Femke Furnée, founder of FEST, tells us all about her interior design philosophy and how her new home reflects it. What does she love most about where she lives and how does she see it evolving in the future? In this open chat, she shares her inspiration, her most-loved design pieces and even which drawers she’d rather not have us peek into. Get to know Femke and be inspired by her unique brand of optimism – the very same optimism that turned her dream of affordable luxury into FEST.
Love at first sight “I was living in a very spacious house in Amsterdam-North, a quieter part of the city. Then I decided I’d like to try living in the bustling heart of the city centre. Funnily enough, I ended up choosing the first and only house I viewed there. And actually, it was just over my budget, but I couldn’t get it out of my head! So I thought: whatever, I'm just going to look. As soon as I entered, I knew: this is it.”
Mirror mirror “I love that mirror. It’s pretty, it’s big and I’m crazy about the colours. David Derksen and Lex Pott created a true art piece there. That’s what makes me happy: making a statement with not too many things.”
Instantly at home “This house really suits me: it’s light, fresh, optimistic. It has a high energy. And there's a huge rooftop terrace, a tranquil, green oasis in the middle of the bustling city, with lots of sun and birds. From doves and sparrows to Amsterdams infamous green parakeets. I even saw a woodpecker once!" Watch out! “I had a very nice crystal glass collection, inherited from my grandmother. Carafes, champagne glasses, everything. I had it all nicely displayed in a cabinet, which turned out to be super rickety: one small bump against it and the whole thing collapsed. Three shelves of glassware broken! Sure, that sucked, but I can't feel blue about those things for too long. After all, it's just stuff."
Big, bigger, biggest “The best interior design tip I ever got is to always buy the largest possible thing that fits. Because you'd rather have a few big things than a lot of small ones and because you usually move to a bigger house. Well, unless you're me...haha.”
Ugly but lovely “If people give me presents which I don’t really like, I display them anyway, at least for a little while. Because I think it's sweet that people give something at all and because it's also funny to suddenly find a misfit between all the other stuff. Not everything needs to be beautiful.” Trial and error “Art, fashion, business, biographies, novels: you'll find everything in my bookcase. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – the founder of Nike – is one of my favourites. It taught me that even a brand like Nike started small and has had many setbacks before conquering the world.”
Like a kitten “That’s how I prefer to lie on the couch. All curled up in a corner.” Enjoying more with less “I love going to antique markets. I’m always on the hunt for those hidden gems. But I don’t want to go too often, because I’m really happy living in a place that’s not overloaded with stuff. A move like this also helps with that: decluttering the house. Getting rid of unnecessary things. Let’s see how long it stays that way...haha.” Art in a backpack “While I was at the fair in Paris, artist Donald Schenkel suddenly came by with his father. He took out a very small piece of art from his backpack, gave it to me and said: ‘thank you for using my work in your photo shoots’. I thought that was so considerate and sweet! Shortly after, I visited his studio and bought two more of his works: those ones hang above my bed.”
Table for one “I only eat on the sofa when I'm really tired. I prefer to sit at the table, even when I'm alone. Especially then! Set the table nicely, light a candle, play music. I like those kinds of rituals for myself. I see it as a form of self-love.”
Disaster drawer “Naturally, I'm a messy person, but over the years I learned to be neater. Keys in a fixed place. Trays with labels. That stuff. But I can’t control the bathroom drawer, it just stays a disaster. It always starts nice and organised, but it quickly gets out of hand. I just don't want to keep track of that every day. That's more of a once-a-month task. Or two.”
Let there be light “I really want a light artwork above the stairs. I love Dan Flavin's work, but those are museum pieces, so a little out of my budget...haha. But I would really like something in that style.”