Exclusive Interviews

Fülhaus: Using AI + Hustle to Change the Furniture Game

Exploring Fülhaus: Innovating the Furniture Industry with Pierce and Andria

In the world of furniture, finding turnkey solutions for furnished rentals can be a logistical nightmare. Enter Fülhaus, a company revolutionizing the industry with their innovative approach and cutting-edge AI technology. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the founders, Pierce and Andria, to delve into the story behind Fülhaus and how they are transforming the way we think about furnished rentals.

From the inspiration behind their unique name to the challenges they've faced in an industry ripe for disruption, Pierce and Andria shared insights that highlight why Fülhaus is a game-changer. This blog post will give you a comprehensive look at their journey, the innovative solutions they offer, and their vision for the future. Whether you’re a property manager, a rental owner, or simply interested in the latest industry trends, this post will provide valuable insights into why Fülhaus stands out in the crowded furniture market.

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The Origin of Fülhaus

One of the first topics of our conversation was the intriguing name "Fülhaus." Andria, hailing from Montreal, explained how the city’s rich design history, particularly the impact of Expo 67 and the Bauhaus movement, played a significant role in shaping their brand. By blending "Fuller" from the iconic Buckminster Fuller and "Bauhaus," they created "Fülhaus," a name that perfectly captures their commitment to innovative design and practical functionality. It was an "aha moment," Andria recalled, that set the tone for their venture.

Read our In-Depth Brand Review of Fülhaus HERE

Fulfilling a Market Need

When Pierce and Andria started Fülhaus, they saw a glaring gap in the market: the need for comprehensive, turnkey furniture solutions for furnished rentals. As Andria pointed out, property managers and rental owners were often drowning in logistical nightmares. Imagine trying to figure out how many nightstands you need for a 14-unit building—sounds fun, right? Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Pierce, with his background in shipping and logistics, couldn’t believe the inefficiencies he encountered. "Are you kidding? Faxes? Faxes one at a time? It was just archaic," he recalled. With Pierce’s logistical know-how and Andria’s design expertise, they were a match made in furniture heaven, ready to tackle these pain points head-on. Fülhaus became the superhero property managers didn’t know they needed, offering a one-stop shop to handle everything from design to delivery, making the process as smooth as a polished mahogany table.

Their solutions cater to a diverse range of clients, from short-term rental properties to corporate housing, student accommodations, and hotels. By offering tailored furniture packages and managing every aspect of the logistics, Fülhaus makes it easier for property managers to furnish spaces stylishly and functionally—without the usual headaches. They act like fairy godparents of furniture, turning pumpkins into perfectly furnished rental units.

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Innovative Solutions and AI Integration

One of the standout features of Fülhaus is their innovative use of AI technology. Andria excitedly introduced me to Ludwig, their AI tool designed to streamline the furniture selection process. Imagine having a personal shopping assistant who never gets tired—that’s Ludwig. This clever tool consolidates products from different suppliers and filters options based on images rather than just language prompts. It's a game-changer in the world of online furniture shopping; similar to a great dating app, it provides perfect matches without the awkwardness.

The brilliance of Ludwig lies in its ability to take the guesswork out of furniture shopping. Customers can simply upload an image that captures their design inspiration, and Ludwig will present a curated selection of furniture that fits their vision. This not only saves time but also ensures that the final look is cohesive and stylish. As Andria put it, "If we could figure out a way that we could filter using an image as inspiration, then that would facilitate finding and presenting customers what they could actually buy, what is available to them given all of their parameters."

Pierce emphasized how this technology is democratizing the design process, making it accessible and affordable for a wide range of clients. Whether you’re outfitting a cozy studio apartment or a sprawling hotel, Fülhaus and Ludwig have got you covered, making high-quality design accessible without the hefty fees.

