We caught up with FF&E designer Emmie to ask her about what the role involves, her design inspiration and being part of the Bernard Interiors team …
What does an FF&E – furniture, fixtures and equipment – designer do?
If you were to tip a building upside down, whatever were to fall out is our responsibility. FF&E support the interior designers with fabric, furniture and accessory selection, with a focus on detailed specification. Our role is to deliver the promise that we give the client at presentation stage. We liaise with suppliers to make sure the specification is correct prior to production. We work closely with purchasing to deliver each product and when the project is coming to completion, FF&E will be onsite to help practically deliver that project and add the finishing touches.
At what stage do you get involved in a project?
That depends on the project. Sometimes we can be involved from concept, but more often after a project has gone out to tender and is ready for detailed specification.
Is there a typical day?
In short, no! Often my day consists of specification, sourcing and designing, but we work in a team where we jump in to help where needed, so one day can look very different to the next!
Do you have a favourite scheme from the projects you’ve worked on at Bernard Interiors?
Is there a particular aspect of the skilled manufacturing processes used to create an interior that fascinates you?
We work with many very skilled people, but our furniture makers are another level. The way they transform a concept and a swatch of fabric into a stunning piece of furniture never fails to amaze me.
What do you enjoy doing best?
I love researching; developing a concept or finding new suppliers. I’m also quite hands on, so my favourite afternoons will be spent head deep in fabric books, collating samples and tweaking schemes until you get a “that’s it!” moment.
Do you have a personal favourite design style, era or designer?
I am drawn to timeless, classic design, whatever the era. The grandeur and space of Georgian architecture, the bare bones aesthetic of interior designer Vincent Van Duysen and the effortless style of Phoebe Philo, former creative director of fashion house Céline.
Which Bernard Interiors CPD event have you enjoyed the most?
It’s always great to find new product and suppliers so a recent visit to design show Decorex was hugely beneficial. While there, my colleague and I attended a seminar on sustainability in high end design, which as an ever-growing topic in the interior design industry was eye opening, inspiring and gave us some practical advice to take into our own practice.
What do you like about being part of the Bernard Interiors team?
We have a very supportive team where we all pitch in to hit deadlines. Suppliers, knowledge and experiences are shared to make each project better than the last. We’re all keen to grow as designers, with opportunities to do so through CPD, research and sourcing trips. It’s a fast-paced working environment with lots of ambition – it’s great to be a part of that.
What do you like best about life in the North East?
The North East is a very friendly place to live. I also love that you can drive an hour in any direction and be some way up the Northumberland coastline, or in the heart of the countryside.