Monday, 18 September 2017


Last weekend there was a huge design fair, Habitare, at the Messukeskus Expo and Convention centre in Helsinki. We visited the fair on Friday, and it was such a fun day! I have never been to this fair before and did not really know what to expect; in any case, I did not think I would be this inspired by everything I saw. Here below is my take on what is IN at the moment in interior design. Enjoy!


shades of grey varying from stone to blue-grey tones  // pastel rose & soft lilac // salmon pink // faded & bright orange // off-white & cream // rich emerald green // rich dark navy blue //
green blue - teal // mint green - pastel turquoise // lime green - yellow-green //
sand (dark & grey toned) - cold faded brown // khaki green // black





recycled materials

At Think Today, all their products are made from surplus materials. For example, the walls of their display are made of excess plastic mat from a construction site. This is just one example of how sustainability and ecology was visible at the fair.

P A T T E R N S  &  S H A P E S




triangles & diamond shapes



D E P A R T M E N T   S O L U T I O N S

= Signals =

The Signals department was truly out of this world.  Colours, materials, patterns of all different kinds met in these rooms somehow giving just enough space for each element to shine. The result was an Alice in Wonderland -type of inspiring experience, which was just what I needed to be shaken out of the information overdose I was slowly sinking into by the time I got to this department. Wonderful and bold decisions!

= anno =

Anno's department was one of my favourites colour wise. Out of this season's colour palette, I prefer the shades of grey, white and lilac, and in this display all those tones were given the space to bloom individually as well as together. The simple, minimalistic overall look was soothing and inviting. 

= Luhta Home =

Luhta Home's department was inspired by nature, which according to their representative (with whom I had a long discussion at the fair) is the core of the company's design. I thought this display was interesting because it successfully combined rough natural elements with the textiles creating a calm atmosphere. Since the blocks of birch as well as the platform were hanging in the air from wires, there was a constant small movement happening. This was refreshing because most of the other displays were completely still. The movement also made the dark, blueish grey overall look seem a bit less heavy. And let's not forget the yellow focus point textile, which fits in the display design so well it almost goes unnoticed at first glance. Great job from the visualiser's side!

= Vallila =

Vallila's department was a space combining rooms of calm white and playful colours without becoming a chaos. It was the full experience with calming sounds playing on the background as the visitors were allowed to loose themselves in the magic of Vallila's textiles.

= Skanno =

Skanno's department had a pastel shades overall look, combining different patterns and materials. It had a feeling of the 70's, but at the same time the concept was very today. The paperbird lights and the Instagram polaroid wall were the most interesting aspects of the design for me, as well the two mirrors which were placed (intentionally or unintentionally, the representative was not sure) exactly within such a distance from each other that if I stood in the middle and took a picture, my reflection was not visible in either of the mirrors!

= Hiilinielu =

Hiilinielu Design Studio had brought the Finnish forest indoors, which was a refreshing sight amongst the sea of man made products. Make sure to scroll down to TYPOGRAPHY & GRAPHIC ELEMENTS section to check out more of Hiilinielu's cleverness!

= Timberwise =

Timberwise's department was very different compared to the others. As you can see in the pictures below, their department was built higher than most, and rather than covering the whole area available for them, the main area of their display was positioned diagonally inside of the area. It is worth to mention that their display utilised two of the season's colours (emerald green and rich navy) as well as wood, which seems to be this season's popular material in addition to obviously being the product Timberwise sells.

= IKEA =

IKEA is always IKEA. You would expect no less. As this was the first time at Habitare for me, I cannot compare to previous years, but at least this year IKEA's display was clever and engaging. The hashtags worked to connect each different room to one another, not to mention it made the already instagrammable space even more alluring. #elohuone #ihanaaollakotona

= The Block: XAMK =

= The Block: VAANA =

Last but not least, the department of University of Lapland with design straight from the future, combining light with natural materials (not to mention the importance of sustainability!). The students from different fields of design collaborated to create these prototypes inspired by northern lights and the Arctic nature, resulting in magical, original and beautiful aesthetics. Do I even have to say this department was my absolute favourite?!

"Moss stone" // textile design: Emma Napari // interaction design: Ashley Colley // construction design: Ella Murtomäki, Outi Lassila
~Moss stone has an interactive textile surface that reacts to touch and brings a hint of the Arctic to the exhibition explorers. The hand-woven tapestry surgace gets its inspiration from the colourful mosses of northern forests and wetlands.~
"Frozen Table" // Lasse Virtanen, Ashley Colley & Tuomas Lappalainen
~The patterns of frost and snow on the frozen ground mark the winter landscape of the Arctic. In this interactive table, thevisitor's touch creates patterns of ice frost that creep along the surface. The product's design combines wood, light, and transparent surfaces.~
"Ice Rug" // textile design: Tiina Jaakkola // interaction design: Ashley Colley // construction design: Juho Saavalainen
~Ice Rug is an interactive felt rug, which is inspired by cracking ice. The rug represents Arctic Design and it is made from pure wool felt. The rug reacts to touch and provides memorable experiences to visitors.~
"A Touch of Spring" // Tuomas Lappalainen, Lasse Virtanen & Ashley Colley
When little drops of water emerge from the melting ice to form a larger stream, spring is finally arriving. In this interactive product, a stream of water is embedded to a tabletop surface. Exhibit visitors can put their hand in the water, disrupting the water flow, and resulting in a smooth change in the light reflecting to the surroundings. The surface utilizes patterns inspired by Arctic nature and its change after winter.
"Breaking of the Dawn" // clothing design: Paula Roinesalo // interaction design: Tuomas Lappalainen, Ashley Colley
~The interactive Breaking of the Dawn jacket includes sensor, thermochromic materials and reindeer leather, promoting the sustainable tradition of Lapland. The jacket takes its inspiration from the Arctic nature, where the long winter darkness is broken by the northern lights and the first rays of spring sunlight.~ 

If you fell in love with VAANA, check out their website and the rest of their products here.

T Y P O G R A P H Y  &  G R A P H I C  E L E M E N T S


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