When approached by Fernish founders Michael Barlow and Lucas Dickey, we were intrigued. In part because their business model surprisingly abuts with our own in some ways, though at first glance it's glaringly dissimilar to what the Lily Spindle ladies do.
While Fernish seeks to help people feel unencumbered by the commitment of furniture and decor, we are huge advocates in finding the unique pieces of furniture, art, lighting and accessories you love and adore and procuring them for the long run. Fernish aims to make your living space changeable month after month, should someone so desire. We, adversely, want our clients to wholly love their space day after day, so much so that the option of switching it up for a few months wouldn't be terribly alluring.
However, when all four of us chatted it out over lattes and pastries in the Santa Monica sunshine, with an indigent dude banging a quarter incessantly on the metal cafe table behind us (Michael was kind enough to give him a scone, I think), it made sense! We may approach the livability and functionality and aesthetic of design differently, but we're on the same proverbial page when it comes to "short-term" furniture. The kind you screw together, the kind that smells dodgy and chemical-laden when taken out of its shipping box, the kind that has no real longevity to it and will surely be tossed in the trash when a newer, and significantly better, piece comes along. Fernish shares a similar disdain for the bane of "land-fill furniture" - sofas and chairs, dining and cocktail tables, beds and case goods purchased to fill a space for a short while but then, a year later, left on a sidewalk, alley, or somewhat clumsily broken apart and shoved into a dumpster.
What Fernish does is create a freedom of livability for the more nomadic creatures of city life - the 20 and 30-somethings who live and work in Los Angeles, for instance, but don't yet own a home, may not want to stay in the city for longer than their job requires them, will likely move into a new place within the course of a year or two, and don't wish to invest in the more sophisticated furniture and art they'll likely amass over time once they've (what's the word so commonly used? oh, that's right...) settled. Providing a design-inspired life to its subscribers while keeping the impact of landfill furniture at bay, Fernish rents its pieces a la carte to their subscribers for a stretch of time, cleans and restores them upon pick-up, and rents them out again. And again. And again! *Think "Rent the Runway," but with furniture.*
And SO, a few weeks ago, when they asked if we could help them fulfill a beta client's wishes to have a 1200-square foot apartment in a circa-1937 building outfitted for a "Fernished" showing in a matter of days, with a strict and extremely tight budget constraining all our decisions, we were like, YEAH. NO PROBLEM. LET'S DO THIS.
It helped considerably that the architecture was lovely as hell to begin with...the apartment gets loads of light, and the ceilings are just shy of 11 feet, but filling a dining room, living room, and bedroom in a matter of days with some pieces purchased online, others all over Los Angeles, was a cuckoo crazy endeavor. We brought in a few pieces from our Lily Spindle stash and our own homes to add to the intimacy and character of the space, but mostly everything you see in these photos was approved + purchased by Fernish to complete the space. Vintage credenza, dining chairs, and nightstand, most of the lighting is new, while the upholstered bed, tufted sofa, velvet accent chairs, rug, and coffee table are all new pieces purchased predominantly via Los Angeles-based retailers.
Here are our BEFORE shots. Lots of measuring, y'all. LOTS of measuring.