Do you know what FFE stands for? Can beginners do the job? A guide to succeed


May Fair House - Full Renovation, FF & E selected, designed and procured by Bergman Design House


Are you trying to figure out what is FFE exactly? Have you been wondering why it is so popular and why many designers, as well as professional magazines are talking about it? Then you have come to the right place!

We have prepared this article to explain what FFE stands for in the interior design world and by doing so - showcasing some of our projects as examples. This way you can see the transformational power of FF & E design on spaces.

So let’s begin…


What does FFE stands for?

Like we mentioned in our previous article (I will link here), where we explained all the basics of FFE, it stands for:

“FFE design stands for Fabrics, furniture and equipment design that have no permanent connection to the structure of the building.”

It is basically the soul of every interior space. Why do we say that? Because without it, spaces mainly would function as “vessels”. But the moment it is filled with carefully curated and designed pieces, every interior turns into something else.

They tell a story. They become the cozy space you have always dreamed of, or a hotel space you have always wanted to visit - all because architects and ff & e designers worked hard to make certain concepts a reality.

Now we will not talk about the very basics of FF&E design here - only because you can read all about it in our previous article (I am linking again) - but we will explain what it truly means in a space. Especially for us at Bergman…

Can a beginner become an FF&E Designer?

Absolutely! Nobody starts as a professional and anyone with a good taste can become someone, who is working as a fabric, furniture and equipment designer. Now of course it begs the question:

What do I need to become an FF&E Designer?

These are the main skills you need to become a successful FF&E designer:

    1. Attention to detail: You have to be able to see and think of the smallest details - hinges for example and even the finishes of the hinges as one piece and as a piece in a whole space and project. Why? Because the small details are the ones that can make your design outstanding.
    2. Good sense of style: It is essential. Understanding styles, color stories and moods should come as second nature, when becoming a designer. Especially for FF&E Designers...And if you are wondering why, just refer back to our first point. You have to be spot on with details, therefore knowing what makes a space fit a certain design brief is essential.
  • Good with hand sketches: FF & E designers have to draw products and quickly draw spaces in order to showcase their ideas, therefore being able to draw well is a non-negotiable. And if you think it’s impossible - don’t worry about it! Drawing is a skill that can be learned and luckily - you don’t have to draw the next Michelangelo, you only need to understand proportions and axonometry correctly.

    +1. The technical skills - Using certain programs, understanding space planning and so on are the tools and skills you can (and will) learn along the way. However, you need to have a true passion for artistry and to do detailed work, otherwise you will never get the result you are looking for.

    Moving forward let’s look at a few examples of spaces and furniture pieces that Bergman has done to better explain the nature and versatility of this work.

    FFE Projects by Bergman Design House:



    May Fair House - Full Renovation, FF & E selected, designed and procured by Bergman Design House


    In this space we have done the full renovation, design and ff & e selection. Now let’s approach it from the ff & e point of view. But before we do that, a quick brief for you:

    This place was a listed building, therefore when we were working on the overall design, we had to make sure that we appreciate the building’s original features and also keep it in mind - we cannot change everything, as like we said: it is a listed building.

    In case you don’t know what it means, listing marks and celebrates a building's special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations. The older a building is, and the fewer the surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to be listed.

    So how should you look at the ff & e design in this living room?

    This area has a lot of natural light, which is highlighted with the room’s white wall paint. To make sure the living room walls won’t fall flat, we detailed with a beautiful molding on the ceiling as well as a subtle paneling on the walls.

    To create a strong, yet timeless contrast in the space, we added strong colors as accents, such as the royal blue on the lounge chairs or the burgundy marble on the plinths. The main color scheme is dominated with different shades of white and polished gold (and a little play of copper).

    Let us show you an example of what we mean by this. The mood board below has similar colors, yet it looks interesting, because we used different materials as well as finishes.

    Mood Board by Bergman Design House


    When you are designing a space and you are using similar colors, you can always play with different finishes, weaves and materials to create interest. This way you can create a timeless and sophisticated look. Our goal here was to make sure the owners will look at this space as one that is contemporary, cozy yet timeless in its look.

    Now you know the basics of how you can look at a space in terms of details and colors, but what about furniture? Let’s find out!

    Product design as a part of FF & E - BlackBerg Collection by Bergman Design House



    BlackBerg Upholstered Collection


    Product design is another main aspect of this profession. It allows us to create custom furniture for our customers based on their ideas and budget. Given that we had so many requests throughout the years, we thought it was only fitting that we start offering our own collection.

    Every piece is made in order to deliver the most sophisticated and comfortable feel in your home. You can find out more about our products if you go to the BlackBerg Collection (I will link here).

    Back to the design process. When you are working on custom furniture, it may feel overwhelming at first, as there are so many opportunities. However, the moment you break it down to a few key points, such as:

    1. What is the design brief?
    2. Is it feminine / masculine?
    3. What inspires me?
    4. What is the function of the piece?

    ...Will be the moment you find a spectrum of varieties that you can work with. What do we mean by that? There are certain shapes, colors and finishes that usually represent different styles as well as eras in history. When you have a clear answer to all of the questions above, that’s when you know which direction you should be choosing.

    This is how we designed our first collection at BlackBerg. In this article, we are showcasing a part of our Upholstery collection as a start. Overall, our goal was to design furniture that is versatile, timeless and yet has the Bergman look and feel.

    What is the Bergman look and feel?

    A piece that is useful, timeless and always has an unexpected detail. Take the blue slipper chair as an example. It already has a curved backrest, however we made sure it stands as though it would completely hug you around. This way we were able to create a piece that is comfortable, yet unexpected. Not to mention the backrest and the legs are melting into each other.


    FF & E design is the spice you need, when designing and if you wish to become someone who does this profession, we couldn’t encourage you more. We truly think this is the part of the design, where you can be artistic, express your love for colors, fabrics and detailed ideas best.

    In our upcoming article, we will tell you more about the technical parts - such as schedules and documenting of FF & E design, as it isn’t only dreaming and drawing beautiful spaces and furniture.

    It has a very serious part, where we have to make sure every measurement is in its place and the space is planned for its function, not just the looks.

    We hope you have enjoyed this piece and it has helped you learn more in depth about what FF & E Designers do and what this profession covers.

    Don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Pinterest, where we share all of our finished projects as well as a lot from the behind the scenes. We hope to see you there!