When life as you know it turns upside down and you’re no longer tethered to an office, it only makes sense to take a good look your location and reassess. Testing out cities is the new normal, which means many people are living in temporary rental homes. Sure, you could fill a short-term space with IKEA staples, but we suggest going the rental furniture route. Because wouldn’t you rather sit down for dinner on a brand-new Cesca chair that costs you only $12 per month?
Besides, furniture lead times are off the charts. Ordering any given sofa means you might be watching TV on the floor for a few months—which is extra-frustrating when you’re only staying somewhere for a limited period of time. But with buzzy rental furniture brands popping up left and right, you can get your hands on designer goods in just four to seven business days. Oh, and you won’t have to lift a finger—companies such as Conjure even take care of assembly.
Yes, renters will benefit, but so will those who have just purchased their first home. The try-before-you-buy system that some of these companies offer lets you really live with, say, a sofa before dropping a big chunk of money on it. (In fact your monthly rental fee will go toward your purchase if you decide to commit.) Not to mention, these services are a lifesaver for trend lovers who want to switch things up whenever the mood strikes.
Here are a few of the companies that will help make any space, fleeting or forever, feel like home.
Less than a year old, Conjure works with top interior designers like Adam Charlap Hyman to find the chicest pieces (150 and counting) and rent them out for anywhere from three to 12 months. From there you can choose to renew, buy, or trade in. The company offers free delivery and assembly, which adds up when ordering larger-scale items. (On average, customers will pay half the retail value of a piece during a one-year lease.)
Delivers to: The five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
Item we’d want to rent: This asymmetrical dining table large enough to host a proper dinner party.
The indecisive decorator will also love the variety: Even decorative mirrors and table lamps are in the mix at Oliver, and decor styles span everything from mid-century modern to bohemian. There’s no membership fee and there’s free assembly and delivery, so it’s as low-risk as it gets. If you’d rather skip renting altogether, though, you can purchase some of the items straightaway.
Delivers to: Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Seattle.
Good for: People who want to hire a professional designer but can’t afford to. Oliver has a “curated sets” section, from which you can essentially rent an entire room. This takes the guesswork out of the process—highly useful if you’re a first-time decorator with no idea where to start.
Item we’d want to rent: The chair of the moment.
Launched in 2017, Feather pioneered the furniture rental model. The main thing it has going for it is choice. There are three plans and 200-plus furniture and decor pieces for every room to choose from. Rent your item for up to a year, then either swap it, buy it, return it, or renew your plan at a discounted rate to keep using it.
Delivers to: More than 2,000 zip codes in California, Maryland, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Good for: Renters who are interested in brands that are a few steps up from IKEA, like West Elm and Floyd.
Item we’d want to rent: The Internet’s favorite modern bed frame.
Kamarq offers a very curated selection of products, and there’s a wait of two to three months to receive your rentals, but its colorful, Japanese-inspired designs have prices that can’t be beat: A shelf, for example, can be yours for $4 a month. Each can either be replaced, returned, or bought at the end of the 12-month subscription.
Delivers to: New York.
Good for: Maximalists in small spaces. The items are modular and represent almost every color of the rainbow. With storage being the focus, you won’t have to sacrifice functional square footage to bring in a pop of personality.
Item we’d want to rent: A $12-per-month bubblegum pink coffee table that looks straight out of a high-end design fair.
Launched in 2015 as an interior design furnishing service for hotels (think: apartment-stay pioneer Sonder), Fülhaus specializes in curating collections from over 300 decor brands. Their interior designers also pull together six looks per season based on current trends, making it easy to shop for individual pieces or full rooms to rent or buy. Rental contracts are for one year, then you can swap or return, or purchase your furniture at a discount.
Delivers to: United States and Canada (excluding Hawaii and Alaska)
Good for: Those who want to refresh their space like their closet: seasonally. And modern nomads trying out WFH… everywhere (Fülhaus is one of the only nationwide rental businesses).
Item we’d want to rent: This perfectly posh baby blue sofa that nails the “all dressed up and nowhere to go” vibe.