Would you rent furniture?
It’s a story we’re all familiar with. You move in to a new place and move out a couple of months later only to find that your sofa is too big for your new apartment. Should you buy a new sofa and toss the old one? What if you could rent a sofa instead?
Feather is a startup that allows for just that. They’re a furniture rental service aimed towards tech-savvy millenials who love the classic mid-modern century inspired pieces popularized on Instagram and social media. While furniture rental services aren’t completely new – CORT has been around since 2008 – Feather targets individuals like young professionals in transitional phases of life. Not only are young professionals more likely to switch apartments as soon as the lease expires, they’re also more likely to move across different cities depending on their careers – opening a whole new market for startups like Feather.
But the appeal isn’t just that you can rent furniture; it’s the style of the furniture on offer. Feather has a handpicked selection of trendy furniture inspired by designer pieces like the Eames Shell Chair and the iconic Marais A. They source their items directly from manufacturers and suppliers, but they’ve also started partnering with retail companies like West Elm, Wayfair and Eight – brands popular among the home decor blogging community.
Their stylish range of furniture options might be great news for anyone going for an industrial chic home or even a modern home with a vintage touch, but how does the cost compare? The rental fee per month varies depending on how long you plan to rent the furniture. So if you’re renting out pieces for only three months, which is the minimum lease period, you’d pay a couple more bucks per month than you would if you were renting it out for 12 months. Sounds fair?
Ideally, Feather aims to offer their pricing at a lower cost than buying the same item brand new. But take note, Feather charges a $99 refundable deposit, a $99 delivery fee and a minimum of $99 for pick up after your lease ends. They do take care of assembly even if you live in a sixth floor walk-up apartment, which comes in handy considering how much movers cost. It’s all about supporting the on-the-go lifestyle, whether you’re a student, interning in a new city, or even just moving in with a few friends without wishing to sacrifice on good interior design.
While the service is currently only available in New York, New Jersey and San Francisco, we wouldn’t be surprised if they expand to other cities. We asked a couple of readers to give us their take on furniture rental – and we’re surprised to receive diverse reactions.
Paul, who works in San Francisco, thinks that while renting furniture isn’t new, the platform makes complete sense. He believes it will be popular among millenialswho move in and out of apartments yearly because of rent rates and career changes and might even help save energy and cut costs that come with transferring furniture.
Former exchange student Peter shares similar views – he thinks Feather might be perfect for those who like to constantly give their space a revamp, without the need to invest in furniture pieces that may need to be disposed of, or updated through time.
But people who view furniture pieces as investments or have settled with their families, are more uncertain about using the service. Ladina, from San Jose, for example, prefers buying her own furniture. She also expresses concerns on hygiene, saying “I might use the service for tables and chairs that are easy to wipe down but would probably stay away from anything with cloth or fabrics.”
As for the possibility of expanding to other cities, we asked Michelle, an American expat in Hong Kong, whether she thinks it could work in the city. She responds, “with so many people staying in HK on short term contracts, I think it could work here.” She points to the people who opt for serviced and furnished apartments, who might want to add some flair to their rental. But she adds, “it could also be good for reducing waste, as many people throw away furniture when they move out of HK, if they can’t be bothered to sell it second hand.”
With so many differing opinions, we’re excited to know how Feather will grow in the coming months. Would students and young professionals take to the service? How about you, would you rent furniture? Tell us in the comments section.