Mika Tolvanen | Lighting
Mika Tolvanen (b. 1975) is a Finnish designer who graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2001. Tolvanen designs mainly furniture, but also different types of interior decorating products as well as lighting. His achievements include collaborative projects with a number of well-known companies, including Muuto, Nak-Nak, Offecct and Woud. In 2015, Mika and his spouse Julie Tolvanen founded their own design office, Studio Tolvanen, in Helsinki. Tolvanen has won the Finland100 furniture design competition by Isku in 2016 and the Bruno Mathsson award in 2012, and he was awarded as the Finnish Furniture Designer of the Year 2017.
Read Mika Tolvanen's interview >
The most comprehensive lamp store for Nordic designer lamps
If you’re looking to buy a new designer lamp in Scandinavian style, you've come to the right lamp store! We at Finnish Design Shop love good lighting design, Nordic aesthetics and high quality. Possibly because of the long and dark winters of the North, lighting has a very special place in our hearts. We like to have proper general lighting in the whole house, but we also enjoy turning off the main lights and switching on smaller mood lights for a cosy ambience. Finnish Design Shop’s carefully curated lighting shop is filled with some of our favourite designer lamps ranging from ceiling lamps to table lamps, floor lamps and wall lamps.
The focus of our lighting shop is on modern Scandinavian lighting supplemented with some of our favourite designer lamps from elsewhere in the world. If you’re looking for a mid-century style designer lamp from Scandinavia, you can start by discovering the iconic Alvar Aalto lamps by Artek, Poul Henningsen lamps by Louis Poulsen and Svend Aage Holm-Sørensen lamps by Warm Nordic. For more contemporary Nordic lighting, check out the collections of Pholc, Menu, Nuura and Secto Design. For those captivated by Italian designer lighting, we stock a versatile range of classics by Oluce, Flos, Foscarini and Artemide. The list could go on and on, but just a few more: the Marset lamps from Spain are always a joy to the eye, the Danish brands Le Klint and GUBI represent Scandinavian elegance at its best, and the British designer lamps by Tom Dixon are just simply gorgeous!
What is a good way of using lights in your space?
Balanced lighting consists of three basic layers of light: ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. Ambient lighting, or general lighting, is most often created with at least partially diffused ceiling lights that provide the overall light to a room. Task lighting refers to more direct light, for example desk lamps, floor lamps and wall lamps, that you use for tasks such as reading, cooking and doing makeup. Accent lighting is used for highlighting single objects or features as well as creating mood lighting or decorative lighting in the room.
Lighting design is a form of art, and it takes a special eye to create an optimal balance between all the luminaires in the space. Style-wise, you can aim for a coherent line or play with contrasts – the most important thing is that the luminaire is made of quality materials that stand the test of time. Whether you’re looking for a strong statement piece or a luminaire that seamlessly blends into the decor, we've got you covered! We enjoy bold and sculptural chandeliers that really stand out, but we also love the feeling when the whole decor has that harmonious, understated and uniform look. The diffused glow of opal glass lamps works in any interior, as well as the organic appearance of ceramic or wooden lampshades. For example, a bold industrial-style metal lamp can pair beautifully with a rice paper lampshade, and brass or marble details give a sophisticated touch to any kind of setting.
How to choose your new lamp?
When buying a new lamp, start by thinking about what kind of lighting you wish to acquire. A hanging pendant light or a flush-mounted ceiling light with a diffuser is a good option for ambient lighting with no glare, whereas a direct spotlight or desk lamp is a great choice when you want to highlight only some parts of the room or need light for working. If you’re looking for a bedside lamp, the light should be bright enough for reading but gentle enough to not fill the whole room with light. And for decorative mood lighting, it’s best to pick a lamp that provides a warm, diffused glow. It’s wise to pay special attention to the size of your new lamp: if the lamp is too large for the room and has no empty space around it, it might create a cramped feeling – and respectively, if you choose a tiny lamp for ample space, it might not stand out or provide enough light.
It is a good idea to choose at least one dimmable lamp for the room because a dimmable luminaire will have a wide range of uses. In terms of light sources, you can choose either a lamp with an integrated LED unit or a classic luminaire with a replaceable bulb. And in case you want to carry your lamp out to the patio, check out our selection of portable and cordless lamps. We also stock a versatile selection of weatherproof outdoor lamps. When you’ve finally found your new luminaire, check if you need to purchase light bulbs or any additional accessories: our selection of lighting accessories is filled with standard LED bulbs as well as eye-catching decorative bulbs.
How can I light a room with no overhead lights?
When traditional ceiling lights are not an option, there are still plenty of ways to create good ambient lighting for the space. Look for wall lamps, floor lamps and table lamps that reflect light through a wall or ceiling – this is a great way to add non-glare light to the room, particularly in spaces with white surfaces. Plug-in ceiling lights are also great for this purpose. Especially in larger spaces, it is highly recommended to place several light sources around the room. Complement the setting with spotlights for accent lighting and a task light if needed, and add lantern-like table lamps or portable lamps for mood lighting.
Where to get inspiration for home lighting?
To help you with the selection of your new designer lamp, we picked a few articles from our online magazine Design Stories. These stories provide you with inspirational tips and ideas for your home as well as deeper insights into some of the most famous Scandinavian lighting designs:
• 9 tips for home lighting – shop your favourites >
• Bedroom lighting ideas from our lamp store – 6 layers of light >
• Find an ideal design lamp for each room of the house >
• Poul Henningsen – master of soft light >
• Paavo Tynell created artistic light >