• Beverley Nip

What is FF&E? And why is it important?





You have decided to renovate your home, but not sure what furniture, materials, accessories, paint colours etc would go well together? Interior designers can help you solve this problem in the FF&E stage, and it is one of the crucial steps in interior design. So, you might be wondering, what on earth is FF&E? How does it work? There is no need to worry, as we will be answering these 2 questions in this blog, so keep reading if you want to know the answers!


What is FF&E?

First thing first, what does FF&E stand for? Well, it is an abbreviation that interior designers commonly use, and simply stands for furniture, fixtures, and equipment.


FF&E design originated from a professional design system for hotel interior design and assembly. This is one of the essential stages of the process, as the designers are selecting and designing suitable furniture, finishes and accessories. And these would affect how the design plan would look in the end.


From adjustable furniture to decorative materials, from interior decoration to providing everyday supplies. From electrical equipment to mechanical arrangement, from sanitary ware to hard- and firmware etc. These all belong to the scope of FF&E design. Although, the interior design for high-end residential is relatively less complicated.



Furniture is movable decorations. Another way of saying, you can move them around and have them anywhere you want in your home. For example, your sofa, dining table and chairs, chest of drawers, sideboards, and study desks.


As for fixtures, they are decorations with fixed positions. Ceiling lights, kitchen cabinet units, radiators, faucets for the bathrooms and kitchen, and integrated wardrobes would be examples of fixtures.


The final one is equipment, and some interior designers would use an alternative word. So, they would use the word “accessories” instead. Examples of equipment would be your computers, air purifier appliances and decorative objects to decorate your home.


What is the FF&E process?

We have explained what FF&E is, so it is time to about how does the FF&E process work. There are in total of 6 steps that interior designers do for their interior design residential projects. Now, we are going to explain how does each step work.


Credit: Nikki Rees


Step 1: Research and gather data


Doing research is not as simple as it seems, but it is quite a lengthy task. The style, colour and feels are not the only factors the interior designer needs to consider when researching the suitable decorations for the project.


So, one of the factors would be the size of the furniture and fixtures. Since it will affect how the space is used efficiently in the design. The designer would also be taking account of the age, lifestyle, and needs of the clients in this first stage.


At the same time, information (prices, photos etc.) of the chosen decorations would be gathered when doing the research. Processing and professionally organising all these data in preparation for the second stage would need some time.


Credit: Covet House


Step 2: Presenting to the client


Here is the second step of the FF&E process. So, the interior designer will present the furniture and decorations that were carefully selected to the client. And showing where they will be placed in the home using the floor plans.


On some occasions, 3D visualisation would be created to show how the new home would look and feel when having all of the decorations. We will be explaining what 3D visualisation is in an upcoming article.


This step takes several times to complete. Because the client will provide some feedback on the interior designer's design proposal. And possibly, some new ideas. So, it would be going back and forth until the clients are happy with the list.



Step 3: Procurement of the FF&E


The clients are satisfied with the decor chosen for their new home. The next step is that the interior designer will contact the supplier to confirm the delivery date and the final quotation of the order.


Although, the delivery lead times are not the same as usual because of the pandemic. Therefore, it is significantly important for the designers to be aware of the impact on those FF&E orders. Since it will influence which ones to order first without affecting the project progress. When the clients are satisfied with the quotation, then it is time to order the decorations for the project.



Step 4: Managing FF&E deliveries


For a residential interior design project, the decorations would be coming from one singular supplier. Instead, the furniture, fixtures and equipment can be sourced from different suppliers. This stage is quite complicated, and the interior designer would need to be cautious here.


Firstly, the status of each order would need to be confirmed. So, which of the order has been dispatched or delivered or delayed? If the order is dispatched, the interior designer would only need to confirm the delivery date in this step. But, if it is delayed, the designer would have to go back to step 1 to find an alternative decoration that suits all criteria and can be delivered on time.



Step 5: Installation of FF&E


The furniture, fixtures and equipment are gradually being delivered to the client’s property. And many people would think that step 5 does not involve the interior designer only the building team would be needed. In actual fact, this fifth stage does need both the interior designer and the building team. Because designers are responsible for telling the building team where and how to install each decoration on the property.



Step 6: Handing over to client

Here is the final stage of the FF&E process. All the furniture, fixtures and equipment have been delivered and installed. It is time to hand over the home with a brand-new interior design and decorations to the client.


Before you go let’s have a quick review of what we talked about in this article. FF&E in interior design is not a simple task. As we explained, it involves managing a broad variety of activities and different kinds of decorations to complete one interior design project.


So, what are your thoughts about FF&E? Let us know in the comments below! We hope you found this article useful to help you understand FF&E and interior design a little bit more. If you enjoyed reading this article, why not share it with your friends and families? Do you want to have some ideas on renovating your home? Check out this blog on one of the successful cases of 2-floor space renovation.


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Considering to re-design your home? You can get in touch with us to get some professional advice from a 22-year experience interior design team. T Interiors | 天潤一始 are here to support you in your journey to create your dream place.