Aufbewahrungskörbe, die aus gebogenen Metalldrähten bestehen, Pflanzenboxen, die als Raumteiler oder grüne Oase in der Wohnung dienen und bunt bestickte Kissen im modernen, skandinavischen Design: Ferm LIVING steht seit 2006 für grafische Wohntextilien und schlichte Wohnaccessories, die einen besonderen Wiedererkennungswert haben. Trine Andersen, Gründerin von ferm LIVING, hat es geschafft, ihren Einmannbetrieb in ein international angesehenes Label zu verwandeln und ist damit fester Bestandteil des New Nordic Designs.
Wir haben Trine gefragt, wie sie den Spagat zwischen Kindern und Beruf meistert, wie die Zukunft von ferm LIVING aussieht und warum die Dänen immer wieder zu den glücklichsten Menschen der Welt gekürt werden.
1. Started as a small company back in 2006 your design pieces have a high recognition power now such as the plant boxes and wire baskets. What was the most challenging period for your business and how did you turn ferm LIVING into a global brand?
It was never an active decision to turn my first ten designs of a wallpaper into a global brand; it is the result of constantly trying to improve and challenge ourselves collection by collection. Year by year and with all these small steps, sometimes opportunities presented themselves and other times we needed to work a little harder to achieve our goals. Sometimes I think I was very lucky to get where ferm LIVING and I are today, but I guess that if it’s right, it all works out in the end.
We’ve always had a healthy business, but the most challenging time of my life personally has been to juggle and prioritise my time after having my two children but still have great expectations for the future of the company. It’s been a cause of some worries about being there enough both places.
2. In Denmark you spent a fair amount of time in your homes. So do we in Germany during the winter season. Do you have any great advice how to turn a home into a cosy place?
We try to encourage to use your personality when decorating a home. The cosy feeling, to us at least, really gets noticeable when you get that sense of the person who lives there; when you see that the home tells a little story of who they are. Of course, green plants, use of colours and soft textiles add a lot of atmosphere and “hygge” to a home, but I believe that that eccentric mix you get if you allow yourself to follow your heart and surround yourself with your favourite objects, is what creates a lovely, cosy home, in which your family and friends feel welcome.
3. Talking about Scandinavian design, what will be next big thing in interior design?
The fun thing about working in a scene characterised by fleeing trends is what happens after a thing stop being ‘trendy’: they either become a classic or die out entirely. The thing about parts of Scandinavian design is that really, it’s become quite iconic and a big part of design history. But that also makes room for the new Nordic designers to experiment and challenge their history.
I think homes will become more important. Living in this fast-paced world, people need a place of bliss, of comfort – a please where they can breathe out and just be. Warm colours and thick, lovely textures will play their role in achieving this. And I don’t see the use of natural materials that are gently produced become less of a thing anytime soon.
4. How many people are working on the product design for ferm LIVING?
It depends from product to product. We are a small team of designers and product developers working at ferm LIVING, but we also do collaborations when it makes sense; if we meet inspiring designers or face a challenge that we need qualified help to solve – be it from an engineer, a constructor or any kind of person who has expert insights to a certain material or product type we want to launch. On example on these collaborations with external designers is the entire Herman series, which we developed with the Danish design duo Herman Studio, and it’s also the case this season. The Pujo series is a result of a design collaboration with Finnish Studio Finna and The Flying Shelf is made together with the Chinese designer Mario Tsai.
5. Where do you seek inspiration from?
Inspiration is a tough one to capsulate, and it comes when you least expect it – and it comes all the time. When you work with design the way I do, you always, unconsciously, have your eye and mind centered around design; shapes, colours, silhouettes, materials etc. I’m very inspired by textures and patterns found in nature. But it can also be a beautiful classic stairway in an old home, or a piece of contemporary art. It comes from everything from food to fashion and of course it also comes from all the “classic” ways of seeking inspiration like magazines, online, museums, inspirational trips. I try to keep my senses woke always, to take what comes and see if it works in a new design.
6. What’s the future of ferm LIVING? Are you planning to expand your product offering or to tap into different design areas?
We will keep exploring what a good home looks and feels like. We have a lot of product categories, and at this point, I wouldn’t say you’ll see a lot more in the time to come. Instead, we’ll focus on fine-tuning these and developing both each design as well as the categories. We have an aim of constantly challenging ourselves to shape the future and we’ll stay on this track in the quest for the good home. But safe to say, we have loads of ideas and many exciting projects ahead of us.
7. Scandinavian design is all about longevity and sustainability. What’s your advice on finding the right interior for a home?
At all times, I would say follow your heart instead of trends. Surround yourself with things of good quality and that make you feel great. Remember to take the architectural style of your home into consideration when decorating – whether it’s a classic apartment with high ceilings or a newly build one makes a lot of difference.
8. The Danes are one of the happiest folks in the world. What makes Copenhagen to such a positive place and does that influence you in your work process?
The basis of our designs and collections are our Scandinavian design heritage, so I definitely believe that being here, surrounded by the history of great design makes a difference. You have history everywhere, when you walk down a street, and when you add the great museums, galleries, and restaurants into that, it’s difficult not to be happy about living in Copenhagen. Also, being around so many other designers, brands and a positive, creative, almost bubbly energy makes you sharp in your design language and aware of who you are. You need to be on your toes all the time to stay in the mix of all the great Scandinavian and Danish designers. So many great things and designs come out of the North, and I consider myself lucky to be part of such an inspirational scene.