Pine scent and polished candles – how to prepare for winter festivities!

Whether you're planning to host holiday gatherings or just want to get your home ready for a cozy winter, there are simple steps you can take to slowly start getting ready for the season. See our tips on everything from festive tableware to thoughtful gift stashes and fragrant cleaning products, and make your space a warm and inviting haven for the winter ahead!

Iittala Aalto candleholder brass
The Aalto candleholder in brass borrows its curving shape from Alvar Aalto's glassware, Nappula from a certain table leg structure. The Ultima Thule series just recently expanded with vases.

1. Set the mood with candles

If you haven't already, now is the time to rummage through your cabinets to dig out lanterns and candleholders and dust them off for the winter season. Brass candleholders have been trending in recent years, and especially older pieces may need some polishing in addition to dusting. Iittala reintroduced the brass Nappula candleholders last winter (at last!), and this autumn's novelties include brass candleholders added to the Alvar Aalto collection.

Candleholders >
Read also: How to clean a brass Nappula candleholder >

HAY glass coffee mug
HAY's glass coffee mug makes a perfect vessel for serving mulled wine. The candle snuffer is from ferm LIVING, and the candleholder from Skultuna.

2. Check your china and cheering glasses

Are you planning to host holiday parties or other gatherings this winter? You still have time to avoid last-minute panic and ensure that you have enough mulled wine glasses and serving dishes. Our forever favorite for serving mulled wine is HAY's simple glass mug, where the drink's color shines through, while a more traditional style is represented by Iittala's Tsaikka, which has been released this winter with a black metal holder. If your tableware situation isn't quite up to date, we recommend exploring the world of charming vintage dishware on Franckly, our marketplace for preloved design.

Dishware & dinnerware >
Read also: Festive drinks for the holidays – try our easy recipes >

Roots Living Tangerine hand soap
Hand soap is a great addition to a "gift stash", as you can also use it yourself. Roots Living's Tangerine liquid soap gets its refreshing citrus scent from essential oils.

3. Stash 'em gifts

Do you know that feeling when someone gives you a gift, but you don't have a gift to give in return? Many of our team members have a dedicated "gift stash" for such situations: you can collect smaller gifts throughout the year for unexpected needs. It's a good idea to choose these gifts so that you can eventually use them yourself if a need for them never arises. We recommend items like hand soap, candles, or even kitchen towels for your gift stash.

If you're in need of more gift ideas, check out the Gifts section in our online store or explore the Design Stories archive to avoid last-minute gift panic.

Design gifts on a budget >
Read also: 8 ideas for sustainable Christmas presents >

&Tradition Untitled AP10 throw, electric blue
&Tradition's Untitled throw is adorned with an electric blue check pattern.

4. Textile TLC

Are you one of those who change their curtains, tablecloths, and cushion covers every season? Or is a folded blanket on the couch a big enough effort for you? Whichever camp you belong to, it's worth taking care of your textiles before you start using them again after storage. Even a worn-out blanket can look like new after brushing, steaming, and removing lint balls.

Throws & blankets >
Read also: Making a Marimekko Tiiliskivi wool throw as good as new in a few simple steps >

Kinfill multi-surface cleaner, Pine Husk
Kinfill's pine-scented multi-surface cleaner is suitable for cleaning all hard surfaces. The package includes a glass spray bottle and a separate tube of detergent concentrate that you mix with water.

5. Festive and fragrant

If you're already stressing about cleaning the home for the holidays, you might want to prepare not only mentally but also by investing in some functional tools and effective cleaning products. Our top tip for avoiding stress about tidying? Skip the scrubbing altogether and instead focus on refreshing scents. Bring a wintery pine scent into your home with Kinfill's all-purpose cleaner, Hetkinen's Twig cleaning spray, or Metsä/Skogen's Havu cleaning soap.

Cleaning products and supplies >
Read also: See our 6 top tips for a stress-free holiday cleaning >

Warm Nordic Secant coffee table, cobalt blue
Let your inner florist free and create unusual flower combinations. Or imagine what arrangement a professional could create if given free rein! The table is from Warm Nordic.

6. Go wild with flowers

A rich and impressive flower bouquet can instantly add a festive atmosphere to your décor, even if you don't have any twinkling lights or lavish decorations. Traditional holiday flowers and plants, at least here in Finland, include amaryllis, laurel, and of course poinsettia, but we encourage you to experiment with different combinations and even get a little creative. You can also be creative when it comes to choosing vases – check out Franckly's selection of vintage vases, for example.

Vases at Finnish Design Shop >
Read also: Decorate your home for the festive season with flowers! >

Aalto stool 60 honey
Does your wishlist contain design classics like the Aalto stool, or would you prefer an intangible gift this year? The gift package here is actually Joanna Laajisto's System 2 box, designed for Lundia.

7. Don't forget your own wishlist!

It's all too easy to focus on everyone else and their gifts, especially as an adult, but we encourage everyone to do so. Expressing your wishes may feel awkward or even selfish, but isn't it just silly to receive things that you don't need and that burden the environment and your mind? We believe it's completely okay to tell people about a long-loved design item on your wishlist or some activity you'd like to do with them. Indeed, your wish can also be non-material: a shared dinner, a pampering session, or even company for a weekly workout.

Create a wishlist at Finnish Design Shop >
Read also: Sustainable gifts keep on giving – 6 tips for choosing a gift made to last >

See also:

Latest arrivals at Finnish Design Shop >
Ask the Customer Service: “How can I prepare my home for the holidays with small changes?” >

Text: Emmi Ratilainen Images: Suvi Kesäläinen, manufacturers

Previous story
Next story

Sign up to Finnish Design Shop’s newsletter and enter a monthly gift card prize draw!

Sign up

For the love of design

Design Stories is Finnish Design Shop's own online magazine, that takes you to beautiful Nordic homes, introduces new products and beloved icons – and much more!

Go to the Design Stories front page

Shop Nordic design

Design Stories is provided by Finnish Design Shop, the world’s largest online store specialized in Nordic design.

Discover our selection

Buy & sell authentic vintage is a curated online marketplace for pre-owned design maintained by Finnish Design Shop.

Find treasures at Franckly