Helsinki-based designer Reeta Ek chose Finnish design as Christmas gifts, but also something for friends of nature. She will celebrate Christmas with her family in Vihti, and the Christmas tree will be filled with baubles.
Reeta Ek, will you get a Christmas tree this year?
”We will have a traditional Christmas at my parents’ house in Vihti. We have not bought a tree for our own home, but my parents always have one, and it has a big significance at Christmas. I spent a few years working for Weiste, Finland’s and also Scandinavia’s biggest Christmas decoration manufacturer, so we have plenty of ornaments. Each year my father asks whether the tree would look nice just like that, just with the lights. Maybe that is the case, but eventually the tree always sparkles, filled with baubles.”
What is the best Christmas gift you have ever received?
”I got my best Christmas gift in 1996, when I started to date my husband a couple of days before Christmas Eve. Concrete gifts that I still remember are the Christmas gifts from my childhood, such as the perfumed soaps by Yves Rocher, journals and pyjamas. I still have the journals, and often they begin with a list of what I got for Christmas. As I’m getting older, material things seem less significant, and the best gift is spending time together, relaxing and everything that makes Christmas Christmas.”
Reeta Ek's Christmas gift picks:
1. For the swimmer
”For my sister, who appreciates Finnish design and loves to swim, I would give the Terva towel from Lapuan Kankurit. I also have this towel myself, and I don’t want to use anything else because it is that good. The towel does not take up much space, dries fast, and is very absorbent. The material of the Terva towels, linen-tencel, has been developed by Lapuan Kankurit. Both linen and tencel are naturally antibacterial and ecological.”
2. For parents
”For my parents, who like clean floors, I would choose the dustpan and brush set by Iris Hantverk. It is so beautiful that it could be on display permanently, especially when we are visiting with the boys and the floor is constantly covered with trash and crumbles. At Christmas, it would also be useful for sweeping needles from the Christmas tree. Iris Hantverk’s story began already at the end of the 1900s, when the visually impaired started to make brooms in Stockholm. The products are still handmade by visually impaired artisans in Sweden and Estonia.”
3. For the nature lover
”For my son Olavi, I would like to give one or several Shorebirds designed by Icelandic designer Sigurjón Pálsson. They would continue to remind him of his interest in nature, which he has had ever since he was very little. Olavi’s favorite book used to be a book with pictures and sound samples of several hundred animals. When he was four years old, he recognized a lar gibbon in the zoo before we were even close to the monkey area. He also once told me when we were in the backyard: ”Mom, an oystercatcher!” I wondered about the name oystercatcher and didn’t remember ever hearing it before. But when we looked at the animal encyclopedia, he was right. A black and white bird that has a long orange beak and a slightly amusing appearance – just like these wooden guys.”
”Normann Copenhagen's Shorebirds would continue to remind my son of his interest in nature, which he has had ever since he was very little.”
4. For myself
”For myself I would choose the lovely Perho mirror by Katriina Nuutinen. When designing interiors, mirrors can increase space, light and colors astoundingly, and sometimes they can resemble artwork. That is definitely true of Perho. With its revolving wing I would be able create a nice view to our other room.”
5. For the friend of Finnish design
”The Perch stool manufactured by Nikari and designed by Studio Kaksikko, would be a spot-on gift for my friend. The stool is a beautiful future classic that would fit perfectly in any space. Perch not only refers to a fish, but also to how birds sit on a branch for a moment before sprinting up in the air again. I think the latter meaning fits the stool excellently. Studio Kaksikko is a design duo formed by my friend Wesley Walters and my sister Salla Luhtasela. I admire their work greatly. In 2016, they won Finnish Design Shop’s first FDS Award design competition with this stool.”