Is Home Furniture Rental the Next Big Thing?


The meaning of home is changing. The home of 2020 has become a squeezed-in office, an improvised classroom, a reluctant gym, and a spontaneous family restaurant all at once. And in this time of makeshift living, rented furniture may well be the only thing we can commit to these days.

Furniture rental had been on the rise before the pandemic, but since COVID-19 shrank the world to the size of our homes, renting furniture has emerged as a viable—and more sustainable—solution to a world in flux. Say hello to commitment-free furniture—such is the motto of Fernish, the premium furniture rental company that lets you binge TV on that velvet sofa you always wanted, until you decide to keep it, return it, or swap it out for that sectional sofa you’ve always wanted.

“Everything is so fluid now, and that level of flexibility speaks very well for our service,” says Michael Barlow, the company’s cofounder and CEO. With the rise of remote working and temporary setups at Mom and Dad’s house, Fernish has seen a rather predictable 315% increase in home office orders, but also a surprising rise in decor and soft goods: Pillow and throw orders have increased by 80% and mirror and wall art orders have jumped by 105%. “You’re trying to refresh your space now that your home is not just your home,” says Michael.

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