Marimekko’s Head of PR and Community, Sylvia Sene, chose six timeless gift ideas from Franckly, the online marketplace for pre-owned design. “Many design items and home products might actually have a special value due to the fact that they have already seen life.”
Hi Sylvia! What have you been up to lately?
“Lately I’ve been socializing after a very long break, and it has been wonderful! I’ve been going to theaters, restaurants and ballet classes – doing everything that makes urban living fun.
I have also been consciously spending a lot of time relaxing after busy days, like soaking in a hot bath while reading a book and walking in nature while listening to podcasts.”
Do you have any Christmas traditions?
“During the last 25 years, my family has been living in different African countries, each celebrating Christmas in different ways. Despite that, we have always had some traditional Finnish foods on the Christmas table: the Rosolli salad, a baked casserole and mulled wine made from available ingredients and spices brought from Finland. My mother has wanted to maintain such traditions. And we have always had a Christmas tree, usually some local spruce-like plant, which we decorated together.
Now as an adult, it is nice to create some new Christmas traditions as well. I always get a Christmas tree because of its lovely scent, and in the past few years, Sinatra’s Christmas album has been in heavy rotation. Next, I would like to try hanging a large pine branch on the ceiling – I got the inspiration from my Marimekko colleague Sami Ruotsalainen, who apparently does this every year. Lovely idea!”
How will you be celebrating Christmas this year?
“Now that my family has moved back to Finland, we will spend together a real Finnish Christmas after a long time. For me, Christmas means winding down, spending time together and eating good food. At Christmas, I always start thinking about my hopes and goals for the coming year. Christmas is a magical time, and also a great time for dreaming.”
“From the recipient’s perspective, a second-hand gift might even be the most memorable Christmas gift.”
Do you have any tips for someone who is considering buying a pre-owned gift?
“Surprisingly many things can be found second-hand – many design items and home products might actually have a special value due to the fact that they have already seen life. Everyone loves well-thought-out gifts that don’t look like they’ve been randomly picked up in a store, and this is what pre-owned gifts often are. These days, it doesn’t take much effort to find a second-hand gift. And from the recipient’s perspective, it might even be the most memorable Christmas gift.
I would start by thinking about the gift from the recipient’s preferences: a keen home chef might be delighted by a beautiful vintage mortar and pestle, and a candle lover could enjoy an old candleholder that will patinate beautifully. And a great gift for someone older could be something which dates back to their youth.”
Sylvia Sene’s gift tips from Franckly:
Artek: Rivi tray
“Actually, I have just recently learned to use trays. Why spend time running between the kitchen and the dining table when you can place all the plates on a tray? I could give this adorable Rivi tray to a friend who likes hosting gatherings in their home.”
Marimekko: Ostjakki cushion cover
“Fujiwo Ishimoto’s Ostjakki from 1983 is one of my favorite Marimekko patterns. In this coloring, in particular, the pattern reminds me of the fall colors and flickering fire. I’d like to give the Ostjakki cushion cover for my mom, who enjoys these kinds of warm hues.”
Fiskars: Norden knives
“I would give this knife set by Fiskars to someone who has, say, a summer cottage where all the knives are so dull that you have to push hard even when cutting a tomato. High-quality knives make cooking exponentially more comfortable.”
Menu: Gridy Me mirror
“Especially in city apartments, bathrooms can often be quite small and dark, and they might not have optimal light for doing make-up. A portable mirror is not only a beautiful decorative element but also a great everyday item if gifted to the right person. Now that I think about it, I am considering getting this mirror for myself!”
Alessi: Edo cookware
“This precious gift would most certainly bring joy to anyone who enjoys cooking. The small saucepan from Alessi’s Edo cookware set really invites you to experiment with new recipes!”
Georg Jensen: HK pitcher
“Is there any better everyday luxury than pouring water from a pitcher as beautiful as this? The HK pitcher by Henning Koppel would be a nice gift for example for a couple with a newborn baby. With a baby in the house, no one has time to think about luxury, but this pitcher could bring it in a functional and delightful way.”
Text: Design Stories Images: Emma Sarpaniemi, Suvi Kesäläinen, Zara Pfeifer and manufacturers