Finland often makes the news these days, with its possible NATO membership. The Scandinavian country is also increasingly making itself heard in domestic circles. Finnish styling is as hot as the saunas they love. Nature is the eternal source of inspiration, and wood is the preferred material. Get ready for the Finnish design wave!
Anyone who has ever been to Helsinki knows that Finns love design. Their capital is filled with one beautiful home boutique after another, the smallest restaurant and café in the books. In a country where winters are harsh and long, home has always been a haven. The Finns even have a word that means: Cotwilo† The comfort of home – a concept closely related to the more famous Danish concept of “hygge”.
They also furnished their summer homes on the thousands of lakes with local textiles, glassware and wooden furniture. They even make their air raid shelters comfortable, like an underground city in Helsinki, including a swimming pool.
Famous design couple
Finland, with its rich nature, has long been a land of glassblowers, textile workers, and woodworkers. Just think of glassware from Iittala (established in 1881)† But their love for design only came with the 1930s modernity of star architects Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino. The young couple symbolizes the young nation with their progressive vision. Finland has only been independent since 1917, after being a Swedish province for 500 years and then under Russian rule for a century. In 1935, Altus founded their own brand Artek – a label for “art” and “technology” – along with two other companies. At the time, non-tubular steel was gaining ground in furniture, but the Aaltus thought this was too cold for the human body. Wood was warmer and more abundant in Finland. Two-thirds of the country is forested. Artek designs are known for their curved L-shaped legs made of birch wood, which are used as a base for tables, chairs, stools and (bar) benches. (see also box)†
Many Finnish designers have risen on the shoulders of Artek who honor or oppose the master. For example, there is a very small brand of Vaarnii that goes back to pre-modern times with its sturdy furniture. They call it brutal Finnish design, with a rough look and primitive shapes. It’s an honest cut, without a lot of fuss. As if they were coming straight out of a log cabin around a Finnish lake. Most Finnish brands like Artek use birch, but the founders of Vaarnii want to revive undervalued pine wood as a base material.
It is precisely this unique face that makes Finnish design irresistible. Unlike their Danish and Swedish counterparts, Finnish designs are often simpler and more robust. Not very decorative, but very strong in appearance. Sustainability is also a top priority. The Finns are closely related to nature, often out of necessity. They feel a deep respect and a great sense of responsibility for their environment. Yes, they cut down trees from eighty and one hundred years ago for their wooden furniture, but in return you get pieces that will at least last a long time. Universe pure investment pieces Which gets more beautiful with age and can be passed down from generation to generation.
Several studies have also shown that wood in the home contributes to increased happiness. Perhaps that is why Finland was voted the happiest country in the world for the fifth time in a row. The task of Finnish designers? who – which Northern happiness Publish their creations. They seem to succeed, too.
Finnish world symbol
Stool 60 from Artek, Finland’s most famous furniture brand, is one of the world’s greatest design icons. We asked CEO Marian Goble what makes a piece so special. “The original three-legged design dates back to 1933, and the four-legged design (Stool E60) came out a year later. The success was instant. The reason? The Stool 60 is the ultimate home helper. It can serve as a bedside table, you can stack it in the corner if it’s You have several of them, you can put a plant on it, or use it as a step in the kitchen.Lady Gaga even uses it to set up her laptop as a home office.Steve Jobs also liked the stool.It represents simplicity and intelligence.Birch wood is also very important.Our brain feels safe With wood, it’s our basic instinct.”
1. Varni table and chair 1100 euros and over 400 euros finnishdesignshop.com
2. Lumberjack block from Nikari, via 650€ finnishdesignshop.com
3. Ceramic Arne Aroma from 69 euros via finnishdesignshop.com
4. Aalto vase from Itala, €159.90 iittala.com
5. Kisses from Marimeko 45 euros via marimekko.com
6. The Stool 60 was copied a long time ago by IKEA, but nothing beats the original. Artek 60 chair with famous L legs, via €247 artek.fi
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