Curating a Pinterest board is often more fun—and always less expensive—than filling a space with actual furniture. Now, there’s a new tool from West Elm designed to put your time spent pinning decor ideas to practical use. As Fast Company reports, the home retail brand’s Pinterest Style Finder uses an AI algorithm to recommend furnishings that best suit your tastes.
Users start by pasting the URL of a Pinterest board they love, whether it’s their own or someone else’s, into the web tool. Then, they select a category of furnishings to browse through, such as bedroom, kitchen, or office.
That’s when the AI gets to work: A neural network powered by the startup Clarifai analyzes the images and finds products in West Elm’s catalogue that match the style. If you input a board of boho-chic furniture, for example, the tool brings up reclaimed wood nightstands and funky quilts. Search for products related to your vintage kitchen board and you’ll get retro stools and mid-century bar carts.
Of course, the results are limited to what’s in the retailer’s inventory, so if you would never shop at West Elm to begin with this may not be the tool for you. If you'd rather pick out furniture the old-fashioned way, here are some neural network-free design tips to follow.
[h/t Fast Company]
When you're just starting out in a new apartment in a new place, compromising on furniture quality can be tempting. But shopping for flea-bitten sofas on Craigslist isn't the only way to find stuff you won't mind parting with once your lease is up. As The Verge reports, Feather is a startup that rents out chic furniture at reasonable prices.
The service, only available in New York and San Francisco for now, is geared toward Millennials, a generation that tends to choose renting over homeownership. Whether they're working gig-to-gig or jumping between sublets or cities, the lives of many twentysomethings are in a state of flux. Feather offers furniture choices that are as flexible as their customers' living situations.
"Maybe you want to furnish an entire apartment with your new roommates," the company's website reads. "Maybe you're testing out a new city and aren't ready to commit to staying … With Feather, you can have furniture there when you need and gone when you don't."
Unlike some rental services, Feather makes their products affordable without sacrificing style. Farmhouse dressers, tufted love-seats, and upholstered bed frames can all be rented for less than $50 a month. All Feather furnishings must be rented for a minimum period of three months and include a $99 delivery fee, a $99 pickup fee, and a $99 deposit (so if West Elm is having a sale, it may be a better bet after all for smaller items). And if you do decide to leave your apartment to move to a new city or travel the world, canceling your furniture lease is always an option.
[h/t The Verge]