Interior architect Maija Rasila talks about her favorite products and styles in Design Stories’ Favorites of the month column. In November, it's time to take the first steps towards winter and prepare your home for the cold season.
“IN NOVEMBER, MANY people start looking forward to Christmas. To be honest, I tend to take my time with this, not yet being ready for Christmas decorations or to listen to carols, for instance. However, in terms of home decor, November is marked by deeper tones and more candles and plush textiles. Elements with a more seasonal feel can easily be added when Christmas actually comes.”
Strong and soft tones
Right now, I’m particularly excited about deep shades of brownish red. These are perfect fall tones that can be made more seasonal, or adapted to everyday life after the festive season. Strong but soft rusty and terracotta shades suit a wide range of environments: they add depth to light, sand-toned interiors and warmth to grey colors. Brownish shades also beautifully counterbalance the reed green walls of my living room – that's perhaps why I'm so excited about these tones right now.
&Tradition's Collect textile collection has been complemented with woolen throws woven from high-quality and soft merino wool. The amber-colored throw is the perfect match for the season. Best of all, the vibrant white side of the throw can be turned outwards when you wish.
In the embrace of a lounge chair
In November, you need a comfortable nook where you can curl up with a book or binge on a TV series. I’m still looking for the perfect lounge chair and have been busily perusing potential options. Gubi's Stay lounge chair is shaped like a soft lap, upholstered in an attractively plush sheepskin.
Despite this, the armchair is rather slender in its dimensions, making it easy to fit into a smaller living room. The curved, sculptural contours and fluffy upholstery of this chair, which was designed by Space Copenhagen, make it both highly topical and interesting. Sheepskin, on the other hand, is a very timeless material, which is easy to re-style for the spring season.
Late fall is the high season for hot drinks. I’ve become a huge fan of French presses in recent years, and have left my coffee machine in my cupboard. For some time now, I've been eyeing the classic Buono kettle by Hario, which heats water for coffee or tea in style.
With a capacity of 1.2 liters, this stainless steel kettle is suitable for hobs of all types. It is also a great Christmas gift tip for lovers of hot drinks and modern design – the perfect combination of elegant design and practicality.
Candles with a twist
Active followers of the social media can’t have helped noticing one of the fall’s biggest hits — spiral candles. The Danish brand, Hay, has launched its own versions, in delectable colors and shapes – just like products on candy store shelves.
These colorful, fun-shaped candles bring a whole new twist to old candleholders and table arrangements. So choose your favorite and brighten up your November home with little splashes of color. Interiors always benefit from a dash of playfulness.
If you had to name one of the trendiest shapes right now, it might be sausage. Cheerful rounded and tubular shapes are now appearing here and there in furniture, lamps and details.
They are also reprised in the 24N table lamp from Vitra’s classic Akari collection. Despite being trendy now, it was designed back in 1951. World-renowned designer, Isamu Noguchi, was inspired by traditional Japanese lanterns when designing this lamp made of bamboo and washi paper.
In addition to a comfortable nook, atmospheric lights and a hot drink, soft and pleasant decorative cushions are needed to create a cozy feel in the fall. Updating them is also fun, as the new season becomes a little more wintery.
The Twine cushion collection by Muuto is made of Bolivian llama wool woven into a lively three-dimensional form. The collection includes an impressive large cushion, which is a particularly good match with bed linen. The smaller cushion is ideal for sofas and lounge chairs.
I’ve noticed that my love of baking kicks in during the fall. I love browsing beautiful baking and recipe books – you can go to them for inspiration and new ideas for home baking.
The Nordic Baking Book compiles the best baking recipes in the Nordic countries, from widely familiar classics to rarer, traditional delicacies. The book offers fun activities for November evenings at home and makes a great Christmas gift. The hardest part is deciding which of its delicacies to try first.
For the fireside
Few things rival the warmth of a fireplace in the fall. So it’s good to check the condition of your current accessories at the start of the season. Beautiful and simple fireplace accessories seem particularly hard to find, something which I recently discovered when moving into a new home.
With its minimalist form and Scandinavian clarity, the Port fireplace tool set by Ferm Living comes closest to meeting my wishes. The color options are modern black and luxurious brass, suitable for both modern fireplaces and traditional tile stoves.
In this column, interior architect Maija Rasila picks the most inspiring products, objects, and issues of the month from novel and classic items. She spices up modern Scandinavian style with plenty of details, surprising colors, and personal touches.
Text: Maija Rasila Images: Otto Virtanen and manufacturers