Luxury home sales plummet, Pattern Brands continues its acquisition spree and more
The art world is always on the lookout for the next young talent to hit the scene, though that search has now hit a new low (literally) as paintings by a 10 years were fetching six figures at the market. Stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches, events, recommended reading and more.
Following a pandemic-induced bull run in the luxury housing market, activity in the sector cooled amid rising interest rates and fears of an impending recession, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to real estate broker Redfin, sales of luxury properties are experiencing their biggest decline since the company’s records began in 2012, slipping 28.1% in the three months ending August 31 from the same period last year. High-end markets in California were the hardest hit, with home sales plummeting nearly 64% in Oakland, while San Jose and San Diego saw declines of more than 55%. Meanwhile, sales of non-luxury homes also fell 19.5% over the same period.
Meanwhile, the demand for land has never been higher, The Wall Street Journal reports, especially in cities like Austin, Phoenix and Tampa, Florida, where an influx of new residents since the pandemic has led to a shortage of space. Across the Sunbelt, the average price of vacant properties per acre has more than doubled in the past two years, according to Land, a land listings website owned by real estate firm CoStar Group. The trend is spreading to the United States. For homeowners, that means land now accounts for 47% of home values, up from 38% in 2012.
Pattern Brands, the New York-based holding company for digital home and design brands, announced the acquisition of the Onsen textile brand. Founded by Shane Monson and Connor MacArthur in 2017, Onsen is best known for its cotton towels, inspired by the quick-drying waffle-weave towels from Japan. For Pattern, the purchase marks the group’s seventh overall, adding to a family of brands that includes Open Spaces, Equal Parts, GIR, Letterfolk, Poketo and Yield. The acquisition adds to a busy 12 months for the company, following a $25 million Series B funding round over the summer and now four acquisitions (including Onsen) in the year alone elapsed.
Earlier this month, employees of New York-based firm Bernheimer Architecture, which specializes in affordable and residential housing projects, formed what is believed to be the nation’s first private sector architecture union. , The New York Times reports. Members of the 22-person company will join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers after the company voluntarily recognizes the union. The move follows last year’s ultimately unsuccessful organizing drive at SHoP Architects, where employees rescinded their paperwork to hold an election after citing a ‘powerful anti-union campaign’ at the company. Despite the loss, the SHoP campaign has reportedly fueled union interest at Bernheimer, where the newly unionized team hopes their efforts will inspire a broader industry conversation about wages and working conditions.
Corsicana Mattress was acquired by private equity firm Blue Torch Capital, Furniture today reports, in a court-supervised auction that took place after the mattress company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 25. In June, when Corsicana initially filed for bankruptcy, the company had $151 million in assets and $260 million in liabilities, and owed $45 million to unsecured creditors and held $145 million in funded debt. The recent deal allowed Blue Torch to acquire Corsicana in exchange for $125 million in debt forgiveness and $200,000 in cash for company assets.
A fire decimated the North Carolina headquarters of family-run upholstery company Morgan Chair last week, Today’s creators reports. A supplier to residential and commercial designers and owners, the company was filling an order book of 800 orders when fire engulfed the structure from an unknown source. No one was hurt. As the company’s building, materials and machinery were destroyed, a community crowdsourcing effort allowed the Morgan Chair team to resume operations this week, with local residents donating space to labor as well as spare fabric cutting tools and supplies.
Launches & Collaborations
Artist Shantell Martin lent his signature black-and-white line drawings to a new collection created in partnership with Brooklyn-based furniture brand Hoek. The product range includes coasters, coffee tables and wall decorations decorated in Martin’s playful style.
Designate Ken Fulk collaborated with 1stDibs for a curated showcase. The selection includes a variety of pieces previously on sale only through the San Francisco Peep Show Fulk Shop, including items collected from flea markets and auctions. Featured features include an artist-commissioned antler chandelier Alexandra Randalla Aldo Toura coffee table and a leather-wrapped Jacques Adnet bed.
A new collaboration between Mattel and Joybird celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Barbie Dreamhouse with a collection inspired by the interior design of the toy. The limited-edition furniture collection includes a bed, dresser, dining chair and a selection of fabrics in bright Barbie pink brand tones. The partnership is the latest in a series of fashion and home brands building on the growing momentum of “Barbiecore”, including the recent launch of paint and wallcovering brand Backdrop, which features three new shades – pink, purple and blue – created in collaboration with the toy brand. and inspired by the iconic Dreamhouse.
Legacy Paint Brand Dunn-Edwards announced the launch of a national direct-to-consumer paint brand called Dura. The new brand offers a palette of 210 colors chosen from Dunn-Edwards’ own collection of over 2,000 shades, and offers online tools and support from a team of interior designers to help with color selection .
West Elm and Finnish design house Marimekko have teamed up for a holiday-inspired collection of products. The collaboration features printed bottoms, embellishments, treetops and skirts with a curated selection of Marimekko archival prints, including Maija LouekariThe Kuusikossa and Vellamo designs from 2012 and 2009, respectively.
Courtesy of Hoek
Today, about 8% of new single-family homes in the United States are 1,400 square feet or less. In the 1940s, however, the number of houses of this size accounted for almost 70% of the housing market. It’s a shift that demonstrates the demise of the “starter home,” an affordable property purchase that once allowed first-time home buyers to build equity. As Emilie Badger written for The New York Timesthe lack of such homes is a key driver of the housing crisis in the United States, largely due to soaring land prices and increasingly restrictive community design requirements.
While Compass has long drawn the ire (and litigation) of other brokerages for poaching agents with over-the-top incentives, that trend appears to be reversing as the company has struggled financially in recent months. As Kim Velsey written for braked, a large number of former high-level Compass brokers have left the company, with many heading to Douglas Elliman in particular or returning to firms where they previously worked. Former agents have also shed light on the deteriorating benefits Compass employees once enjoyed, pointing to ongoing layoffs, the recent loss of equity or cash incentives, and a still understaffed support staff.
The Instagram account @JerryGogosian, one of the most popular creators of art world memes online, is stepping out of its satirical social media sphere and into one of the industry’s most established arenas with the start of a new partnership with Sotheby’s. As Dorian Batycka written for net-artthe account owner, Hilde Lynn Helphenstein, held a sale for the auction house featuring the work of 20 artists. As a nod to its core platform, Helphenstein used Instagram’s algorithm to do much of the actual curating for the upcoming sale.
Call for applications
The James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2023 Fitch Fellowships. Applicants can apply for funding through one of the program’s three available grants, including the Fitch Mid-Career Fellowship, Robert Silman Prize and the Samuel H. Kress Mid-Career Fellowship. For more information or to apply before the October 27, 2022 deadline, click here.
Cue the applause
The American Society of Interior Designers has named the winners of its annual Outcome of Design Awards, which highlight professionals and projects that have excelled in innovative design for the benefit of “people, place and planet”. The first Outcome of Design award went to the Little Charlotte Office, designed by Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, while additional honors went to Sheltering Arms Institute, designed by HDR, and UC San Diego North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood , designed by HKS. .
The Southeast Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art has announced the winners of its 16th annual Shutze Awards, which recognize excellence in residential and institutional architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, restoration and crafts. In the interior design category, the first prizes went to the designer Caroline Gidiere for a Georgian residency in Birmingham, Alabama, as well as designer Tammy Connor for properties in Atlanta and Kiawah Island, SC. For the full list of winners, click here.
Homepage Image: Joybird brings Barbie’s dream home to life in new collaboration with Mattel | Courtesy of Joybird