A major design destination, Helsinki welcomed back the Habitare furniture and accessories fair in September 2022. Here were the top home decoration trends gathered from the showing.
Helsinki, A Design-Centric City
A decade after Helsinki World Design Capital in 2012, the Finnish capital – boasting a long design tradition with famous names such as Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen – uses design as a strategic tool to improve itself as a provider of services to citizens.
Design infuses all aspects of daily life, and it is taught from elementary school. The municipality even hired its chief design officer, Hanna Harris, one of only a handful worldwide, who uses design to understand the needs of Helsinki’s inhabitants and to ensure a smoothly functioning and equal-opportunity city.
- Helsinki Design Week: Habitare Fair
- Furniture Trend #1: Wood
- Furniture Trend #2: Geometric, Patterned Motifs
- Furniture Trend #3: Holistic Wellness
- Furniture Trend #4: Neutral Naturals
- Furniture Trend #5: Circles & Curves
Helsinki Design Week 2022: Habitare Fair
During Helsinki Design Week, Habitare returned to Messukeskus in September 2022, taking place for the first time since 2019 – as the pandemic postponed the previous two shows. Finland’s largest furniture, design and interior decoration fair with over 380 exhibitors, the five-day affair featured the ideas and creations of the next generation of designers and new industry trends.
Themed “Reimagine”, Habitare emphasised the power of imagination and encouraged reflection on what our homes and lives could look like in the future.
Read More: Helsinki Design Week – 8 Young and emerging designers
With 34,500 visitors, comprising trade professionals and the general public, attendance may have been down from the 58,005 participants in 2019 – as large scale gatherings still haven’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels – but spirits were high with exhibitors and buyers hungry for connection.
Special attention was paid to young talent with a specially-dedicated showcase of four designers in Talentshop and 22 prototypes searching for manufacturers for production in Protoshop.
Highlighting design and architecture students and organised in cooperation with Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, The Habitare Design Competition awarded Finnish industrial design student Kaisa Minkkinen and her floor dining furniture Origo, which consists of a low oak table and floor pillows in Nordic sheep wool that serve as seats.
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International Friend of Habitare: Joseph Grima
This year’s International Friend of Habitare choice was British architect, curator, researcher and editor Joseph Grima, the creative director of Design Academy Eindhoven and co-founder of the design research studio Space Caviar.
When describing his favourite booth, product and material at the fair, he picked Habitare. “I would like to highlight Habitare as a phenomenon and offer an outsider’s perspective on the event,” he said.
It is especially great that Habitare welcomes not only trade professionals but also everyone interested in interior decoration and design.
This is Habitare’s greatest strength: many international events lack the atmosphere that Habitare has. International design events are often huge, which means visitors have absolutely no way of exploring the whole offering.
Habitare is accessible and approachable, making it easy to get to know the people behind the products and designs. It is rare that one event can bring together companies, end-users and designers.
“We need more events like Habitare around the world”.
Here are 5 best furniture and home decor trends we spotted at the fair.
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Furniture Trend #1: Wood
Whether it’s pine, birch, oak, walnut or ash, wood remains as timeless and authentic as eùerʨ rlustin§ uater ĝttin§ and responsible choice when considering that wood is one of Finland’s most abundant natural materials.
Three-quarters of the country is covered in dense forests, and it is Europe’s largest timber producer.
Vaarnil Wood Pendant Lights
Making brutal but sophisticated furniture and accessories in Finnish pine its signature, Vaarnii’s first lighting range is a reissue of Swedish designer Hans-Agne Jakobsson’s iconic curved pendant lamps that demonstrate the mastery of the manipulation of pine veneer.
Woodio Wood Bathtub
Woodio’s Flow freestanding bathtub is manufactured in Helsinki from a 100 per cent waterproof, patented solid wood composite combining aspen and birch from local Northern forests and a resin-based binder the brand developed, dyed in various colours using non-toxic stains and coated with a durable, scratch-resistant gel finish.
Nikari Frame Table
An example of warm minimalism and sturdiness thanks to the use of traditional wood joinery, the Frame table by John Pawson for Nikari is crafted from sustainably grown solid ash or oak with a life expectancy of more than 100 years, whose surface is treated with a natural wood oil mix for easy maintenance and a silky touch.
Tapio Sofa Bed
With hidden functionality, the Tapio Anttila Day&Night sofa bed with a structure in oak, pine and birch can be transformed from a lounge sofa into two single beds or one double bed with two duvets, two pillows and two mattress toppers packed inside the backrest cushions.
Riku Toivonen Small Tables
Although not conventionally accepted by furniture companies, Helsinki-based designer Riku Toivonen decided to make the Leppanen collection of small tables from rotten birch, thereby embracing the natural imperfections of decaying timber.
Vivero Rosebud Diamond Chair
he Rosebud Diamond chair by designer and interior architect Ilkka Suppanen for Vivero features wood-veneered backs in birch, ash or oak. Its diamond seat is shaped like open arms, inviting one to sit down and rest one’s upper arms and shoulders.
