Vases garnered an unexpected spot in several headlines this week – artisans are now turning antique glassware into smoking implements, while ceramist-turned comedian Seth Rogen auctioned five figurines for his living pottery. Keep up to date with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading, and more as the industry continues to surprise us.

Business news

A French court sentenced Ikea France to pay $ 1.3 million in fines and damages after former senior officials found guilty of spying on union officials, employees and some customers from 2009 to 2012, Associated Press reports. As part of the verdict, two former executives were sentenced, fined and suspended, while the 13 other defendants on trial faced a mix of acquittals and suspended sentences. In a story that first surfaced with an email leak in 2012, the victims alleged that managers used surveillance to attack union leaders and conduct criminal and background checks on unsuspecting employees, job applicants and even customers demanding large refunds.

Home organization brand MDesign has announced the acquisition of Wild Birds of Joy – another marketplace vendor specializing in birdhouses and bird feeders. For the online marketplace, this is the first step into the market consolidation space with a focus on companies that match its house-centered core competencies.

Co-living startup Habyt has closed a $ 24 million Series B financing round and has merged with competitor Homefully, TechCrunch reports. Founded in 2017, Habyt borrows its format from coworking companies like WeWork – members pay a monthly fee for a short-term stay in fully furnished housing units in 15 cities and six countries across Europe, in a service for young professionals who move and cities Jobs often. The company has already acquired rivals Quarters, Goliving and Erasmo’s Room and plans to expand into France, Italy and Asia with the inflow of capital.

Kinfolk, a slow lifestyle magazine geared towards millennials, has launched a spin-off publication called Kindling aimed at parents. According to Eye on Design, the new magazine dispenses with sophisticated, ambitious lifestyle content for a casual aesthetic based on the model of children’s work books and scientific magazines. Filled with playful illustrations and bold colors, the first edition of the title covers topics such as the role of minimalism in children’s decoration and offers a roundup of the products a family should bring along for a stay.

The New York Chapter of the International Interior Design Association has announced its partnership with the newly formed Equity Council. The independent consortium of designers and industry experts aims to bring about change in the industry through four central pillars of the workplace – promoting cultures of inclusion, greater racial diversity, education and communication. Founded in 2020 by industry leaders Yetta banks, Hana Getachew, Erin Ruby and Elsie St. Leger, the organization worked with the advisory group Racial Equity Partners to provide an assessment of the industry’s current efforts towards racial justice, along with an annual reporting process to measure progress. To participate in actionable goals set by the group, industry experts can sign the group’s Design Industry Pledge, which will be unveiled after a June 22 launch and virtual panel discussion.

For the second annual event of Google’s International Small Business Week, the search giant is launching a range of free offers to help business owners get their services up and running, reports Inc. New features include new tools for video ad campaigns on YouTube; a point-of-sale system add-on called Pointy, which displays in-store product inventory for free online; and advanced search and map capabilities that enable businesses to list more specific services such as digital menus.

According to a new study by Formica Corporation, 93 percent of interior designers found homeowners confused the key differences in the surface materials of their kitchens and bathrooms. The report tried to understand consumer knowledge about the differences between laminate, granite, marble, quartz, and other finishing materials, and found that 85 percent of homeowners say it would be useful to have a non-porous countertop material, but 42 percent consider it Granite as their countertop and 27 percent prefer marble (both porous materials). Despite the misinformation, the renovation boom is not continuing – 71 percent of consumers are planning home improvement projects within the next year, according to the report.

Market launches and collaborations

Designer Sasha Bikoff, in collaboration with the design studio and foundry SA Baxter, has launched a hardware collection that is modeled on fossilized shark teeth. The new line consists of door knobs, pocket handles, cabinet knobs and door knockers, available in blue-green patina, matt black bronze and polished chrome.

Muji’s curated product kit for Airbnb hostsCourtesy of Muji

Japanese retailer Muji has partnered with Airbnb to develop a curated set of products for hosts on the home rental platform. Each package contains 23 different Muji items designed for up to two guests – including dishes, bath products, an aroma diffuser, cleaning utensils and stationery.

Mainly Baskets Home has unveiled its second line, which was created in collaboration with the designer from Nashville, Tennessee Sarah Batholomew. The Garden Collection consists of hand-woven furniture and accessories that are based on the orangeries of the 17th and 18th centuries and feature a trellis motif that is often found in French gardens.

Longaberger has created a tribute to the American painter and illustrator Normal Rockwell. The new series of baskets is inspired by the artist’s oeuvre, particularly the paintings Mother and Daughter Singing in Church and Mending the Flag, which borrow colors and details from their respective works.

Literature recommendations

The quilt motif, a symbol of rural Americana, found its way onto the outside of a barn for the first time in 2001 after a public art project in Ohio, reports the New York Times. It has since become a phenomenon across the Midwest – more than 16,000 famous buildings are now externally adorned with barn quilting. Homeowners and local art groups have coordinated efforts to create more than 300 organized walking trails marked with the symbol to encourage tourists and road tripers to venture into less trodden local communities.

Tent rental company Shelter Co. won an unexpected new client last year when tech giant Google hired the company to set up its field offices. Once used to outfitting weddings and corporate parties, Shelter Co. abruptly took on the challenge of redesigning workplace design in collaboration with one of the largest companies in the world, according to Fast Company.

Call for the applause

The American Society of Interior Designers has recognized the recipients of their national awards in 2021. The organization has given the Lifetime Award to Suza Cree and Marilyn Akins; the Industry Partner Merit Award Karen Lernan; the Chapter Community Service Award to the Salvation Army’s Austin Area Command; and the Medalist Award to those honored Dana Nunn, Lynn bird dance, Emmy Knott Williams, Ariel Vox and Victoria Reitz.

Hartmann & Forbes, a manufacturer of natural window coverings, wallcoverings, and textiles, has ranked sixth on Oregon Business 2021’s list of Oregon Business Magazine’s 100 Best Green Jobs for the ninth year running. In addition to making products from natural fibers such as ramie, water hyacinth and abaca fiber for a lower environmental footprint, the company launched Project Green in 2005 to encourage the use of sustainable practices in the workplace.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association has announced a California-based interior designer and retailer Jeanne Chung as the newest member of his Global Connect Advisor team. As an industry leader and influencer, Chung is known for his leading design company and blog, Cozy Stylish Chic, and for running a retail and trade showroom in Pasadena. In 2021, the designer will also open the coworking space and the Designer Domicile resource library as an extension of her showroom.

Call for submission

Instagram partnered with the Brooklyn Museum to launch the #BlackDesignVisionaries program. The organization awards three $ 10,000 grants to aspiring black designers ages 18-30 and a $ 100,000 grant to a small, black-run design company that has been in practice for less than 10 years is working. The application deadline is July 16, further information can be found here.

Homepage picture: The Garden Collection by Sarah Bartholomew for Mainly Baskets Home | Cat Maxwell