A snapshot of a computer showing Ludwig, Fulhaus's AI Interior Design Solution

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Target Audience and Clientele

Fülhaus has carved out a niche by targeting a diverse range of clients who need more than just furniture—they need solutions. Pierce and Andria’s primary customers include hospitality giants, corporate housing providers, student accommodations, and hotels. Basically, if you have a space that needs to be furnished quickly and stylishly, Fülhaus is your go-to. They bring together the ultimate team to tackle your furniture woes.

Pierce shared a fun story about a project in Nashville. The client’s primary market was bachelorette parties, so the design had to withstand a lot of, shall we say, enthusiastic use. “Expect people to jump on the beds,” they were told. Fülhaus designed the units with sturdy furniture and no feather pillows (polyfill only!) to avoid any explosive pillow fight situations. It’s all fun and games until someone gets a face full of feathers!

Andria explained that Ludwig also serves smaller-scale needs. With this AI wizardry, even individual property managers can get professional design help without breaking the bank. It’s like having your own personal HGTV makeover show, minus the dramatic reveals and teary goodbyes. This tool levels the playing field, making high-quality design accessible to everyone. Fülhaus is making sure everyone gets a beautifully furnished space!

By offering affordable and efficient solutions, Fülhaus ensures that clients can avoid the pitfalls of DIY furniture shopping. As Pierce pointed out, cutting corners might save money upfront but can lead to higher costs down the line, especially in the furnished rental market where durability is key. Fülhaus provides peace of mind, knowing that your investment is protected with high-quality, thoughtfully designed furnishings.

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Future Plans and Customer Focus

As our conversation wrapped up, I couldn’t resist asking Pierce and Andria about what’s next for Fülhaus. They’ve already revolutionized the furnished rental market, but like any Avengers movie, there's always a sequel close at hand. Andria emphasized that while AI technology is a big part of their future, their primary focus remains on their clients. "Clients and customers are always our focus here at Fülhaus first and foremost," she said. Keeping things as picture-perfect as possible is what gives Fülhaus their edge.

Pierce added that they're always seeking feedback to improve their services. They’re on a never-ending quest to be the best they can be, always asking, “What did you think? How was your experience? How can we improve?”

And let’s not forget their AI tool, Ludwig. It's evolving faster than the latest smartphone model. They’re constantly fundraising and developing new features to make the furniture selection process even more intuitive and efficient. The goal is to create a seamless experience where clients can find exactly what they need with minimal effort. Think of it as your personal Jarvis, but for furniture—ready to find the perfect pieces faster than you can say "IKEA assembly instructions."

Pierce and Andria’s vision for Fülhaus is clear: to continue innovating and expanding their reach while maintaining a strong focus on customer satisfaction. As they move forward, they’re excited to explore new technologies, build partnerships, and keep revolutionizing the furniture industry. The future looks bright, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. It’s like watching a great TV series—you’re always eager for the next episode. 

Read our In-Depth Brand Review of Fülhaus HERE

Explore Fülhaus Now

FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM INTERVIEW WITH PIERCE ATKINSON AND ANDRIA SANTOS FROM FÜLHAUS:

0:02 - Pierce
For example, we've done units in Nashville. It was very Bachelorette heavy, that was their clientele. They were very transparent with us; they were like, "Expect people to jump on the beds, that's what it's going to be."

0:09 - Pierce
I haven't been on The Bachelor scene for quite some time. Oh yeah, we had to sign a whole contract saying that we wouldn't use feather pillows so they didn't explode like in a pillow fight scene. Polyfill only.

0:20 - Pierce
See, different specs, different specs, different specs for different... that's all these things you gotta think about.

0:32 - Alex
Hey everyone, this is Alex with Couch.com, and I'm here with my new friends Pierce and Andria from Full House. We want to know all about Full House today, so I'm going to ask you a lot of tough questions. The first one that I have to ask is the naming of the company. I know you guys are really big fans of the 90s sitcom Full House. Is that where the name came from?