Furniture Trend #2: Geometric, Patterned Motifs
Seen on cushions, bed linens, throws, rugs and the season’s key furniture pieces, repeated decorative designs and geometric lines bring touches of joy, originality and visual interest.
Proposing a style that is all about comfort, colour and ease of use, Johanna Gullichsen’s retro Doris chair seats and cushions showcase a hypnotic, rhythmic pattern constructed of solid squares and blocks.
Saara Obele Jakala Collection
An ode to Northern slow living and the favourite Finnish pastime of sauna baths, Saara Obele’s Jakala sauna covers, sauna pillows, towels and blankets for Lapuan Kankurit draw inspiration from patterns created on the forest floor.
Finarte Akaatti Rug
Known for its sustainable products handwoven in India from recycled or natural materials in the tradition of Finnish rag rugs reusing textiles, Finarte’s hand-tufted and carved wool square Akaatti rug by Finnish designer Juslin Maunula is an enticing mix of beige, blue, violet and coral rectangles.
Furniture Trend #3: Holistic Wellness
In the wake of the pandemic, the need for comfort and to feel secure has increased, with furniture allowing us to re-centre and reconnect with ourselves, others and the environment.
The clean, organic lines of Minna Niskakangas’s Vilja (Grain) fabrics for family business Pentik easily fit into any home.
Mari Koppanen Bench Stool
Mimicking the characteristics of a polypore mushroom, the Fomes bench and stool by Mari Koppanen combine wool, birch wood and soft amadou – a suede-like substance derived from the said mushroom that is a folkloric handicraft material in Eastern Transylvania.
Basta Cubi Sofa
Lounge in the large Cubi modular sofa with interchangeable upholstery by Marcel Wanders for Basta, whose metal frame can be easily assembled and disassembled without any tools, using just a couple of levers.
Flying Carpet Alva Rug
Users are invited to sink into Flying Carpet’s Alva handwoven wool rug by Katri Virtasalo.
Korsstrom Merino Mohair Blanket
Finnish textile designer Ida Korsstrom’s Comfort of Colour series of jacquard woven merino wool and mohair blankets inspired by Florence’s colours, patterns and light embody comfort for the home.
Gubi Flaneur Sofa
The Gubi Flaneur from Nomart is GamFratesi’s interpretation of the English roll-arm sofa. Filled with ample, soft cushions, its carefully formulated layering of springs, foam and feathers offers undeniable comfort made for lazy days.
Furniture Trend #4: Natural Neutrals & Serenity
The popularity of an earthy, neutral colour palette was evident in the halls of Habitare, as tones of white, off-white, cream, ivory, tan, beige, taupe, grey, greige, brown and black were in abundance.
Tebian Amelie Daybed
The beauty of Tebian’s minimalist, lightweight Amelie daybed lies in its simplicity with a solid European oak frame and custom-made futon mattress made of natural rubber, wool and coconut fibre and upholstered in linen.
Woodnotes Willow Rug
Originally launched 20 years ago, Woodnotes’ Willow rug by Claesson Koivisto Rune in paper yarn has been updated with the use of willow as a natural dye, an age-old technique.
Veke Taimi Sideboard
Built from high-quality Finnish pine, the Taimi sideboard co-created by interior design enthusiast Linda Viipuri and Veke, was manufactured in Ranua in Lapland and is available in shades of sand or coal.
Roots Living Polku Bedspread
Inheriting the colours and materials of rugged Nordic nature, the Japanese-inspired Polku quilted cotton bedspread by Ulla Koskinen for Roots Living comes in off-white or brown-grey.
Fasetti Nayttely Oak Chair
The streamlined profile of Fasetti’s legendary Nayttely oak chair by Carl-Gustaf Hiort af Ornas is offset by the intricately braided back of nude, cognac or black leather straps.
Furniture Trend #5: Circles & Curves
Round shapes soften sharp angles this season as our homes warm up with organic forms. Whether rings or spheres, the welcoming curved look is a way of opening our arms tenderly.
Didi Ng Flow Lounge Chair
The minimal Flow lounge chair in bent plywood by Hong Kong artist-designer Didi Ng Wing Yin creates an optimal balance between positive and negative space with its delightful undulations.
Majia Puoskari Nuppu Tableware
Designed by Helsinki-based Maija Puoskari and based on her personal experiences raising children, Nuppu sustainable tableware for kids is made out of hasami-yaki ceramic instead of plastic.
Aarnio Originals Bubble Chair
We find ourselves cocooning inside the iconic see-through Bubble chair suspended from the ceiling by Eero Aarnio Originals, the sole licensed manufacturer of classics by beloved designer Eero Aarnio.
Himmee Circus Wall Lamp
Himmee’s circular ceramic Circus wall lamp, conceived by company founder Timo Niskanen for the Embassy of Finland in Brussels, comes with a blown opal glass dome ensuring a diffused light.
Svedbergs Myre Basin
The Myre round porcelain countertop basin in white, latte, mocha or anthracite by Swedish bathroom solutions specialist Svedbergs is perfect for small or spacious spaces.
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