Blogger Annika Meder-Liikanen: My best Christmas gift ideas

Annika Meder-Liikanen lives with her family in the center of Helsinki, and decorates both their city apartment and summer place in her impeccable style. Annika picked a few design classics for Christmas from Finnish Design Shop.

Annika Meder-Liikanen has been writing her popular blog Vihreä talo (Green house) since 2008. Among her tips is also her own dream gift, which is the new Savoy version of Alvar Aalto’s iconic Golden Bell pendant light. “Perhaps Santa will bring it one Christmas if I behave really well!”

Annika Meder-Liikanen, how do you decorate your home for Christmas?
“I don’t really use Christmas decorations or colors, since I'm not a big seasonal decorator. Instead of using actual ornaments, the festive season is visible at my home through lit candles in beautiful candleholders, crisp bedsheets, warm slippers waiting next to the bed, and a pile of cozy throws on the sofa. Also, the scent of peeled mandarins, mulled wine being heated on the stove, a blossoming hyacinth on the windowsill and a fir wreath hung on the front door are sure signs of Christmas.”

What is the most special place you have spent Christmas at?
“One winter I traveled to England to spend Christmas with a friend. We had a grand London apartment entirely to ourselves, since his roommates had left to spend Christmas wherever. I arrived at the airport, with ingredients for the Karelian hot pot in my luggage, into the middle of a picture-postcard idyll: there was snow on the ground and thin lines of smoke rose from the chimneys of the Victorian houses. My friend had poured me a hot bath and a glass of port was waiting on the edge of the tub. I brought part of the Christmas treats with me from Finland, and the rest we bought from the food hall at the traditional Fortnum & Mason department store in Piccadilly. I felt like I had spent Christmas in another time altogether.”

Annika Meder-Liikanen’s Christmas gift ideas:

1. For the atmosphere

“Burning candles is definitely a part of Christmas! Beautiful candleholders are my weakness; they are just as wonderful to receive as to give as gifts. Skultuna's brass Lily candlestick is incredibly beautiful, a true classic. You can set the mood by modifying the color of the candles; from a purist white to a delicate nude.”

“Burning candles is definitely a part of Christmas!”

2. For the sauna-goer

“Beautiful slippers are a perfect gift for anyone with cold toes. They are needed, if you like to spend time at a cottage and enjoy the sauna, or when you pop out on your balcony or to the laundry room. Marimekko’s Räsymatto slippers are made of cotton, with a rubber sole. They just slip on your feet after a bath and have a good grip.”

3. For the interior decorator

“If Artek’s A330S Savoy pendant light was among my gifts on Christmas Eve, I would faint from pure happiness. The pendant light created for the restaurant Savoy's 80th anniversary is made of uncoated brass. Over time, the pendant is likely to develop the most divine patina. The outside has been polished and the inner surface left unpolished – I can only imagine how beautiful and warm the light is.”

“Over time, the pendant is likely to develop the most divine patina.”

4. For lounging on the sofa

“On Christmas Eve, it would be wonderful to relax on the sofa and watch TV or read a good book, wrapped in a soft throw found in one of the gift boxes. Hay’s Crinkle is a personal favorite; it is light but warm and large enough. The warm, reddish shade is perfect for a surprisingly diverse range of interiors.”

5. For everyday use

“If you find it difficult to decide on a gift, I would recommend wrapping something practical in your gift box. If a gift is of the kind that is needed in everyday life, it will most certainly not end up at the back of a cupboard. Wrap a couple of grey candles in gift wrap together with a beautiful candle snuffer, or a pretty dish brush and a pair of kitchen scissors to make everyday life a little more beautiful.”

Browse more Christmas gift ideas >
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Text: Mikko Vaija Images: Manufacturers

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