0:54 - Alex
Oh, let me make a note. Okay, I'm sorry about that, guys.

0:56 - Andria
Being from Montreal, a lot of Expo 67 and the Olympics brought some really big designs and designers to the city to develop some really amazing architecture, one of which was Buckminster Fuller and the entire Bauhaus movement, which ultimately when we combine it together becomes Fuller and Bauhaus.

1:15 - Andria
We were like, "House." It was literally like the aha moment, and it was just like...

1:22 - Alex
If people are coming to this cold, what is Full House? Why does it exist and what part of the furniture industry does it serve? It serves a fairly specific role or niche and purpose. Just tell us about it in your own words.

1:36 - Andria
So when we jumped in together and we started this, we saw a need for furnished rentals as well as the short-term market really needing help in these sort of furniture packages, this turnkey solution, something just like bada boom bada bing, a one-stop shop, and then being able to manage your furniture from there.

1:54 - Pierce
It's a logistical nightmare to get furniture from one place to another.

1:59 - Andria
Exactly. There's so many things. How many nightstands do you need in a 14-unit building with a mix of zeros, ones, twos, and threes? How many mattresses do you need? How many toothbrush holders do you need? How many pots and pans?

2:15 - Andria
Yeah, different specs, requirements, fabrics, performance fabrics, and then do all of this and maintain budget, timeline, and good design.

2:24 - Alex
Right, so beyond the logistical nightmare of mapping all of that information out, then you also have to meet all of the other necessary project requirements. It's not easy.

2:35 - Pierce
It's not easy. So we saw a target and we went right for it. Not coming at it from the other side where not having a design background and having more shipping and logistics, actually is my background, and having understood once I was entering this world how exactly you had to go about delivering a project and just thinking like, "There's gotta be a better way. Are you kidding? Faxes? Faxes one at a time?" It was just archaic.

3:06 - Andria
And the furniture industry as a whole is pretty traditional, right? So like it is manufacturing, it is a certain level of traditional business styles and not so much immediate transactions the way that we're used to.

3:18 - Alex
Stop me if I have it wrong. Okay, so I am a property manager of a new, like, cool rental building. Usually they won't have a procurement specialist to shoulder somebody with the responsibility like, "Hey, can you work with an interior designer to figure out how to rent them out as furnished rentals?" Am I doing well so far?

3:43 - Andria
Yeah, so that process in the past has been so incredibly difficult. There's so much logistics, not just with getting it, but it's also you can't trust it, and there's so much returns and exchanges of things because it's not really a curated group of things.

4:01 - Alex
Still on the right track?

4:03 - Andria
Exactly.

4:06 - Alex
Great. So Full House is there for me to go to and say, "Okay, here are my needs, here are some imagery of design aesthetics that we're going for. Here's the look of the building or the architecture of the building. Here's this, here's that. Can you help me design something?"

4:20 - Andria
And there's an AI tool called... I'm definitely cutting that out... called Ludwig. So we really saw a need to find a tool that could consolidate products from different suppliers and present to you what you're looking for in an organized way, and filtering your products with an image rather than language, which is what a lot of AI prompting is based on today, right? It's all language prompts.

4:54 - Andria
So if we could figure out a way that we could filter using an image as inspiration, then that would facilitate finding and presenting customers what they could actually buy, what is available to them given all of their parameters.

5:03 - Andria
That's what the whole thing came to become, and we raised money and started fundraising along those lines to develop this technology further because there was really a need in the market to centralize data, centralize product information, and then present it based on certain filters. AI was really coming to the point of being able to do that right around when we were looking to do that.

5:32 - Alex
So who are your... who are the people that use Full House? It seems like more your target is people who have maybe a larger need and need a little bit more help, is that correct?

5:42 - Andria
Exactly. And that's also why the tool exists, to democratize that design process a little bit, right? Where the tool is an inexpensive way of doing it yourself if you are doing your own place. But generally, the sort of customers that we work with are hospitality customers, so people who are really working on rental properties, whether it's short-term, midterm, corporate housing, student housing, hotels across the board.

