I am fortunate enough to be able to say that I discover wonderful conscious brands that make an effort in creating things in the least harmful way possible, all the time. These go from using raw materials that have been organically grown from the ground up to respecting forests, workers and generally trying to improve processes to be as mindful of our future as possible. It’s a format I love madly because it allows beautiful new creations to thrive in a way that doesn’t intrude on our precious world. But there’s one alternative I will always stand behind because it doesn’t involve anything new being created: rental. And just as there’s a growing fashion rental movement, furniture is also hopping on this trend. My favourite example so far? CasaOne.
Just as fashion rental services like Le Tote and Gwynnie Bee have, CasaOne works on a subscription model. On-demand furniture is the game: a comprehensive service that manages every bit of the furnishing process in one single place. Through an affordable subscription model, you can fill up your house in the most carbon-neutral way possible. As a plus, with the CasaOne service, you get to speak to experts in space planning who will guide you through finding the best pieces for your space.
The process of purchasing furniture hasn’t changed much in recent times, becoming increasingly cumbersome in an active and ever-changing world such as ours. An increasing number of people opt for more flexible lifestyles, whether it is working from home or moving around a lot, and the furnishing of a new home feels like a weight on people’s shoulders. Recycling what already exists and finding new life in used items is the kind of essential practice that reduces waste and helps us maintain a flexible lifestyle more attuned with our zeitgeist.
Furniture is a commitment. You fall in love with pieces and place them all over your home, but with time, they can become stale in your spaces – much like it happens with clothing pieces you wear multiple times. That’s what’s so wonderful about CasaOne: you can rent out different sets for your home and when you’ve grown tired of them, change them for something else. All this without needing to engage in fast consumption.
The CasaOne website makes the operation quite simple: you pick out the pieces you love, from any of the available styles and budget ranges. You can then add the items to your cart, which will allow you to pick a suitable plan catering to your needs, with a specific duration to maintain the rental cycle. You can then schedule installation, which happens between 3 to 6 business days later. What’s best: if you’re not really sure when you’ll want to return the items you’ve rented, it’s very easy to simply reach an agreement with the CasaOne team, as they pride themselves on being flexible. And if you’ve truly fallen in love with the pieces you’ve rented, they also offer the option to buy them at the end of the rental term. You can contact them for any doubts regarding orders, pricing, delivery, design and what have you.
Founded in the Bay Area by Shashank PS and Madhusudan Kagwad, the company has grown all over the country. So far, CasaOne is available in 9 cities across the United States: Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. As someone who has been making a home out of L.A., I fell madly in love with the CasaOne concept, and even more when I started looking at their available pieces. They have over 4,000 products available for the city, with a lovely selection from modern pieces to older ones with a lot of charm, perfect for design lovers of all tastes.
Ten items, in particular, caught my eye and heart: the Madera Dining Table Extendable Oak, the Dela 24″ Table Lamp Gray, the Mcmurtry 18.5″ Table Lamp Black, the Lasam Tripod Floor Lamp Natural, Daisy 31″ Round Dining Table Wood Top White, the Garrison Modern Coffee Table Walnut, the Helix Queen Mattress 10″ White, the Linea High Chest, the Linea Double Dresser, and the Linea Queen Bed.
I fell in love with the simplicity of the Linea pieces, namely the bed and its two matching dressers. Based on the lines and materials of modern Scandinavian design, the clear-coloured wood and easy lines made for a beautiful bedroom set. It’s the kind of furniture that creates warm and inviting spaces. Like so many working mums out there, I have a million things to do every day, from taking care of a tiny and beautiful human to a demanding job. These are all things I love, yet I do find myself exhausted at the end of each day – and it makes me happy to enter a bedroom with beautiful and relax-driven furnishings like these. The same applies to the Helix Queen Mattress, layered in foam and pocketed microcoils, which makes for a dreamy bed to dive into after a tough day at life.
The lamps were another dream. The Lasam Tripod Floor Lamp lends an air of the fresh 1960s to any corner of space, blending in with the décor while simultaneously adding a touch of peace. Clear-coloured furniture can go such a long way in illuminating a space, particularly when the design lines are so soft and beautiful!
The Dela 24″ Table Lamp Gray feels halfway between a plant pot and a lamp, and it’s such a darling little way to build a customised space. In soft gray, the design is a fully modern geometric one that can complement just about any space and surrounding décor. The stand is made of concrete, so it’s sturdy besides being lovely.
Meanwhile, the Mcmurtry 18.5″ Table Lamp Black is more of a staple piece, with its industrial sensibilities bordering on steampunk. In bronze with an air of antique, this metallic lamp brings a lot of personality to any surface. Besides, it’s also adjustable, which makes it a great option for nighttime reading or drawing.
Having beautiful and temporary furniture in your home is a beautiful exercise in letting go of the material, while also celebrating the beauty of pieces that will continue to live beyond our own use. In all, the most sustainable thing you can do is focus on recycling as much as possible. By doing so, we avoid partaking in the vicious circle of fast consumption, so deeply ingrained in our society. Saying yes to initiatives like CasaOne’s is also saying no to the line of creation of things that ultimately leads to waste.
There are so many upsides to renting instead of buying furniture. In general, recycling as much as we can is something I deeply believe in, and I love seeing it make its way into every possible industry. Besides allowing for flexibility and reducing waste, there’s a sense of community living behind recycling fashion. It’s the sense that pieces can have a long and beautiful life, whether or not it involves each of us as individuals.
Traditionally, “important” pieces of furniture would be passed down through generations, from beautiful side boxes to dining sets and even baby cribs. Things from decades past were made to last beyond the original buyer’s lifetime, becoming legacy pieces for the family. We’ve lost some of that tradition along the way, particularly in the so-called first-world countries like England and the US. Furniture has become a disposable and mass-made endeavour you take home to assemble, lasting only a few years.
Let’s take that back. Let us utilise every single piece as part of an ongoing history, be it among family or in a cycle of rental. Even if we easily take it for granted, furniture is part of our everyday lives, and how we choose it should be a reflection of who we are in every other area of our lives. Find out more about CasaOne here, and read my interview with one of CasaOne’s founders Shashank PS.