Are FF&E schedules useful? Can beginners use a template?


FF&E Schedule

Middle East Palace - Full Renovation, FF & E selected, designed and procured by Bergman Design House


Hi curious souls of the design world! This week we are diving deeper into FF&E design, as we will talk about FF&E schedules - What are they? How can you create one? What are they used for? Do you even need one?

Hopefully we will be able to answer most of the questions that will pop up in your heads about the more technical side of this job. The previous weeks we were discussing FF&E design for beginners and the more creative part of the job, now we will move towards the technical side of it to give you more clarity.

The questions we will answer today:

  1. What is an FF&E schedule?
  2. What is included in an FF&E schedule?
  3. What is an FF&E floor plan?
  4. What are the differences between a residential and hospitality FF&E specification?
  5. Can beginners use a template?

Let’s begin.

What is an FF&E schedule?

FF&E Schedules 2

Custom Chess Set by Bergman Design House

First and foremost, if this is the first article you are reading about FF&E design and you don’t know what is ff&e design is exactly, don’t worry. We have got you.

In our first article we explain it in detail, but here is a recap for you:

FF&E stands for Fabrics, furniture and equipment design that have no permanent connection to the structure of the building.

When you are ready with your furniture, fabric and material selection, you have to create a so-called FF&E schedule to document your process. Some may say this is the least exciting part of the project, but if you would ask us - for sure we would disagree. Why?

Because you have the chance to work out every single piece in detail, when creating a schedule and this way you can make sure the manufacturer will be able to produce every piece into perfection. FF&E schedules are your favourite tools to have everything packaged in a written format so both you and your client will have a clear understanding about what is about to happen during the design process.

What is included in an FF&E schedule?

Quite a few things to be precise, but we will only share the basics components now, so when you first get started, you will understand where and what to look for in your work.

  1. Detailed drawing of the furniture (carpet, casegood, upholstery, drapery, lighting, bed, bedding, artwork - they are all a part of it)
  2. Correct measurements - trust us when we say the most important part of the process is to properly measure a space and the furniture within
  3. Description of furniture - what is shown on the drawing to fully clarify every detail to the manufacturer
  4. Local standards - applies to both residential and hospitality projects
  5. Brand standards - only hospitality projects

When you have all of these combined on your pages, that’s when you can say your schedule for a certain item is ready.

Moving on from here, we should look at the space as a whole, therefore we should discuss FF&E floor plans as it can also deliver confusion sometimes. Let’s clear it up once and for all, shall we?

What is an FF&E floor plan? (add FFE plan image)

An architectural plan that contains the correct layout, measurement and sign of each FF&E element of each space planned. An FF&E floor plan within the FF&E schedule is used to help you

  • Measure the space and it’s FF&E sizing
  • Work out the correct layout
  • Work out the proper function of each area
  • Measure quantities

As you are going through the project, this is going to be your focal point, when you are looking to complete each area.


Easy. If you take one piece of advice from us, document your areas by categories. The main categories used in FF&E are:

  • Rugs/Carpet
  • Drapery/Blind
  • Casegood
  • Upholstery
  • Bed/Bedding
  • Lighting
  • Artwork/Accessories
  • Operational Equipment

They build up on each other, therefore we suggest you don’t bulk little corners up, rather work on furniture groups to make sure you have ticked off everything on your list. A furniture plan can also help you with that, as you can go through your numbering system (most companies use one) and see what has or hasn’t been completed yet.

Now we know it may have started to become a little more complicated, but stay with us! We are going to twist a little more then tell you how you, as a beginner can utilise all of this information and make sure you are doing the best possible job.

What are the differences between a residential and hospitality FF&E specification?

This is a very important topic as from the outside it may seem the two should be something similar, when in reality - they are completely different. Residential and hospitality design are two amazing aspects of interior design, however the needs and standards vary quite a lot, therefore it is important to mention some key points in order for you to fully understand how different FF&E schedules are set up.

Residential FF&E Schedule:

Residential projects are the ones, which belong to private owners for private use. To simplify, someone’s home. Given this, we can ease up a little bit on the regulations as fabrics and materials don’t need the same level of treatment (we will talk about it further within hospitality), as the usage will be much lower.

However, when we work on private properties, we need to consider different needs, therefore we need to tailor our design, as well as our schedule to fit them. Residential projects are more detailed as usually every piece is an individual one, therefore it is likely you will have to specify more pieces.

Another aspect that is usually done by the FF&E designers for residential projects is the Artwork/Accessories package. FF&E designers select various artists and propose them to the client as this is usually within the package.

To summarise it, Residential FF&E schedules may be more detailed with more furniture pieces, however you have more leg room to play with certain types of furniture and you don’t necessarily have to always think of function - but aesthetics. (Function is still an important part, but not as much as with hospitality).

Hospitality FF&E Schedule:

Hilton Hotel Brussels by Bergman Design House

Think of everything we have just said about residential, but put aesthetic as your third concern. Why? Because first you must think of function and requirements.

But what are they?

  1. Function - in a hotel, function should always be your first priority. Yes, hotels need to look yummy and inviting, but the way you choose the height of the seating for lounge, restaurant or the desk height in a meeting room against the seating on top of your design is crucial. When people go to hotels they want to be treated right. Therefore you need to make sure everything is made to make them feel even better than home.
  2. Requirements - now this may be the sour part of design, as you will realise many things (mainly fabrics) you truly love won’t make the cut here. Why? Because you have to think of durability, fire treatment, wear time, hotel standards amongst other things. This will narrow down your options, but what’s life without a little challenge?

Given all of this information,  we will answer the most burning question:

Can beginners use a template?

In short: absolutely! But let’s discuss it further. Templates are usually created for several reasons. Mainly because every company has their in-house standards already written inside the templates, in order to speed up the process and do proper quality control.

On top of that a template for every type of FF&E is something that will ultimately help you become faster and more efficient in your work. Through them you can learn and understand more about certain fire treatments, martindale scales, lacquer types and so on for different fabrics and materials throughout the project.

A template is basically a guide to help you bring out the best of your work.

All of this may sound like a lot and we will not lie, at the beginning it can become overwhelming. But give it some practice and time and you will master both worlds of FF&E design - residential and hospitality. Even though they can be two completely different worlds, the way you work with them is always similar.

Next week, we will help you navigate within the world of hospitality and tell you if FF&E schedules are used in lifestyle hotels or not? Are they even needed? Can you have a successful project without them?

You may already know the answer and if you do, don’t forget to tell us in the comments! On top of that, if you wish to see our finished projects then don’t forget to click and follow our socials which you can find below!