At the beginning of this year, we couldn't have predicted we'd all be rigging up improvised workspaces to work from home for the foreseeable future — if we'd had that kind of foresight, we might have invested in a few functional furniture pieces to aid in this tricky transition. And at a moment when the vast majority of furniture stores and showrooms across the U.S. are closed, it's not exactly easy to just pop into your nearest retailer and try out a few pieces. Fortunately, furniture rental services like Fernish, Feather, and The Everset feel tailor-made for this moment.
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"The past few weeks have fundamentally changed so many things, including a shift to working from home — suddenly, we're turning our homes into makeshift office spaces," says Fernish co-founder and CEO Michael Barlow. "Hopefully we can flatten the curve and get back to some sort of normalcy soon. In the meantime, we want to offer customers a flexible option when it comes to setting up a temporary home office."
Fernish's model is simple: You rent out furniture and accessories from top brands (or its in-house label) for as long as you like. For WFH-ers who are hoping to go back to the office in a few months, it's pretty much perfect — just pick out what you need online, whether it be a desk, a bookshelf, or just some task lighting, and Fernish delivers it to your door (with new contact-less options, of course), assembled and ready to go. Not in love when you see it IRL? No worries: "There's added flexibility in the option to return, swap out, or extend an order at any point," Barlow explains.
Though similar in concept, rental company Feather has a slightly different model. Shoppers can pay a monthly fee to be "members" to receive discounted rental rates and free delivery and assembling, plus one free furniture swap per year. Or, for the commitment-phobic, just pay a slightly higher rate per furniture item and a flat-rate $99 delivery and assembly fee. While it's a little pricier than Fernish, it does cover more ground — Feather is currently available in NY, SF, LA, and OC, while Fernish is currently confined to the LA and Seattle areas.
Competitor brand The Everset may be the most budget-friendly of all, with many pieces clocking in under $20 and free delivery, assembly, and pickup anywhere in its service zones (currently New York's five boroughs, plus parts of New Jersey and southern Westchester County).
For the discerning home decorator who's looking for something a little more distinctive and statement making, Brooklyn-based ZZ Driggs might be the best bet (provided, of course, that you're based in the New York area). Offering a thoughtfully curated mixture of true artisan-crafted designs and posh vintage finds, ZZ Driggs stocks rent-able pieces you might actually have a hard time parting with when your rental period is over. (Their model makes it easy to turn those rentals into outright purchases, for this very reason.) Even if you're not someone who relocates often (or finds themselves suddenly in need of an at-home workspace), their catalogue is a great way to add some luxe pieces to your home, without putting a major dent in your bank account. And the eco-conscious set will appreciate their commitment to partnering with sustainable design studios, as well as their carbon-neutral pickup and delivery.
Wondering which pieces are the most-wanted for right now? Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are looking for a little reassuring structure and order in this uncertain time — and that extends to their furniture picks, too. "We're seeing a lot of simple, yet still highly functional pieces. People want their home offices to be sleek, clean and organized more than anything, so they look for pieces that combine style with functionality," Barlow tells us.
"Our Currant Writing Desk is a go-to at the moment since it pairs a midcentury modern look with surface area and storage," says Barlow. The super-sleek design makes it a calming piece to look at—and who couldn't use a little more calm right now?
Pieces that can serve as a workspace now and blend into the existing furniture later are also in high demand—and this shelf/desk combo is perfect for tight spaces.
A good desk chair brings an air of refinement to your workspace and makes it all the easier to buckle down and get things done. Barlow says this handsome leather option is a fave for the moment.
Another sleek desk option, this time from Feather. The adjustable legs can turn this large desk into a standing option in a flash.
Corner office-worthy, no matter what corner you end up working in.
Because the lucite trend isn't going anywhere, and a clear shelf will make even the most cramped quarantine situation feel a little more airy.
If you're short on space but in desperate need of a proper desk, let this compact piece be your saving grace.
With its sleek, airy styling, this multifunctional table keeps your home office from looking overcrowded—and does double-duty when it's time for dinner.
A jaw-dropping, iconic addition to your desk setup, or to any reading nook.
No workspace is complete without a handsome and highly functional task lamp.
Emily Bihl is a freelance writer and sometimes-songwriter who can invariably be found rearranging furniture in a domicile somewhere along the Mississippi River. She lives with her black labrador Selkie and a small army of homemade ceramics, and has not willingly closed a browser tab since 2011.