6:09 - Pierce
For example, we've done units in Nashville. It was very Bachelorette heavy, that was their clientele. They were very transparent with us; they were like, "Expect people to jump on the beds, that's what it's going to be." So we designed around that and made sure things were sturdy. We made sure there were no glass tables where people could smash them. It was all wood, had rounded corners so people weren't smashing their shins off of things.

6:28 - Pierce
I haven't been on The Bachelor scene for quite some time. Oh yeah, we had to sign a whole contract saying that we wouldn't use feather pillows so they didn't explode like in a pillow fight scene. Polyfill only.

6:39 - Pierce
See, different specs, different specs, different specs for different... that's all these things you gotta think about.

6:45 - Andria
Yeah, so we offer a really affordable and efficient way of getting your property furnished.

6:52 - Alex
It sounds like, in my own experience, I can surmise that people feel generally that they can cut corners or save money by DIY buying this part of their business or their home or whatever and ultimately pay the price, especially in the furnished rental market, where you are responsible for an asset that is your property. It's part of this unit or building or whatever that you own or are responsible for, and other people are using it and they're not going to take as good care of it as you would. It actually is probably more cost-effective to use a turnkey solution like what you guys have to do the bulk of the work for them.

7:30 - Alex
What's something that's on the horizon for you guys moving forward? It sounds like you've come out of a pretty big growth phase somewhat recently with your AI tool. It's not like it's been around for that long and it's ever-evolving, so my guess is that's likely the focus of your business, keeping that strong and building partnerships and stuff. But what's something that's on the horizon for you guys? What's the next couple of months look like at Full House?

7:55 - Andria
Actually, Alex, clients and customers are always our focus here at Full House first and foremost.

8:00 - Alex
Silly me, of course.

8:06 - Andria
Then AI. We're really just excited to talk to people and see, "What did you think? How was your experience and how can we improve it? What are you looking for? Why did you find us and what are you looking for?" That's always my favorite thing to try and figure out from people, like where did you come here for and how can we get you the furniture that you need for the use that you need it.

8:28 - Alex
As we start to wrap up here, one question that I'm wondering and I've been curious about the whole time is, do you guys always color coordinate your clothing?

8:35 - Pierce
Only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

8:39 - Alex
This has been fantastic. I know we're just scratching the surface here, but I feel good about our conversation and letting everybody know just a little bit more about Full House and you guys and what you do. Yeah, I'm excited to be connected with you guys and see where everything goes. If anyone has any questions outside of just visiting the website, if anybody's looking at this, watching this, and wants to connect with you guys, what's the best way to get in touch with you if they have an opportunity or a question or anything like that?

9:07 - Andria
Super simple, Andria@fullhouse.com. A-N-D-R-I-A at fullhouse.com.

9:14 - Alex
It's not super simple, you spell your name differently.

9:17 - Andria
I know. Full, okay, A-N-D-R-I-A-F-H-U-S-E dot com. Now in French...

9:32 - Pierce
[Laughter]

9:35 - Pierce
And go.

9:41 - Alex
No, she came in guns blazing with that. Go ahead.

9:44 - Pierce
Or you can email me at Pierce, P-I-R-C-E, at fullhouse.com.

9:50 - Alex
Oh, we are not doing the accent.

9:55 - Alex
Okay, thank you so much, guys.

9:58 - Pierce
Thank you, Alex.

9:59 - Andria
Appreciate it. 

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EXPLORE FULHAUS NOW
A smiling man with short brown hair and a beard stands on a beach during sunset. He is wearing a black short-sleeved shirt with small white dots. The ocean and sandy shore are in the background, creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Couch.com. Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Couch.com. Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the Couch.com audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
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Alex Back
Couch.com CEO & Founder