This month, we discovered how furniture rental in Hong Kong is one of the easiest ways to capture a locally-infused aesthetic. We caught up with KATE BABINGTON, Managing Director of TREE to hear all about this fab furniture trend.
The sharing economy in our homes
The sharing economy has changed a lot about our lives. Today, “ownership” is a concept that is less on trend than ever. In fact, according to PWC, the sharing economy will be worth US$335 billion by 2025. To put that into context, only five years ago, in 2014, it was worth just US$14 billion.
This trend has some tangible benefits for our planet. As we all know, less is more when it comes to utilising natural resources. Our egos are also benefactors of this trend; items that were traditionally out of our financial reach are now accessible when we pay for them by the day.
One of the sharing economy’s great success stories is Rent the Runway, where women rent designer fashions instead of buying them. Interestingly, this idea has now made its way to the home design industry. The concept of renting homeware makes sense, too – especially among global nomads and modern expats who may not be settled in one city for a designated length of time.
It’s no surprise to hear that high-end furniture rental is very popular among millennials and expats in Hong Kong. And why not – we rent handbags, cars, holiday homes, and beautiful houses.
New homes, new start-ups
According to Kate Babington, Managing Director of TREE, expats moving to Hong Kong on contracts are increasingly embracing rental services. Kate shares some insights into the trend and how her company is meeting this customer demand: “Hong Kong is a growing economy with a buoyant property market, and it continues to hold a high expat city ranking that fosters a demand for temporary furniture solutions – without compromising on style. We sought out to close a gap in the market by providing new residents, corporations and landlords alike with bespoke solutions completely tailored to their space and needs.”
The city’s thriving start-up scene is also embracing rental. “Since the launch of this side of our business earlier this year, we’ve provided furniture rental solutions for pop-up shops and events,” says Kate.
She also foresees a growing demand for stylish rental furniture particularly suited for temporary offices. “Gone are the days of dull, drab cubicle spaces: small-scale corporations are now wanting to create a chic yet functional space that encourages employees to collaborate and think more creatively. This shift towards rental furniture as opposed to purchased gives companies the flexibility to move from place to place with ease.”
How it works
TREE’s rental service helps turn the blank canvas of a new rental into a home with natural furnishings. For those new to Hong Kong, TREE is a popular Hong Kong brand which offers solid eco-wood furniture, stylish sofas and sofa beds, plus beautiful finishing touches. The team provide an initial consultation to determine your style and budget, and the layout of your Hong Kong rental. They also work with any existing furniture you may be bringing with you. From here, a bespoke short or long-term package is created with the flexibility to extend the package if your contract changes (or even purchase at the end of the lease). For those in need of additional styling support, the team at TREE also provides styling services.
Interested in learning more about furniture rental in Hong Kong for a residence or business? See more at tree.com.hk/about/tree-rental.
Read more in our Living in Hong Kong section!