Pieces of Nordic Happiness

Ilmari Tapiovaara | Pendant lamps

Ilmari Tapiovaara (1914-1999) was a renowned Finnish interior architect and designer. In his designs, Tapiovaara always sought to create a humane, well-lit and warm dwelling environment. Tapiovaara’s furniture pieces designed were always part of a whole, with the architecture as their starting point.

Ilmari Tapiovaara graduated in 1937 as interior architect from the department of furniture design of the Central School of Arts and Crafts. After graduating, he visited the Paris World’s Fair and during his stay in France he got an assistant’s position for six months at the office of Le Corbusier. Soon after coming back to Finland, Tapiovaara was hired by the Asko company, Finland’s largest furniture factory, where he worked as a designer and artistic director for a few years. Alongside dozens of chairs and other furniture pieces mostly for public premises, Tapiovaara also designed interiors for numerous banks, offices, hotels and shops since the 1940s. His most famous designs include TT40 table, Tale stool, Trienna table, Mademoiselle chair and rocking chair.

Of all materials, wood was the closest to Tapiovaara’s heart. The designer admired the works of Alvar Aalto and wanted to carry on Aalto’s ideas in his own design work. This was evident in applying wood to the idiom of functionalism and industrial production and in the fact that Tapiovaara adopted the principle of social equality of functionalism. Tapiovaara was also a teacher at the department of interior design at the Institute of Applied Arts and at the Helsinki University of Technology, where he sought to reform teaching towards industrial product design with the aid of international examples.

Ilmari Tapiovaara was awarded a total of six Gold Medals at the Milan Triennials of 1951, 1954, 1957, 1960 and 1964. He also received the Good Design Award in Chicago in 1951, Pro Finlandia medal in 1959, Finnish State Design Prize in 1971 and Furniture Prize of the SIO Interior Architects’ Association of Finland in 1990.

Read the story about Ilmari Tapiovaara >

Ilmari Tapiovaara has designed pieces for the following brands: Artek, Pihlgren ja Ritola, Santa & Cole


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Pendant lighting in modern Scandinavian style

A suspended pendant lamp is a strong visual element and eye-catcher in any space. Pendant lights are a great source of direct downward light, ideal for general lighting for example in the kitchen, kitchen island, dining area, living room or bedroom – in fact, hanging lights are perfectly suited for any space in need of a good general lighting and distinctive design. A large chandelier or multi-light pendant is sure to catch the attention even in a spacious room, and smaller pendant lamps can be mounted in groups to create unique clusters of light. A hanging light fixture can also be used as a window light or accent light that provides a soft, warm glow with no glare.

Finnish Design Shop has curated a versatile collection of Scandinavian pendant lights in a range of materials and colours. The materials range from glass to metal and plastic to wood, and the colours include classic white and black, bright tones, natural wood as well as shiny or matte metal. Pendant lights can have various adjustment possibilities, such as a suspension mechanism, dimmer, plug-in mounting, built-in LED unit or an adjustable lampshade, allowing you to modify the lamp according to your own needs. If you're looking for a non-hanging option for lighting up, for instance, the entrance or hallway, flush-mounted ceiling lights are great alternatives to pendant lights. And for outdoor options, check out our collection of outdoor lamps.

Finnish Design Shop's pendant light selection is filled with masterpieces by legendary Scandinavian designers including Alvar Aalto, Poul Henningsen and Paavo Tynell. More contemporary Nordic lighting design is represented by brands such as Secto Design, Muuto and Mater. Besides iconic Scandinavian lighting manufacturers like Louis Poulsen and Artek, we also provide pendant lights by international design companies, such as Tom Dixon from Britain and Flos and Artemide from Italy. Choose your favourite pendant light from our carefully curated selection and update your home with a design luminaire that is sure to stand the test of time!