Matri creates beds for good sleep and timeless decor items for bedrooms – and a design experience on top of it. Design Stories met with Matri’s creative director Elli Lehnhoff and found out where a good night’s sleep begins.
MATRI IS KNOWN as a company specialized in bedrooms that focuses on both design and quality materials. The company’s product range covers all bedroom interior design from beds to nightstands, duvets and bed textiles. And for our canine friends, it includes dog beds that fit the rest of the interior.
“We offer holistic bedrooms where all parts fit together,” says Matri’s creative director Elli Lehnhoff.
Other common features of the products are longevity and timelessness: the beds are quality work and modifiable with removable upholstery, the accompanying furniture is made of solid wood and the textiles are high-quality cotton and linen.
“We believe that a good night’s sleep begins with an attractive-looking bedroom where you like to go to sleep at night. In a good bed you’ll then get a proper, refreshing night’s sleep,” says Lehnhoff.
“We believe that a good night’s sleep begins with an attractive-looking bedroom where you like to go to sleep at night.”
Product design at the company is directed by Elli Lehnhoff together with her German-born designer husband Andreas Lehnhoff. Other designers have also left their marks on the range. The popular Lempi series that combines wood and rattan, for example, was created in collaboration with the designer collective KOKO3, the nightstand was designed by Studio Kaksikko and the brand new Soft headboard by Iina Kettunen.
”The collaborative projects have been extremely fruitful. They always open up fresh, new perspectives,” says Lehnhoff.
Beds have been developed at Matri since the beginning of 2003, but the company’s roots go much farther back. Matri started out in the mid-1980s, when Elli’s parents, Martti and Anja Lehtonen, founded their own furniture company that specialized in couches.
“My childhood memories include running and jumping around in a couch factory’s cushion storage. We grew up in the middle of furniture,” Lehnhoff reminisces.
Matri’s production was shut down once at the turn of the millennium, until the Lehtonens, who lived in Spain, realized that there were no decent Scandinavian beds in the furniture market. That sparked the idea of their own company specializing in beds.
And so the company got a new start, and the next generation was brought into the family business. Elli, who had studied industrial design in Germany, and her spouse Andreas were responsible for product development and building a chain of stores in Germany. Meanwhile, Elli’s brother Kalle Lehtonen managed a modern bed factory that had been founded in Estonia.
Matri’s collection includes beds, bedding and bedroom furniture in an elegant, refined Scandinavian style.
Over a couple of decades, Matri has grown into a business family employing about 50 people. About 80 percent of its production is exported overseas. The main markets are in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where there are a total of 17 Fennobed stores selling Matri.
Are Finnish and German bedroom design tastes different, then?
“Quality and good materials are appreciated in both countries, but in Germany, people are perhaps a bit bolder in their use of colors. In Finland, we have a strong tradition for light and neutral interior design. In Germany, people also purchase wider beds, as bedrooms are often larger than in Finland.”
In home interior design, the bedroom has long been considered a mandatory chore. After all, people mainly spend time there during the dark hours of the night. But according to Lehnhoff, in recent years the bedroom has been rediscovered in a new way in interior design. Behind this enthusiasm is a strong trend for wellness.
According to Lehnhoff, today people also pay more attention to the quality of the bed, the materials and indoor air in the bedroom. What kind of bed we choose does make a difference, as the mattresses and bed textiles are close to our skin for a large part of the day.
“Sleeping is appreciated in a new way. People have begun to understand that a good night’s sleep is the cornerstone of all wellness.”
“Sleeping is appreciated in a new way. People have begun to understand that a good night’s sleep is the cornerstone of all wellness. An increasing number of consumers is choosing emission-free, ecological materials for their bed. Our eco-certified Hilja bed draws more and more attention from consumers,” says Elli Lehnhoff.
But what about the trends in bedroom interior design? Is there something new coming up?
“Interior designers appear to be interested in wood and velvet at the moment. A new feature of the headboards are the large, couch-like solutions. Perhaps beds today are increasingly used for things other than sleeping, and a large headboard is suitable for that,” says Lehnhoff.
Text: Anna-Kaisa Huusko Photos: Matri, Unto Rautio and Kaisu Jouppi