Fest Hutspot

FEST founder Femke Furnée: ‘I believe a beautiful environment can make you happy’

Interviews

Amsterdam based interior brand FEST creates durable and high quality design furniture for an affordable price. Founded by Femke Furnée in 2013, the brand quickly developed into thé source for bold, colorful and classy interior design. We visited FEST at their HQ in Amsterdam and sat down with Femke to talk about their design aesthetic, production process and new collection of home accessories.

Why did you start FEST?
When decorating my own home, I couldn’t really find affordable design that I liked. We all know what the Dutch home boulevards look like today and IKEA – even though I love what they do – is very mass. I have always been an enterprising person. At eighteen, I launched an online art gallery and soon after started importing and re-selling furniture. FEST was born to offer unique products that are still affordable.

While being timeless, FEST feels bolder than most Scandinavian brands that are popular today. Do you see a shift in interior trends towards something more edgy?
I am not really sure if this is part of a bigger movement, but I do see more people that dare to choose color. Our designs are characterized by bright colors, round shapes and a bit of humor, while also being minimal and timeless in its core. I think this is why FEST fits well, yet also stands out from the calm Scandinavian trends we see often today. Trying out new things and continuing to develop through experimentation is important to us.

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Most of the FEST furniture line is produced in the Netherlands, isn’t it?
Yes, and we are very proud of that. Producing in the Netherlands enables us to stay involved in every part of the process, ensuring our quality standard at all times. Also, there are so many talented Dutch furniture makers that have inspired us with their skills. I am proud of what we achieved so far, because we know exactly where and how our products are produced and what the quality is.

For the past couple of years, FEST has been working with a lot of guest designers. Any favorites you want to highlight?
Ah, all of them! One of my favorite collaborations was the ‘CRUSH Collection’ (a selection of pillows and candle holders) we designed together with textile designer Mae Engelgeer. Working with a designer who shares the same aesthetic, creative vision and work ethic really influences the outcome. Another inspiring collaboration has been with the talented Martin Hirth, who we designed our iconic Friday chair with. The back panel has a beautiful round shape which proved difficult to produce at first. A very long, but inspiring process that made this collaboration one of our favorites. 

Today, we have expanded the Friday series with bar chairs and other variations. Collaboration does not need to end after one project. We find it important to expand the FEST family through meaningful collaborations that add something different.

You guys just launched a new collection of home accessories. What can we expect?
One of my personal favorites are the Obi vases. Their impactful and round shape really make a statement in your home. Almost like a piece of art, because of the way you put the flowers in. The Dixon fruit bowls come in beautiful nude and black and are available in three different sizes. We notice that we love to work with round shapes, which in itself is already a statement in a time where most design is linear and graphic.

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How do you feel when you see FEST in other people’s home?
It feels very special, almost humbling. I really believe that a beautiful environment can make you happy. FEST was founded to make high-end designs accessible and this is what we will continue to do. Because many of our furniture is customizable in both size and color, we get to see interior ideas from consumers that we would never think of ourselves. They inspire us just as much.

Are there any products that you would still love to make?
So many! I would love to produce a sleeping couch or a series of animal home accessories. Why does everything animal related always involve exotic prints or cheap materials? Or what about beautiful and durable furniture for your roof terrace or garden? At FEST, we always ask ourselves what we would personally still want to see in our home. Stay tuned!


Shop furniture and home accessories by FEST at all our stores.

Portret and wall photo’s by Anne-Claire Martens
FEST photography by Kasia Gatkowska and Elske Nissen
FEST styling by Barbara Berends and Chantal Collette