Since 2006 when Ferm Living was founded, the Danish design brand has grown into an inspiring forerunner in modern Scandinavian home decor. We talked to Trine Andersen about the latest collection and learned how it all started with a hunt for the perfect wallpaper.
TRINE ANDERSEN, what are the key elements in Ferm Living’s collection for autumn and winter 2019?
“In our latest collection, we have worked with the fluid and irregular shapes of nature, tactile experiences and our constant love for handicrafts. The materials are honest and color schemes are spice and back to earth; the palette ranges from ebony to ivory.
Our biggest ambition and desire is to inspire people to create the kind of space that makes them feel comfortable at home. A home is much more than just beautiful things. We believe it’s a place intimately tied to our emotions, values, and way of thinking, and hope that you can see this in our newest collection.”
How would you describe the current Ferm Living style?
“During the 13 years Ferm Living has existed, our aesthetics has developed a lot and so has my personal taste. We have a clean, Scandinavian aesthetic with references to the wonderful design heritage of the ’50s and ’60s.
To balance that, Ferm Living also offers bolder statement pieces – items that are more colorful and rich. When you mix these styles, the bolder pieces give energy to the calmer ones. This way, you can tone the decor up or down whether you’re into colors or a more monochrome style. Personally, I love to mix it up. It’s not about being just clean and Scandinavian. We love to add some sparkle!”
Could you tell us how Ferm Living was born?
“I have a background in graphic design; I used to work in an advertising agency. In 2005, I decided to go solo and founded my own one-woman agency. That same year, I bought a house with my husband Martin. When I started decorating it, I was not able to find the right wallpaper – that’s where the idea for making my own wallpaper came from.
In 2006, I made ten different wallpaper designs and applied to exhibit them at a fair in Denmark. I couldn’t afford to put them all into production, so I printed only one. And that’s how Ferm Living got started. It was scary and interesting at the same time. And everything went really well! Since then, Ferm Living has developed from season to season.”
“Since 2006, Ferm Living has developed from season to season. We have added new product types every year.”
What were the next products after wallpapers?
“Wall stickers. At the time they were something totally new and also a natural extension to the collection. Customers then started asking if they could have our prints on tea towels or cushions. We have added new product types every year.”
How many people does Ferm Living employ at the moment?
“There’s 45 of us. It’s been a journey: the growth has not been explosive but it’s been going steadily for 13 years. We always try to do everything a little bit better than we did the last season. We have many different kinds of handcraft involved so we need to have skilled manufacturers – they are a key element for us.”
How do you see the future of Ferm Living?
“To me, it’s like we have been building a house. And in every room of the house, there is a coherent decor. In the future, it’s about sharpening that vision, adding more products as we go and as things change. We’ll continue to develop more serious items like furniture and lighting. But at the same time, it’s important to never forget where we came from: the accessories, the green living pieces, and wallpapers. We strive to inspire people, give ideas on how to mix the new pieces with furniture and accessories they already have.”
“We strive to inspire people, give ideas on how to mix the new pieces with furniture and accessories they already have.”
The house Ferm Living has been building also has a kids’ room. How do you combine the colorful kids’ collection with more serious design?
“As a parent and design lover, you can still cope if some of the pieces from the kids’ collection make their way to the living room or kitchen. It’s actually fun if there’s a kids’ cushion or basket in the corner! We design for the kids, of course, but even more for their parents. Ferm Living has so-called crossover products in the collection – products that you can use in the living room but that the kids will also love.”
What is your favorite product at the moment?
“I get new darlings every season! If I had to pick one, I’d say it’s the new Rico sofa series.”
What does your own home look like?
“We live in northern Copenhagen, in a yellow brick stone house from the ’60s. We have Ferm Living products, of course, but the decor is an eclectic mix of everything from art to iconic design pieces, kids creations and vintage finds – I love to mix old and new.”
“In our home the decor is an eclectic mix of everything from art to iconic design pieces, kids creations and vintage finds.”
In terms of Ferm Living, what are you most proud of?
“That’s a big question! When I started, it was not my ambition at all to have a “real” company with employees and all. Of course, I’m proud that we can provide jobs for all these people, not only in Denmark but also for our wonderful suppliers abroad. We have worked with them for many years and got to know their employees too.
That is something that gives me goosebumps: so many people get their living from our company. And of course, when our team works together and we succeed, that’s something I’m very proud of.”
Ferm Living favourites
Who: Trine Andersen
• Founded the Danish design brand Ferm Living in 2006
• Backgroud in advertising and graphic design, works now as Creative Director at Ferm Living
• Lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, with her family.
Text: Mikko Vaija Images: Ferm Living