Finland is a special country. Whenever I think of Finland I have various thoughts going through my mind: I remember the student exchange program at the university in Helsinki. I think of my Finnish friends and of saunas, old Nokia mobile phones and a pretty weird language that is Finnish. I recall the discussions whether Finland actually belongs to Scandinavia or not. But ever since I dived into interior blogging, I link Finland to very creative and inspiring brands. Such as Iittala, one of my favorite Finnish brands for beautiful homes.
Iittala is to me an epitome of Finland. It has both, the cutting edge designs of typical Scandinavian brands with clean lines, simple shapes and subtle colours. But it also has the playful patterns of Nordic folkore and strong references to nature. Iittala also stands for refined craftsmanship and collaborations with renown designers. Just think of the iconic Aalto vase designed back in 1936 by Alvar Aalto or the recent Ruutu vase collection designed by the French brother Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.
Even though Iittala has started as a glass factory in the late nineteenth century and has ever since become famous for its glassware and ceramics, it has also spread out into the interiors with larger pieces expanding their reach from glassware to small furniture pieces. The latest additions to Iittala’s fantastic portfolio include a collection of three small stools/side tables called ‘Plektra’ (pointing to their design inspiration) created by the Dutch designer Ineke Hans. Here again, they seem to inherit Iittala’s design DNA with a clear and simple visual language and a dash of playfulness.
Moreover Iittala is expanding its Sarjaton collection with mugs, bowls and napkins for your breakfast table as well as cushions – all with the folkloristic designs named ‘Varpu’ by the Swedish illustrator Lotta Olsson. Here the Nordic forests serve as a source of inspiration to bring a fresh breeze of Scandinavia to your breakfast table. Kaasa is yet another wonderful collection of new glass candleholders designed by Ilkka Suppanen and inspired by floating lights of Finnish seamen that helped them to navigate the Nordic waters. Last but not least, my beloved Kastehelmi collection will get new additions in the form of tumblers and jars with lids. I have their iconic tealight holders at home and the word Kastehelmi itself means dew drop as this was the inspiration for its design.
So after all this I think it is clear what will be in my top mindset next time I get asked about Finland: Design!
All images via Iittala