Check Out Foerni, Hong Kong’s First Monthly Furniture Subscription Service

Posted in Interior Design

Whether you’re a short-term expat in Hong Kong, adamantly against ‘fast furniture’ culture or hate committing to a single style in your home, Hong Kong’s newly launched online furniture subscription service Føerni marks a first for people to rent high-quality, modern furniture at a monthly rate.

In the world of sharing economies where a business’s core product is never owned — think Uber and its cars or Airbnb and its homes — the next big thing is furniture, according to Føerni. Officially launched on 15 July, Føerni is a new Hong Kong startup that aims to make stylish furniture affordable with flexible lease options ranging from three to 18 months. 

It is the brainchild of Pauline Wetzer, a German entrepreneur who co-founded Hong Kong co-living concept ‘We R Urban’ in 2017. It was acquired a year later by property rental platform Hmlet, which offers fully furnished properties for short term rental across the Asia-Pacific.

At launch, Føerni offers 90 different pieces from Hong Kong and international brands, with the website touting highly regarded Danish designers BoConcept, Hay, Louis Poulsen and Normann Copenhagen, among other European brands. There are also items from local partners such as Decor8 and SofaSale, as well as designer appliances and electronics on offer, such as a Dyson air purifier or a Smeg toaster.

An ideal service for landlords looking to stage their units or provide their renters with short term furniture, Føerni offers the opportunity to avoid costly upfront payment with its monthly subscription plan, which is always priced lower than full retail rate. For landlords looking to stage apartments, furniture rentals can even be as short as for one month.

Customers can benefit from trying pieces before they commit — swapping out pieces at any time with free delivery and assembling — with the option to purchase the item at the end of the rental period. The brand even states that they can also repurchase items that were previously bought from them. Items take seven to 14 days to deliver after ordering.

Working to maximise the life cycle of each piece it rents out, Føerni also aims to be a more eco-friendly alternative to combat wasteful ‘fast furniture’ culture. This refers to the inexpensive and lower quality items in the market that constantly need to be replaced, as well as simply the consumers who like to redecorate frequently and aren’t able to repurpose or recycle old furniture. 

There are new and gently used items in Føerni’s inventory, and while there appear to be no notes on the condition of each piece online, the company strongly claims that each item is vetted with stringent quality control, and professionally cleaned and restored between renters by the same service used by five-star hotels. 

Perhaps this practise is why there are interestingly no restrictions on who can rent pieces from Føerni: Smokers, pet-owners or families with young children alike can benefit from its services and others can also be assured that items will arrive in pristine condition no matter who rented before them.

In the event of more serious damage, customers will have to pay for repairs, or in worst case scenarios, pay to replace the piece. Founder Pauline Wetzer elaborates: “wear and tear is expected, but deep stains, chipped wood, ripped upholstery or any other noticeable damage (breaks, cracks, spills, etcetera) need to be repaired or the item itself may need to be replaced. Repair fees are determined on a case-by-case basis; replacement fees are equivalent to retail prices minus what subscribers have already paid in monthly installments.”

In a world where the demand for flexibility is higher than ever, rental options seem to be the way forward. Particularly in the recent shift towards a global work-from-home culture due to CoViD-19, services like Føerni can be an attractive option for those hoping to fit out a temporary office solution at home, with an array of stylish office furniture and pantry appliances available — from printers to office chairs, and even a full office phone booth and an active sitting office chair, for those looking to offset the detrimental health effects of sitting long hours at a desk.  

“Furniture should adapt to people’s lives, not the other way around,” says Wetzer. “With Føerni, subscribers rent furniture, but own flexibility.”

Learn more at Foerni.com

Evelyn Lok
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. She covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.

The N02 Chair by Fritz Hansen and Nendo Stylishly Adopts Recycled Materials in the Home

Posted in Interior Design, What to Buy

Known for its handsome, room-enriching contemporary furniture pieces, Fritz Hansen sought out Japanese design studio Nendo in order to jointly develop the brand’s first chair using recycled materials, the N02.

Head designer of Nendo, Oki Sato, modelled the N02 after a folded piece of paper — a simple, elegant shape he reportedly discovered while working at his desk. The same fold is incorporated into each N02’s back; and doubles as an aesthetic flourish as well as a means of enhancing flexibility and user comfort.

Fritz Hansen
Japanese architect and designer Oki Sato (pictured), head of design firm Nendo.

The body of each chair is manufactured using ‘circular plastic’ — a composite of household waste polypropylene — used in items such as yoghurt tubs and sandwich bags — which are collected, processed and up-cycled within Central Europe. Fritz Hansen insists on this sourcing arrangement because of its effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions and improving waste management throughout the region.

Fritz Hansen
The N02-20 (pictured) is available in the same five colourways as the original, and features a distinctive tubular steel ‘sledge base’ instead of 4 legs.

At launch, the N02 was offered in five different colours; with the brand releasing yet another two variants on the basic four-legged design last November. The N02-20 features a tubular ‘sledge base’ leg — said to make sitting for longer periods more comfortable — whereas the N02-30 takes the ‘paper fold’ shell and transfers it onto a swivel platform. In keeping with Fritz Hansen’s theme, the base is also made with 95 percent recycled aluminium. With the exception of the latter wheeled variant, each N02 is easy to clean, space-efficient and suitable in a variety of household or commercial environments.

Originally established in Copenhagen in 1872, Fritz Hansen is a leading global design brand in the fields of furniture, lighting and interior accessories. Best known internationally for its six collaborations with the Danish Functionalist Arne Jacobsen (between 1952-1958), in recent years the brand has gone on to collaborate with other notable contemporary designers including Piero Lissoni and Jaime Hayon.

