Finnish Design Shop’s interior architect, Maija Rasila, talks about her favorite products and styles in Design Stories' Favorites of the Month column. In February, she looks at the trendiest forms in the design world.
“I love inventive shapes of various kinds, and their creative combination. Forms reflect the period and its trends: in recent years, soft and curved shapes have been most popular. The corners of upholstered furniture have been rounded, curves on lamps accentuated, thick and embedded materials have become more common, and semicircular mirrors have conquered the social media.
Fun, tubular details are dominant in the world of armchairs and wall lamps. Clinical, sharp lines are now emerging alongside sausage-like shapes. Together, these create an irresistible pairing, in which opposites are mutually accentuated.”
Wood bends into many forms
Made by Choice brings a breath of fresh air to the Finnish design world. Wood is bent into different shapes and beautiful curves in the brand’s products, with ingenious design bringing an entirely new look to traditional material. In addition to top-quality carpentry, I admire the products’ design concept and the tones that complement it so well. The brand has succeeded in creating a distinctive and refreshingly different design identity, which is not always guaranteed nowadays.
One of my own favorite products is the Goma bar chair, which combines cognac-colored leather and birch plywood, and which is both hugely sympathetic and stylishly understated. This makes a wonderful detail in settings such as minimalistic kitchens.
Arc and triangle
Lighting design is a playground of shapes, and the freshest interior design trends are often articulated in novel lighting. The Danish Ferm Living has introduced the new Meridian table lamp — which contrasts a soft arc with a sharp-lined triangle — for the spring season.
The Meridian lamp sums up current trends well: its curvature is combined with streamlined, stark shapes.
The lamp sums up current trends well: its curvature is combined with streamlined, stark shapes. This sculptural lamp is at its best as a decorative detail on a stack of books, or on a surface or high shelf. Its cordless, rechargeable design enables it to be positioned freely, even beyond the reach of power sockets.
A cheerful chair
The Nakki armchairs and sofas by Woud will bring a smile to your face. The products’ sympathetic, rounded shapes give them an inviting and interesting look, but they nevertheless look nicely streamlined. Created by Mika Tolvanen in 2015, the collection still represents the current design trends.
Slightly stronger tones, in particular, are ideal matches for the shapes in the Nakki collection. For example, the product’s shapes are beautifully set off by the rose-colored upholstery in the image. Just this kind of armchair is an easy way to give your interior decor a new look. It is smaller and less dominant than the sofa, but visibly changes the entire room.
New on the lighting front
For me, the Korean Ago is a relatively recent acquaintance, but an extremely interesting one. The lamps belonging to the brand have trendy tubular shapes, which are counterbalanced by geometric, linear forms.
So, if you are seeking a slightly new and playful lamp design, you should definitely check out the brand's range. The amusing, circular Balloon lamps offer an alternative, made of metal or opal glass, to both table lamps and pendants.
On the frontiers of art
Another interesting brand discovery is the Spanish Viccarbe, whose products are at the interface between furniture design and art. The brand's Giro sculpture table is an enchanting product that will make a statement, both when alone or paired with an armchair. The super-slender brass frame is accompanied by a sturdy but sleek oak top. Opposites go well together in this case too.
Sharp and round
Menu continues the series of spectacular side tables. The Androgyne collection was recently supplemented with stunning coffee and dining tables, which means that lovers of sculptural forms have even more choice.
Lovers of sculptural forms have now even more choice.
With its sharp lines, the base is attractively solid. If preferred, the metal side table can be complemented with a range of round, natural stone tops, which add a touch of softness to the look. I have planned creating a setting based on juxtaposing the table with an old armchair. The sharp steel form of the side table is just what my chair, with its classic British upholstery, needs.
Into a world of shapes
I often seek inspiration for various shapes and colors from art and architecture. Even if the styles are very different, you can spot interesting combinations of color, shape and material among works of art and architectural solutions.
Instead of going to exhibitions, I currently prefer books and walking – they often lead to new ideas. I have several works on my reading list, the most interesting of which is New Nordic Houses. The book, which focuses on Nordic architecture, examines both forest cabins and urban townhouses – so inspiration and variety are sure to be found.
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 Images: Manufacturers