A new company allows people to rent designer furnishings and art
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Many people would love to own high-quality, built-to-last furniture. But modern life, where people often rent accommodation for their whole lives, and move often, makes it difficult to own long-term ‘investment’ pieces. This type of furniture is also very expensive. Instead, people often buy cheap ‘disposable’ furniture, which often ends up in storage or the landfill. It was always possible to rent furniture, but these were usually utilitarian pieces. Now a new platform allows members to rent furniture and works of art using the sharing economy. Harth was founded by design writer Henrietta Thompson and her husband, entrepreneur Edward Padmore, as a way to allow everyone to create stylish interiors of their own.
Harth has partnered with a number of brands, such as Aarnio Originals, Lee Broom, and Talisman, as well as bespoke pieces from prestigious private members clubs and pieces that have appeared in major Hollywood films. The site will also include art from both up-and-coming and well-established artists, ceramic sets, and small accessories. Along with this, users can list their own furniture on the site, giving them a chance to empty their storage units and earn some money from cherished pieces. Membership to founding members is free, and everyone else will pay a monthly subscription fee, offset against items borrowed. The service is launching in London, but plans to expand to other international cities in 2019.
Thompson envisions Harth as a tool for appreciators of great design looking for a bit more fun with their interiors. It could also be a compelling concept for those concerned about the impact of consumption on the environment. The concept could also have appeal for property designers, pop-ups, owners of holiday homes, and exhibitions.