Our duvet cover sets are always on trend for those with bold and brave interior tastes. They’re designed in house by our gorgeous design team – so let’s go behind the curtain and discover how they do it. We spoke to Rea Bell, our Studio Manager, who took us through the whole process.
Whether you’re curious to see what goes on or you want to become a designer yourself, here’s how it’s done at furn.com.
It all begins with trends. Each season, the team develops four to six trends, which are the basis for duvet cover sets, cushions, hard goods, wallpaper – basically everything you see on site.
And how do they figure out what’s trendy? The design team do their research. They travel the world, looking for inspiration. From Leeds city centre to Paris and Boston, they scour concept stores, indie brands and social media to discover what people are selling, buying and styling in their homes.
“The trend research phases is one of the most exciting. You just take everything in and it gives you that unmistakable spark of creativity. You might see an entirely new subject or a lush new colour combination that you'd never even considered before, and your mind races with ideas.”
After the Design and Product teams have gathered all their inspiration, everyone gets together to create the trends that they’ll follow in their designs. It officially arrives in the form of a mood board, collating images that encapsulate that particular trend, as well as a written description of it.
creating the designs.
Rea, on her design process,
“Sometimes there’ll be a little seed of an idea, and I just can't work out what it is. But it's there. I’ll be racking my brains trying to figure out what it is. Usually I need to go and do something really mundane to let that seed grow. I'll get home in the evening and I'll be doing the washing up and I'll think, ooh, it's Greek statues!”
At furn.com, every designer has the freedom to explore their own process for taking the trend and turning it into an original pattern. Rea, for example “will paint 20, 30, 40 things, stick them on the computer and see what happens when it all comes together.” Sally, our senior designer, on the other hand, plans all of her prints first, then works on her design based on that.
Once the designers are happy with their designs in painting or drawing form, the elements are scanned into the computer and are manipulated into a full digital pattern.
When the pattern is complete, it’s turned into a bed CAD, which is where it is mocked up as bedding, and we can see what it will look like as a finished product. This is what’s presented at sign off from the directors and senior designers. They’ll discuss its merits, whether it would compete with anything else in the range, etc.
working with the production team.
After a design has been signed off, it’s the designers’ job to convert their beautifully colourful painted pattern into just 12 colours, which can be tricky!
“We use special software to colour reduce it and break it down into different colour screen levels. So there'll be a pale pink, a brighter pink, dark teal, pale teal, for example. That's what the production department uses to create the design. So it can be quite stressful sometimes, because you create this beautiful print, and it looks gorgeous. When you send it to production, it’s not necessarily going to come back looking the same as the original. So that's the real challenging part of our job – achieving the CAD finish in the bedding.”
The production team takes the colour layer files and creates a ‘strike off’ (a one-off version of the final product) for the designers to check that they’re happy with it. It’s not always right first time, but it’s a really exciting moment to see the bedding in real life.
shooting the duvet cover set.
products: Tibetan Tiger Duvet Cover Set | Psychedelic Jungle Duvet Cover Set
When the duvet cover is finalised, and it’s on order with the factory, we can then move on to the product and lifestyle photography. This is where it all comes together. If the design is a bit of a wild card (i.e. it isn’t part of a trend per se) then here is where we’ll see it in its final form as part of a styled room set.
Our Brand Manager, Anna, creates the brief for the photographer based off the trends that were set at the very beginning of the process. It may be that the designer had a particular vision for the duvet set when it was created, so that’ll be taken into the brief too. It can be anything from a woodland theme for autumnal patterns to a dark and moody room set to let the summer colours pop.
Then, it’s uploaded to the furn.com site, ready for our customers to take it into their own homes!