Tuesday, 24 September 2019 / London, UK


I love travelling back to Finland and bringing few new Nordic/Scandi designs back to the UK with me. Although this time it ended up costing me a lot more extra (ouch) and I had to pay excess baggage fees. Must remember next time to stick with linen and light accessories. No books, magazines or heavy wooden trivets. It's actually cheaper to check in another bag with Norwegian (than pay the excess like I did) which is what I'll be doing next time.

So, let's start with the wooden trivets that heavily contributed to my over-weight luggage. I picked up these beauties in the market square in Helsinki ('kauppatori' in Finnish). I wish I could say that they were a bargain, but for 10 euros each they really were not. I was looking for pretty wooden trivets to protect our new wooden table with and these definitely were the chicest I could find in the entire Finnish capital. They are hand-made in Finland and no item is exactly the same. The colours and the patterns vary a little bit which makes each piece unique. I believe they are made of Finnish juniper wood which smells very aromatic (I think the tarry smell reminds me of Finland and the forests). Apparently placing hot dishes on the coasters increases the aromatic smell (I haven't tested them yet though). I did try to hackle a bit but it didn't really work. I was hoping they would throw in one trivet for free (4 for the price of 3) but ended up with an extra wooden spoon in stead. I guess that wasn't too bad, right? You won't find identical ones online but these look quite similar. 

Next up I discovered a new lifestyle brand Anno. Anno was founded in 2007 (not that new after all) with a mission to create simple products that feel good to live with. Natural materials and nature are pretty much the basis for the entire collection. We get through a lot of kitchen towels at the moment which means there is always room for one more (or 3). The pretty pattern caught my eye initially but I also couldn't get over how soft and luxurious the cotton felt. Quite a few department stores in Finland stock Anno products now (I got my towel in Sokos). They don't have a distributor here in the UK but their online store ships worldwide.

I may have returned home with more than just one tea towel. Like I said, you can never have too many kitchen towels and the pretty ones are hard to find. I spotted the Aalto and the Ultima Thule  tea towel in the Iittala outlet back in February, but felt we didn't really need them at the time. Well, I regretted that decision for months and when I saw them again in the same store in August I just had to buy them. I always invest in good quality kitchen towels. They get used and washed so many times a week that if you don't go for quality they'll fall apart before you know it.

I love these cream napkins from Marimekko. The 'Juustomuotti' pattern looks exquisite, but it looks like it has been created for the Ideal Home Range exclusively as I cannot find it on their website. I only found one online seller for these in Belgium, which means I must stock up next time I'm in Finland. The gold napkin holder is from H&M Home (currently on sale!)

I bought these neutral placemats in Stockmann (biggest department store in Helsinki). I love browsing their furniture and homewares department. They've got everything from high end designer furniture and accessories to more affordable items too. The placemats are by a Swedish brand called Dixie. The colour is called oyster and I would probably describe it cream with hints of light grey. They go perfectly with the new table but don't provide 100% protection unfortunately. I find them fine with grown ups but bigger spills (by children) tend to get through the textile to the wooden table. I still like them, but I just kind of wish the material (yarns) would be a little more tightly woven.

I also brought some interior magazines home with me. These could be the most expensive magazines I've ever bought considering how much they probably contributed to my over-weight suitcase. They were simply too pretty to leave behind and I always like to have a nice selection of magazines at home for inspiration. I do find that a lot of interior magazines in the UK have similar design and products, so it's nice to get inspiration from different countries too.

I just realised I've never official introduced my Iittala Nappula Candelabra on the blog. I bought it last year in Finland and it's probably my favourite design item from Iittala ever. I know that's a bold statement considering how much Iittala I have in our home but I just love the Nappula design. I already had the candle holders in black and white but I felt the candelabra just takes the design to another level. The great thing about the candelabra is that it can also be used with tea lights (not just dinner candles). The pastel dinner candles below are by True Grace.

I hope you like my new Scandi finds. Although I bought the items in Finland, you can find most of them online (I've link them all for your convenience).

Do you like to bring homewares back from your travels?


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