DTC Era   //   August 26, 2022

Interior Define launches new customizable bedroom furniture collection

Custom furniture company Interior Define on Thursday announced the launch of a new bedroom furniture collection, a move that aims to make the most of the furniture boom that’s grown out of the pandemic while expanding offerings.

CEO Antonio Nieves said the expansion allows the brand to gain repeat business from customers who may have already purchased a sofa and be ready to upgrade another room, as well as reach new customers and trade clients.

The launch also squares with overall steady sales in the furniture market, which peaked at $12.2 billion in monthly sales in April and has hovered around $12.1 billion in monthly sales through July, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Market research reporting service Technavio estimates the home furniture market will grow by a CAGR of 2.53% through 2026.

“We’ve heard consistently from our customers, they love our value proposition around mass customization. And wanted to see that translated into the bedroom,” Nieves said.

The move to customized bedroom furniture is the latest expansion for the rapidly growing company. Launched as a DTC online brand in 2014, the brand now has 20 retail stores and two pop-up locations across the country that allow customers to see product examples in person. The brand received a $30 million loan led by Horizon Technology Finance Corporation, a firm that provides secured loans to venture capital-backed companies, in January.

With Interior Define’s target demographic consisting of people who earn more than $100,000, Nieves said that potential customers may not be tightening their wallets due to this year’s rising prices of consumer goods.

“Even though there’s this big return to work movement happening, they’re still partially at home. So a lot of them are still investing a lot in their homes, and will continue to do so. And so for us we actually don’t see as much of a headwind from the upper-end price point.”

The new bedroom collection includes eight customizable bed frames starting at $1,495 for a queen-sized bed. Customers can choose options for aspects like headboard height, finishes, storage and fabric options. The brand is also launching complementary mattresses in collaboration with Brentwood Home, bedding in collaboration with Buffy, and other accompanying bedroom decor like nightstands and mirrors.

Nieves said what sets Interior Define apart from other customization shops is that customers are paired with a design expert as they go through the process. This allows them to get another opinion at no extra cost, and ensure that they’re picking options that will fit their space and style, he said.

And on the internal side, the made-to-order approach allows the company to tailor any products that aren’t selling well after launch, without having a host of wasted inventory.

For example, in 2020 the brand launched a classic upholstered-style sofa collection that didn’t see many sales in the first 30 days it was promoted. But within another month, the collection was changed based on customer and designer feedback, winding up with a design that features sloped arms, bench cushions, and square wooden feet. The relaunch saw a 40% week-over-week growth.

“No other brand could do that, because they would have the old collection’s design in inventory, they have to clear through or they’d have to write all that off,” he said. “And so we don’t have any of those issues.”

Chip West, a retail and consumer behavior expert with marketing firm Vericast, said many consumers upped their spending in the furniture category during the Covid-19 lockdowns as they began spending more time at home. But the demand for custom furniture may be heightened because of supply chain or logistical delays.

“Now more than ever, today’s consumers including furniture shoppers are seeking value and deals. If they can obtain exactly what they want in a custom furniture purchase at a strong value and a competitive price, more may find a custom order attractive. Especially if they are comparing somewhat similar delivery times,” West said.

Kathy Kuo, a New York-based designer who runs Kathy Kuo Home, said that custom furniture can come at a higher price point than other pieces, but those clients who decide to invest in it are seeking out high-quality and originality.

“You can really ensure that the piece will be perfect for your space and will be 100 percent unique,” she said in an email to Modern Retail.

Kuo also said that bedrooms are one area where her design clients are increasingly committing to since the pandemic, hoping to create a haven for sleep and relaxation amid new work-from-home lifestyles.

“Specifically since the pandemic, people are committing to quality bedroom design in a new way because the rest of the home has become so multi-use and it’s nice to have one room of the home truly be a sanctuary,” she said.