This article was published via AFP Relaxnews.

Staff Writer

The Iconic 1970 Etcetera Lounge Chair is Making a Comeback

Posted in Designers to Know, Interior Design

If we take a look back at some of the most iconic pieces of furniture throughout history, there are a few popular movements that defined interior design and changed living spaces forever – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona from the 20s, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip from the 50s, or Philippe Starck’s Ghost Chair of 2002. But when it comes to the 70s, the piece that is often used to represent the style of the decade was Swedish designer Jan Ekselius’ Etcetera Series. 

Originally created as a prototype for a school project while attending Royal College of Art in London, Ekselius’ creation earned him much recognition. The unmistakable wavy silhouette was an instant hit for its creative and fluid design paired with its incredible comfort that stood the test of time and kept its iconic status until today. The original pieces have been exhibited in Christie’s in London and Bukowskis in Stockholm. Fifty years since its inception, the design makes a revival to be reintroduced to the next generation. 

“Fifty years ago, I could never have had imagined that Etcetera would be this desired today.”

Jan Ekselius

In partnership with Swedish design boutique Artilleriet, Jan Ekselius will bring back the Etcetera into production once again. Originally crafted with simply bent steel and covered in padded fabric, the new redesign with the help of craftsmen J.O. Carlsson and Forsbergs in Småland gets an upgrade in quality, detail and sustainability. Almost identical in design, the spring wire mesh fabric which was first used in 1970 is replaced with car manufacturer Volvo’s adjustable Pullmaflex back support design system with resilient bands to enhance comfort, while the covers remain in its organic ecological cotton velour material.

The relaunched Etcetera series consists of the Etcetera Lounge Chair (US$2,380), Etcetera Easy Chair (US$2,295) and Etcetera Footstool (US$780) and comes in seven colourways: Chocolate Brown, Crème White, Grass Green, Klein Blue, Ruby Red, Sand Beige and Zinc Grey.

Made in Sweden
Etcetera Lounge Chair: W: 63cm; D 107cm; H: 77cm
Etcetera Easy Chair: W: 63cm; D: 76cm; H: 68cm
Etcetera Footstool: W: 63cm; D:50cm; H: 42cm

Dara Chau

8 Statement Chairs to Amp Up Your Home Seating Style

Posted in Interior Design

Science tells us that sitting too much is bad for your health, so when you do take the precious time to sit back and relax, you might as well do it in a special (and stylish) chair. Of course, everyone’s definition of the perfect chair is different, so we’ve selected a variety of styles from some of our favourite furniture makers for your consideration. Whether you’re looking for the most comfortable recliner or a shiny new lounge chair for your sitting room, you’ll find something to spark your imagination below.

André Fu Living

Although it was designed with the dinner table in mind, this minimalistic armchair (HK$16,500) could easily stand on its own in any living room or study. Part of superstar interior designer André Fu’s first home collection, this chair sports a wide silhouette and an oak wood frame with beguiling lines that simultaneously channel both Asian and European influences.

Bo Concept

Clean lines and classic good looks make the Boston armchair as handsomely appealing as it is comfortable, thanks to a thick, soft seat that hugs the body like a cocoon. Shown here in a cognac-colored leather (HK$32,571), the armchair swivels and tilts to become a recliner, making it a versatile piece that could work in any number of rooms.

Dare Studio

Add some darker hues to your living room with the Katakana lounge chair (HK$27,800), sporting a minimalistic frame crafted from American black-walnut wood treated with a hard-wearing wax oil finish. Upholstered in a supple black leather, this is one chair whose style and structure are built to stand the test of time.

Design Within Reach

One of the most significant designs of the 20th century, the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman (from HK$41,510) is an enduring classic for a reason. Combining soft leather with moulded wood, the chair is classically seen with black leather, but why not upend tradition by opting for slate, ivory, or even red?

Jonathan Adler

Go for the right mix of understated and flashy with the Goldfinger lounge chair (HK$22,500), which will lend a modernist vibe to any room. The sharp silhouette of the brass-finished frame contrasts with the soft neutrality of the beige cushion, creating the perfect balance that makes this a surprisingly versatile chair that can pair harmoniously with a wide variety of design tastes.

Knoll

With its low profile and bold architectural lines, the D’Urso Residential Lounge Chair (from HK$24,232) effortlessly blends comfort and style. Available in 15 different upholstery options, dozen of colours and with four different types of legs, you can customise the perfect chair to match your style and taste.

Soho Home

Bring Soho House style home with the Baker armchair (approx. HK$26,205), whose luxuriously deep and wide seat invites you to sit and relax for hours on end. Shown here in ochre but available in five other colours, this piece wins us over with its perfect proportions and the turned ball feet fashioned from ash wood.

Tom Dixon

The exaggerated silhouette of Tom Dixon’s Wingback chair (HK$41,900) is just one reason this piece is so eye catching. There’s also the peach-pink upholstery and the copper-tone legs, both signalling a very contemporary look without crossing the line into obnoxiously trendy territory. With an ergonomic design, this might just become your new favorite reading chair — all the more reason to invest in the matching ottoman.

Michael Alan Connelly
A Chicagoan by birth and a New Yorker by habit, Michael has more than a decade of experience in digital publishing at leading titles in the U.S. and Asia. When he's not checking out Hong Kong's newest restaurants and bars or jet setting around the globe, you'll find him hanging out with his dog Buster and enjoying an Aperol Spritz.