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Impact and Ergonomics: How to Approach FF&E In Design

Discover how leading firms we work with approach Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) with a focus on detail, balance, and sustainability.


Interior Designer
Interior Designer

In any sector of interior design, the selection of furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) can make or break the end result. A few of the design firms we work closely with take a meticulous approach to FF&E, emphasising early consideration, innovative selection, and a balance between aesthetics and functionality. So, we thought we’d share insights into what makes an exceptional FF&E designer, the importance of early planning, and the common pitfalls to avoid.


The complexity of detail orientation and balance in FF&E design is similar to assembling a puzzle, where each piece must fit perfectly. Early consideration in the design process is crucial, with FF&E selections often replacing traditional walls to create architectural elements. We focus on social sustainability and proximity to the project to mitigate supply chain issues, ensuring unique and thought-provoking pieces.


Ergonomics is a top priority, with each piece needing to be functional and proportional. While FF&E is vital, it must work harmoniously with other design elements like materials, lighting, and textures. Common mistakes in FF&E design include ignoring proportions and ergonomics and underestimating the importance of craftsmanship and durability.


When we work with our clients, we ensure that each project is visually appealing but also practical and harmonious, embodying the principles of detailed, balanced, and sustainable design.


What Makes a Good FF&E Designer


Someone who is not lazy, has an eye for detail, and knows how to put together a balanced composition. Creating an interior design palette is like assembling a puzzle, where each piece must fit perfectly. Furniture is an essential piece of this equation. A good FF&E designer understands where to add more and, crucially, where to exercise restraint. I emphasize the importance of creating a balanced composition, knowing when to add emphasis and when to hold back, highlighting the significance of balance and attention to detail.


Early Consideration and Critical Factors


FF&E selections should be considered very early in the design process. At Burnt Oringe Intl. we start having discussions with our clients during the concept phase. This forward-thinking approach ensures that furniture and fixtures play a crucial role in space division and zoning, often replacing traditional walls. It’s about creating architectural elements as well as having your procurement team and design team working together to ensure a cohesive project.   


Supply chain considerations are absolutely crucial for both us and our clients. As your FF&E procurement team, we meticulously assess the geography of your project and carefully handpick factories based on their capabilities and proximity to your project. We are extremely mindful of the placement and prioritize social sustainability to effectively mitigate any potential procurement issues.


We have the privilege of collaborating with forward-thinking clients who eschew following trends. Our clients appreciate originality and seek out pieces that provoke thought or elicit reactions.


Criteria for Effective FF&E Design


Ergonomics is key.  No one wants a piece that looks good but is not functional.  Each piece must be proportional and contribute meaningfully to the overall scheme, whether it makes a bold statement or provides subtle support. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that every piece, whether it “screams” or remains understated, adds to the harmony of the design.


The Role of FF&E in Project Success


Although FF&E is important to us, we recognise that for our clients, it is just one part of a broader process. It is one of many elements that contribute to the success of a design.


Common Mistakes in FF&E Design


It is absolutely crucial to ensure that there is a complete understanding between the procurement team and the designers to avoid any potential pitfalls. Understanding impact and ergonomics and how to approach FF&E in design, as well as the designer's thought process and ultimate goal is imperative for project success. This is precisely why we proactively engage in the process as early as the concept stage. It is our responsibility to meticulously consider and address finer points such as ensuring the proper ergonomics of furniture and accounting for the needs of all potential users of the space.


Another consideration for us is the importance of craftsmanship and the life cycle cost of furniture choices. The value of quality and durability is important and needs to be considered with each project.  


Our approach to FF&E with each client and each project is marked by early consideration, a focus on innovative and sustainable choices, and a deep commitment to functionality and proportion. These principles ensure that each project is not only visually appealing but also practical and harmonious.


A good FF&E designer is detail-oriented, understands balance, and knows how to make each piece of furniture contribute meaningfully to the overall design – they also happen to be our favourite clients.


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