Towards Christmas – Maija Rasila’s December favorites

Finnish Design Shop’s interior architect Maija Rasila talks about her favorite products and styles in Design Stories’ Favorites of the Month column. She thinks you shouldn’t exert yourself too much but celebrate Christmas just like you prefer.

Christmas table
Mixing things casually works fine during Christmas too. Numerous candlesticks of all type, favorite treats presented on dishes that don’t form a set, and bold color combinations create a modern and relaxed Christmas feeling.

“IT TAKES YOU BY SUPRISE every year: suddenly it’s December and the festive season is upon you. Christmas arrives by little steps into my home, and the atmosphere grows the closer we get to it. Some years I get carried away with lots of decorations, while some other years I only have a few Christmas plants and some candles. The best kind of Christmas is the type that doesn’t create any extra stress: you should be able to spend it in whichever way feels good.

Whether the Christmas decorations are minimalistic or plentiful, it’s nevertheless nice to add some layers and atmosphere. When winter comes, I get out my blankets, candles, and soft, darker colors. Lighting also plays an important role, with a preference for dim and inviting lights in the evening. You don’t really need the traditional kind of Christmas lights at all.”

Pholc's Turner 65 pendant in a bedroom

Soft light

Various paper lamps have taken homes by storm in recent years. They are easy and often inexpensive ways to create a great impression in a room’s lighting, and can be combined nicely with other lamps.

The Turner 65 pendant by Pholc, imitating the spirit of a traditional rice paper lamp, is suitable as a source of general lighting both in a bedroom and living room. The geometric pattern creates impressive character in an otherwise simple form. The material is resin, which is stronger and easier to care for than paper yet maintains a similar kind of delicate and soft atmosphere.

Pholc Turner 65 pendant >
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HAY Kofi coffee table in red

Inspired by the 90s

1990s trends have trickled from fashion to interior decoration. The new Kofi coffee table collection by HAY is nostalgic yet a fresh and modern-looking interpretation of the simple glass table. The glass top with frames in different colors create a nicely varying feeling: I think my favorite is the red version in the picture, a splash of color amid the otherwise neutral decor.

What’s nice about this design is that the collection not only has small tables but also a larger one, a meter in width. Large and clear coffee tables seem to be particularly interesting choices at the moment. The glass top and delicate frame make even a large table look light.

HAY Kofi coffee table >
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&Tradition Collect vases

Something to match the Christmas flowers

I’ve already bought my first Christmas flowers, and the closer we get to Christmas, the more there will be. I found the perfect vases in the &Tradition collection. The Collect collection consists of a range of glass and ceramic vases of different sizes, suitable for a single flower and larger bouquets. The color alternatives include muted and earthy tones, perfect for the Yuletide season, and my favorite is the lively dark one, dive.

&Tradition Collect SC68 vase >
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Mifuko Kandili candleholders

Candle installation

Can there ever be too many candlesticks? They are perhaps my biggest weakness, and before Christmas there’s plenty of use for them – both in my home and as a present. Most recently, I’ve taken a fancy to the plump Kandili candleholders by Mifuko. They look fun on their own and in larger groups. You can also pile them on top of each other into towers for greater effect.

The material, making the surface beautifully lively, is soapstone. Thanks to the soapstone, each item is unique, and the color variations add to their charm. Kandilis are also signed by their makers, and just like other Mifuko products, manufactured sustainable and under controlled conditions.

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Røros Tweed Isak throw in chestnut

The softest quilt

The favorite moment in late autumn is when the day’s work is done, I have a fire burning in the fireplace and soft textiles invite me to wrap inside them.

Røros Tweed is one of my greatest winter favorites. Their products combine high-quality and soft wool, beautiful patterns and classic color schemes suitable for a Nordic style. The Isak throws have a nice nostalgic feeling, but the simple braided patters maintain a contemporary Scandinavian feel. This is also an ideal Christmas present, because who wouldn’t enjoy a soft and high-quality throw!

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Menu Carrie table lamp in bronzed brass

Light for the windows

I like to put up some Christmas decorations, but I’m actually rather moderate. In addition to traditional decorations, you can create a Christmas feeling by other, more modern means. The Carrie table lamp by Menu is a handy product, also suitable for Christmas atmosphere and very useful throughout the year.

If you have wide window sills, the cordless Carrie is a beautiful choice instead of a traditional Christmas light. You can pick it up and place on the table or give extra light to your hallway. The bronzed brass and the leather handle give a bit of special luxury.

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Fiskars Village in winter

Christmas classic

Various Christmas markets are one of the most traditional advent events, and I just love them. If I have the time for it, I want at least to pop over at the Fiskars Village every year. The surroundings of the old Fiskars ironworks host a range of events: workshops, exhibitions and walking tours. And even if there’s nothing special on, the area is wonderful for walks and to get into the Christmas spirit.

• Read more about the Fiskars Village Christmas >

Maija Rasila

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 Photos: Finnish Design Shop, Fiskars VIllage and manufacturers

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