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10th Anniversary - time to celebrate
These days, you wouldn’t think that there’s a lack of interior design companies in Denmark, but when Trine Andersen was decorating her new home back in 2006, she found herself frustrated that she was unable to find the wallpaper she wanted. So she did what any good graphic designer would do; she designed it herself. With an academic background in graphic design and work experience as an art director for an advertising firm, Trine already had an eye for patterns and the skill set to create exactly what she wanted.
Encouraged by the quality of what she had made, she created ten designs and bought a booth to showcase them at Formland, the Danish interior fair in Jutland. “It was expensive to start the production on actual wallpaper, so I could only afford to do that with one design,” Trine explains, laughing. “The others were just on paper, and I was saying to potential clients, ‘look, we can produce this design on the wallpaper, too.’ But the investment paid off and we got orders! Going to that fair was one of my biggest moments with ferm LIVING because it showed me it could really work.” The launch brought overwhelmingly good response and Trine decided to continue.
Now it’s one decade on and ferm LIVING continues to build on this tradition. They still produce wallpaper, as well as numerous other interior designs. ferm LIVING release seasonal collections. These collections are less trend-focused, though that is a factor, and more about consistently creating new and functional high-quality design. “It’s an incredible amount of work,” Trine says, adding, “Of course the design and the products are the foundation, but there is so much else that goes into a business. Honestly, if I’d known all the parts that went into running a business before I started doing it, I may have given it a second thought. But of course, I’m so glad I went ahead!”
From 2006 to today, the brand has been able to grow and develop while also retaining the core that makes it unique. Discussing the ferm LIVING aesthetic, Trine says, “we don’t think about ourselves as only a Nordic brand, but we definitely come from the legacy of Danish mid-century modern and well-crafted design.”
That influence can be seen in the streamlined, light and functional aspect of the designs, as well as the innovative shaping. There is reference to the past with repetitive geometric shapes and even in the use of wallpaper, an interior design item that rides waves of popularity in various design traditions around the world. If there is something pointedly Scandinavian about ferm LIVING, there is something distinctly individual about it as well. “Our use of color is a strong part of our design DNA” Trine explains. The interest in living with plants and how they fit into your interior space is also essential to ferm LIVING, and that has been further explored with larger-scale plant boxes. The planters add height, effectively making plant life an integral part of the decor rather than an afterthought or addition.
Over the last ten years, ferm LIVING has spread from the walls all around the home so that now their products can be found in almost any part of a house - kitchen, living room, bedroom, office, bathroom or kids’ room.
The essence of wallpaper - that ability to change a room - is something that continues throughout all the categories and products. Trine’s ability to create cohesive collections speaks to her growth as a designer as well as her understanding of how people decorate their homes today. Though the products may be vastly different - from a daybed to a cushion to a magazine holder - you can immediately look at these products and know, “that’s from ferm LIVING.” To create such a signature look is something that brands spend decades trying to perfect but it’s not surprising that ferm LIVING has managed to do it since nearly its inception. “We’ve grown very organically,” Trine tells me, “and that’s allowed for a lot of our success because it all felt natural to go on to the next step, then the next, and so on.”
What is next for ferm LIVING?
First, they want to take a moment to look back and celebrate the last ten years. It’s a major achievement, both personally and professionally, for Trine. The celebration won’t last too long, though. There are collections to be designed and products to be made. “There’s a lot to do,” she laughs, as we say goodbye, “But that’s the way we like it!”