A Forest Christmas at Artek Helsinki

For the Winter 2020–21 season, the theme at our Artek Helsinki store is the forest and the relationship people have with the woods.


This year has strengthened the relationship many of us already have to the forest. Last spring, when so much of our life was confined to the home, we took to the woods in our free time. This led to strange sights, such as lines of people hiking one behind the other along the trails in nearby Nuuksio National Park. Many of us also sought solitude in the woods, where there is space to roam, clean air to breathe and the sound of silence to enjoy. The forest was felt to be a clean and safe environment, a place where one could forget the news for a while. In deep-rooted nature, by cliffs and shores, you could let yourself relax, to feel small and connected to solid earth.

The winter display at Artek Helsinki was inspired by the forest. Central to it is the furniture designed by Alvar Aalto, which forms the bedrock of the Artek collection, along with products from other designers and manufacturers who share our ethos. In the 1930s, Aalto came to renew Modernism by choosing to work with warm natural materials rather than metal – in Finland, after all, there was a lot of wood available. Even today, the classics he designed are made from Finnish birch at our factory in Littoinen.

As it does for many of us, the forest held a special place in Alvar Aalto’s heart. A recurring theme in his architecture is the blurring of the threshold between indoors and outdoors. In many private residences designed by Aalto, nature framed by the windows seems to become part of the room.


A peek into the woods with Metsä/Skogen

A street-level corner of the Artek Helsinki store is home to a little copse of spruces, and there you will find a selection of small objects inspired by the forest. This year, both the presentation and the selection of objects have been realised in cooperation with Metsä/Skogen (Forest/Forest). Metsä/Skogen is a unique concept and a holistic experience – like a real forest in the middle of the city. Metsä/Skogen aims to engage as many of your senses as a real forest, which in turn has inspired the Artek Helsinki store display.

The Christmas selection of small objects focuses on natural materials: wood, linen, and leather. The selection encompasses objects that are both beautiful and functional, such as cutting boards and home textiles. You will also find forest-inspired wellness products in our range, from skincare to relaxation and for the sauna. Home products enrich our collection: imagine having a beautiful diffuser at home to waft a soothing forest aroma around your room. You can also bring home tastes of the forest by using Sami Tallberg’s cookbooks and the foodstuffs he has developed for Metsä/Skogen, such as spices, teas and ready-prepared ingredients for a mushroom risotto or soup.

Stories of the forest from friends

We know that spending some time in the woods is soothing to both mind and body. Forests are our common treasure, they offer experiences to be enjoyed throughout Finland, from the northernmost part of the country to its southernmost tip. Forests are by nature tangible, yet they arouse in us positive feelings and states of mind. We wanted to hear what five of our friends each had to say about their own relationship to the woods. Each one has illustrated their thoughts with views from their home or other places of importance to them.

Read the stories:

Sara Karlsson: Home provides a mental and physical safe harbour

Minna Jones: Artek, Minna and the Forest

Jenny Carlsson: Being in the forest acts as a counterbalance to the buzz of the city

Marinella Himari: Waders by the door – winter at home and in the mountains

Kirsikka Simberg: Thoughts and Memories of the Forest

Previously at Artek Helsinki

Artek Helsinki
Keskuskatu 1 B
00100 Helsinki, Finland
tel. +358 10 617 3480
Mon-Sat 10:00 – 18:00