Finnish Design Shop’s interior architect, Maija Rasila, talks about her favorite products and styles in Design Stories' Favorites of the Month column. In May, she finds combinations of bright pastel colors and neutral shades particularly attractive.
“SUMMER IS APPROACHING, and it brings along colors. This spring, I find myself admiring especially fresh and bright candy shades that give a light summery feel to the interior. I generally prefer muted and neutral tones, but I also like to mix them with contrasting colors and unexpected details.
For example, I recently painted my foyer in neutral shades of sand and gray, but brightened the whole with a lavender-blue Viennese chair. This small detail immediately added a whole new look to the room! That’s why I always encourage to try color combinations with an open mind and to occasionally step away from the safe and familiar that you are used to. Sometimes the most daring color experiments become the most successful elements in a room.
The current color trends are also very much linked to the new spring products, many of which have been updated with fresh pastel colors. The airy, minimalist shapes serve as a good backdrop and balance the cheerful colors.”
Light blue in the spotlight
I’m especially excited about light blue right now. To be honest, this is a bit surprising, because pastel colors have never been the number one choice for me. However, small accents of light blue are a wonderfully fresh choice and go well with neutral shades like sand and green. The candy effect of pastel shades is tamed just right when combined with neutral and muted colors, so that the whole remains suitably balanced and there is no over-the-top nursery effect.
The color palette of Muuto’s popular Ambit lamp range was complemented this spring with a soft light blue hue that nicely refreshes the khaki kitchen in the picture. The pendants in various sizes work best above table surfaces, as the luminaire effectively directs the light downwards. The shape of this lamp is suitable for a wide range of table groups. When looking for a light, modern lamp with clean lines, this model is worth keeping in mind.
Update the look with a rug
Menu’s luxurious Houkime rug also features glimpses of light blue. If you are looking for something extra to brighten up a room, textiles are often the easiest solution. For example, a large colorful rug changes the atmosphere of the room at once and gives it freshness, ideal for the summer season. I plan on doing this trick myself, because, as I said, colors are more interesting now than for a long time.
A large colorful rug changes the atmosphere of the room at once and gives it freshness, ideal for the summer season.
The other interesting spring novelty in the picture is Menu’s Passage lounge table series, which is nicely timeless and simple in shape. Natural or dark lacquered oak brings softness to more vibrant colors and makes room for the more intense elements.
Like sitting in a soft lap
The Little Petra lounge chair, coveted by design enthusiasts, has been trending in recent years and today, it is one of &Tradition’s most popular products. Blue sheepskin has now been added to the subdued grey and brown upholstery options for the chair. The blue gives a new kind of twist to the classic chair, designed in the 1930s.
The plush blue sheepskin makes the armchair an even more spectacular eye-catcher that takes over even a larger space as if by magic. However, thanks to its delicate shape, the chair blends in nicely in smaller living rooms as well. The embracing shape of the chair invites you to sit down – this would be an ideal choice next to the fireplace, for example, to lounge in and enjoy the warmth.
Something is going on in the air
Danish New Works offers a wide range of products that combine a timeless touch with interesting, topical material combinations. The brand’s new Tense pendants are like graceful flying saucers: the design is light but spectacular. In terms of size, they are not humble at all: the smaller model is 90 cm wide and the larger, an impressive 120 cm.
However, the lamp shade made of Tyvek fiber material is graceful and airy as a whole, like a cloud floating above. The lamp is a commanding choice for both the dining room and the living room, and it is at its best in a high space with sufficient room around it.
Summer cups – check
Blue and white porcelain tableware are just the thing for summer! There is something wonderfully nostalgic and still fresh in this combination that appeals year after year. Marimekko’s Oiva Ruudut tableware series is a modern take on this summer classic, and a perfect match also for a simpler table setting. The set includes cups without handle, a mug, plates and a bowl – all you need for a summer table in the garden. Add good weather and that’s it.
I’ve always liked safari-inspired furniture. Classic safari chairs with uncomplicated upholstery are timeless choices and a good match for a natural Scandinavian style. The safari-inspired elements are also great for the summer season and for letting the interior design flow seamlessly outdoors. The lounge chairs in Ferm Living’s Desert range are complemented by newly launched stools that are easy to fold up and use where seating is needed at any given time. Such multifunctional furniture is always useful both indoors and outdoors.
Multifunctional furniture is always useful both indoors and outdoors.
This picture also shows a delicious pair of colors: lavender, the hit color of this spring, and a vibrant basic red. Stronger colors give a nice trendy kick to gentle shades, which makes this combination worth a try with an open mind.
First to meet you
First impressions are crucial, which is why the entrance is worth investing in. Hay’s new, brightly colored door mats give a nice look to the hallway and invite visitors to come through. The door mat, woven from jute and wool, is suitable for use in a sheltered terrace or balcony, and indoors as well. This is exactly the boost that my entrance needs – all I have to do now is to decide and choose one of all the attractive color options.
• Hay door mat >
Design inspiration on social media
Would you like to find interesting design-themed social media accounts to follow? So would I. We put together the most interesting, high-quality design content on the web to make it even easier to discover inspiration. On our site you can now find the profiles of more than a hundred international influencers, among whom five FDS Influencer Awards winners were chosen. I was greatly inspired especially by the open-minded use of colors, fresh look and creative solutions featured in the winning accounts.
In this column, interior architect Maija Rasila picks the most inspiring products, objects and issues of the month from novel and classic items. Modern Scandinavian style can be spiced up with plenty of details, surprising colors and personal touches.
Text: Maija Rasila Photos: Swantje Hinrichsen and manufacturers