September 08, 2021 at 06:20PM
Have the last 18 months made you care more about creating a cozy, safe, beautiful home base than ever before? It sure has for me. While cooped up during various lockdowns in Toronto, I started to become acutely aware of all the things in my two-bedroom apartment that suddenly felt…tired. Like I was settling. And a lot of the attention — and funds — I’d previously spent on slick blazers and cute shoes (and bi-weekly manicures, let’s be honest) started to get funnelled towards Adult Priorities like framed art, sumptuous bedding and comforting loungewear.
I know I’m not the only one — in November 2020, Yahoo Finance reported that according to Etsy CEO Josh Silverman, the e-tailer’s home furnishings sales were up over 120 percent year-over-year, and folks are still lamenting longer-than-ever shipping times on some furniture items purchased during the pandemic. Parachute, the California-based home and lifestyle brand that makes linen look downright aspirational — “if I buy this duvet set, I will live out my best, modern Nancy Myers-meets-Kate Hudson life” — has been there for consumers on this journey to home improvement. And they always understand the assignment: comfort and style in equal measure.
Now, it’s even easier to shop the brand north of the border — as of today, Parachute has a shiny new Canadian website where you can buy their covetable wares without any confusion over pricing, annoying duties or painful shipping times. Parachute co-founder Ariel Kaye say the expansion was all about creating the best customer experience for their Canadian customer base, which they saw increase by 43 percent from 2019 to 2020. “This will be just such an easy online shopping experience so that customers can get the quality and comfort really quickly to their homes.” Plus, the brand has a partnership with Hudson’s Bay so Canadian shoppers can touch Parachute’s goodies IRL (and jump on their beloved mattresses — more on that in a bit) before pulling the trigger. “A big part of who we are at Parachute is we think about how we can be where our customers are, and this feels like that step forward so that we can really be where our Canadian customers are.”
We picked Kaye’s brain about all things comfort, from how to build the coziest bed to how to get the most mileage out of your soft pants. Here, all the wisdom we learned about cranking your abode’s comfy level to 100 while keeping it completely authentic to you.
Customers wanted comfort at the height of COVID
“When COVID hit, people all of a sudden were at home — our homes are working on overdrive, everyone was trying to figure out how to make their homes more comfortable, we weren’t travelling or really spending money on much of anything else, and so it felt like a good investment to create more comfort, especially during a time that was particularly uncomfortable.
“We saw our mattress sales almost double and we saw robe sales go through the roof. Robes have always been a popular product for us, but so much so that we actually accelerated the launch of new colours and fabrics so that we could have more offerings while people were at home. I like to joke that robes are the new blazer while we’re at home.”
You should most definitely choose loungewear that can also be worn *outside* the home
“With our loungewear, we were thinking about how we could take this idea of comfort and move it outside of the home. And so, using the fabrics that we’re known for, how could we create products that were really versatile so that they could be something that you were lounging and cozy at home in, but also something that you could wear to brunch or walking the dog or whatever you might be doing? [As a consumer, you want] stuff that you can throw on, that’s easy to integrate with the rest of your wardrobe. I love the button-up shirt — I like to throw that shirt over everything all the time and use it as a light layer.”
Building the ultimate dreamy sleep spot starts with the foundation
“It starts with the least sexy part, which is the mattress and the pillows. That’s where that sleep foundation begins. And obviously the Parachute mattress and pillows are the best around [smiles]. That mattress was a many-year process for us and it has truly changed my sleep life — I’m one of those people that can’t wait to get home from even the nicest hotel so that I can get back to my mattress.”
Ask yourself some key questions before you choose your bedding — like, are you a sweaty sleeper?
“The sheets and duvet cover touch your skin, so it’s really important that you find the right fabric that helps you sleep most comfortably at night. That’s something that people don’t really think about. We all run differently — some people are more hot at night, some people are more cold, some people prefer a very smooth fabric, some people like a more organic texture. And you also have to think about where you live and what your surroundings look like — are you a person that blasts A/C all night long or do you need fabric that’s a bit more breathable? There are a lot of self-questions that I encourage people to ask as they’re thinking about a purchase experience.”
When decorating your place, anchor your choices in the reality of your lifestyle
“When you’re creating and decorating a space, [think about] what you want the space to be used for. What’s the ideal purpose? How do you want to engage with it? And then how can you make it work the best for you and your lifestyle. It’s all very personal — is your living room all about getting cozy and watching shows at night, or is it a place where you’re entertaining and playing boardgames and having friends over to drink wine and listen to music? If so, you might want more seating areas, you might want access to a bar area. Things like that help make your space feel right for you.
“As you move through milestones and life moments, your home really is the heart of everything. The past year and half, we’ve seen our homes have to be everything for so many people and I don’t think the behaviour is going to change. People are going to be looking for ways to continue to enhance their home experience and keep enjoying the environment there.”
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