags (13 of them), and even TVs.
Cost: You are charged a monthly base fee along with the cost of your item/s. As with other services, the longer you rent, the less your monthly charge, but Casaone’s rates heavily favor longer-term leases. It’s $249 for one and two month rentals; $149 for three months; $109 for six months; $99 for nine months, and $79 for a year. The one-time flat assembly fee for the first 10 items is similar, starting at $249 for one- and two-month terms.
Nice Extras: You can see what items look like in the room you’re furnishing with Casaone’s space planning feature (similar to interior design sites like Modsy), and the site also gives you a sense of scale of pieces, with measurements and an outline of a five-foot, seven-inch person to provide comparison. Plus: they offer this amazing Cloud Bench, which retails for about $2,000, for $73 a month.
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