Graphic designer Päivi Häikiö selected gifts, available at Finnish Design Shop, for the home decorator, board game player and bookworm, among others. “Simple, leisurely moments together are what make a good holiday,” she says.
Hi, Päivi! How are you?
“I’m at an inspiring stage in my long career in the creative industry. In recent years, I’ve established a balance between a certain persistent feeling of incompleteness and haste and learned, professionally, to focus on things that feel truly significant. Or, then I’ve just learned to put up with chaos and surprises in life.
This year, I’ve worked in inspiring and skilled teams and engaged in projects related to design, interior design and architecture in particular as well as taught at Aalto University. The highlight of the year was the Venice Biennale of Architecture, where I was part of a working group for the Finnish pavilion and participated in a project called New Standards related to standardized post-war wood construction. Teaching has also led me towards something new: the discussions and encounters with students have broadened my horizons and given me so much.
My earliest childhood memory has to do with colors, and my life-long love of colors culminated in the collection of basic interior paint colors I designed for Cover Story. When several of my projects involve color design, I feel like I’m back home.”
How are you going to spend Christmas this year?
“I’m far from being a Christmas person. Or a person who likes to celebrate Midsummer, May Day or Easter. These kinds of “forced celebrations” do not go well with my individualistic nature. However, in recent years, I’ve definitely become a December person, as it is a month of all kinds of warm encounters and small festivities.
I love trees and have a childlike, emotional attitude to their felling. Since I don’t want to have a Christmas tree at our home, I’ve established this tradition of taking a walk in Seurasaari, Helsinki, with my children and having a picnic under some lovely, old tree together. After the trip, we make a donation to forest conservation.”
“The best gifts have been beautiful moments spent together, like cooking and decorating gingerbread with the children.”
What’s the best Christmas gift you have ever got?
“Most definitely my son, who was born just before Christmas in 2008. He’s an amazing guy and the best company. The best gifts have been beautiful moments spent together, like cooking and decorating gingerbread with the children, seeing Nutcracker performed by Finnish National Ballet, in which my skilled daughter is a dancer, and leisurely reading. There can never be too many good nonfiction books or novels!
Last year, my friends gave me a wooden doll designed by Alexander Girard. From the comprehensive selection of great wooden dolls by Vitra, they managed to select the individual that delights me every day with its appearance.”
Päivi Häikiö’s tips for gifts:
Nikari: Storia stool
“I like small furniture that is easy to move from place to place and can be used for many different purposes. I particularly like the small stools and tables by Nikari, which are crafted in a manner that respects the wood as a material and feature skillfully designed proportions. Storia, designed by Kari Virtanen, is the perfect classic stool that I could never get tired of.”
Vitra: Ceramic Container
“In my childhood, we spent Christmases at my grandparents’ house. There was always a footed bowl on the table, containing chocolate, raisins and nuts. Ceramic Container, designed by Alexander Girard, which Vitra has taken into production again, could be perfect for the purpose and make a beautiful centerpiece.”
Phaidon: Carlo Scarpa
“Reading a good book is the best way to spend Christmas. Lately, I’ve become interested in Italian modernism and plan to read more about the subtle designs of Carlo Scarpa.”
Cover Story: Agatha interior paint
“Painting the walls is the best way to alter the atmosphere and update the interior of a room. Cover Story’s plastic-free interior paints have a perfect matte surface, and the popular Agatha tone is suitable for any space. Painting is a fun thing to do together!”
Matri: Henna pillow
“Instead of down, the high-quality Henna pillow by Matri is filled with organic cotton. Best of all, the height of the pillow can be adjusted, since it comes with additional filling. Different duvets are also available from the same collection.”
“Playing board games is a great way to spend the holidays. Yatzy connects generations: grandparents and grandchildren love playing it together. The classic games designed by Clara von Zweigbergk for HAY bring joy with their colorful yet sophisticated look.”
• HAY's Yatzy >
Text: Design Stories Images: Manufacturers