Meet Fire & Co. – HLN’s Expert in Residence for all things interiors
Their 7,000-square-foot showroom reopens this week
By Becky Hardy
It’s happened to all of us, hasn’t it? As we’re scrolling on Insta, we see that one decorative item that we just know would look amazing in our home. It would finish off the whole vibe we’ve been going for. It couldn’t be more perfect. The only hitch? We can’t buy it anywhere.
Well, Fire & Co. have come up with a solution to that. If, by some pretty small chance, you can’t find what you’re looking for in their Newcastle showroom (which, if it was a house, would be classified as a ‘mansion’ because of its size), and they can’t then source it from one of their many, many manufacturers from all across Europe, then they’ll simply just get it made for you. Exactly how you want it.
See, Fire & Co. are pretty cool like that. In fact, they’re very cool. That’s why we jumped at the chance for them to become our official Interiors Expert in Residence. Because they go above and beyond for their customers. They bring something genuinely unique to the region. And because all of their products and services really are top quality.
Piqued your interest yet? Thought we might have. We caught up with Skye-Alexander Ferry, Fire & Co.’s Director, to give you the low-down on what this interiors Mecca is all about.
Tell us about Fire & Co.
At Fire & Co., we specialise in creating your perfect interior – whether that be from using our Interior Design service or from shopping in our 7,000-square-foot showroom. We’ve worked tirelessly to collate a wide range of brands and designers to create something truly unique in the North East. Each collection in our showroom has been put together by trained interior designers to really show off the space, as well as each and every product.
We’ve also have spent a lot of time creating the Independent Hub, which brings together local businesses, artists, designers and creatives. A lot of independent interior designers use that space to connect with their clients, as it helps the designer create a visual and tangible concept, as well as giving their clients a realistic end goal to aspire towards.
What do you look for in the manufacturers you work with?
We always try and work with the manufacturers who supply our independent designers first, but we also stock the big brand designers to give a really unique blend of products. We’re always on the lookout for manufacturers who haven’t been seen before – not just in the North East, but in the UK – so we’re always working with manufacturers from across Europe.
As for what we look for, really we’re always just looking for something unique. Something that is really going to set off a room and make you look twice. And it has to be top quality.
You go above and beyond with your Sourcing service – tell us more about that?
If you’ve seen that special something on Instagram or Pinterest, or if you’ve seen a feature you like in a bar or a restaurant, but you’ve looked and looked and still can’t find it, then come to us. We’ll look through all of our manufacturing lists for you to see whether we can either source it, or get it made for you. More than anything else, our Sourcing service is about saving your precious time.
You also offer a Design service. Can you tell us about your process?
We take time to understand our client’s needs and tend to prioritise functionality over design. This allows us to create concepts that not only look good, but which can also be used in day-to-day life.
We’d always start with an initial consultation to get a better understanding of what our clients really want. This can either be a home visit or, if it’s a virtual consultation, we also access their room plans so we can get an accurate idea of the size of the space we’ll be working with. We also ask them to provide any inspiration they’ve had, such as prints, patterns, or artwork. From this, we start pulling together initial ‘vibe boards’, which give the client an idea of what the finished room could look like.
Once our client is happy with the overall concept, we design a 3D model to give them a much better understanding of how it could all look and function. This is paired with fabric choices and wallpaper or paint samples. At this point, we like to bring our client into the store to give them a better feel for what we’re trying to achieve.
The focus is really on collaboration and the feedback we get is that our clients enjoy working together with our interior designers to create their perfect space.
Revamping our outdoor space is popular right now. What would you say are the key pieces we can use to transform our gardens?
The main pieces I’m seeing at the moment are fire pits and sofas. With garden gatherings one of the main ways we can socialise at the moment, everyone wants a comfortable space outside that they can stay in for hours.
What can we expect from Fire & Co. when you reopen your showroom this week?
During lockdown, we’ve been working so hard on creating an even better showroom for our customers. Bringing together the latest offerings from all the big brands, as well as the most stylish pieces from our independent designers. Most importantly, we’ve made sure that we have a price point for everyone. I truly believe that the showroom my team and I have created is like nothing else – not only in the North East, but in the UK.
What are some of your favourite pieces from Fire & Co.’s collections?
There are far too many pieces to have just one favourite! But if I had to choose a couple, I’d definitely say the shake sofa in natural linen is one, as it’s like having a bed in your front room, it’s so comfy! That mixed with our stoneware from Denmark, which uses body shapes to create some beautiful sculptures. Paired together, they really look amazing.
As a business, what are Fire & Co. most passionate about?
We’re most passionate about bringing something new and truly unique to the North East. Pieces that are not only stylish and on-trend, but which have a variation in price points so that creating your perfect interior can be done at any budget. I’m also passionate about showing the quality of the interior designers who live and work right here in the region.
What does the future look like for Fire & Co.?
Fire & Co. will be going from strength to strength in the future. We’ve really pushed our online offering during lockdown, and we’re hoping to create more job opportunities by adding to our interior design team, as we’re now doing more and more commercial interior projects. We’re also looking into the possibility of opening in a second location. Mainly, we have lots of plans in the pipeline to work with more independent businesses and interior partners and expand our network of collaborators further.
Or visit their showroom at Simonside Industrial Estate, Shaftesbury Avenue, South Shields NE34 9PH, which will reopen from Monday 12th April
Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10am–5pm; Sunday and Monday closed