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Meet Elina – A Designer from Helsinki

The work of Finnish designers and architects is world famous – creators of design icons that paved the way for the country’s modern creative artists now proudly continue the work of those pioneers, setting ever higher standards.

One of these up-and-coming new faces is Elina Aalto, a designer, interior architect and mother of three from Helsinki.


Creativity draws vitality from inspiration. Although artists often stress the importance of a continual state of flux and of a journey in their creative work, Elina takes a refreshingly different approach:

– My own primary inspiration is from everyday life, and from the children who revolutionised my professional life by making me so much more efficient and organised.


The creative spark also come from farther afield. Elina, like many Finns, has found particular inspiration in Japanese design and has visited the country on several occasions.

– There is some kind of mystical connection between the Finns and the Japanese. I have no idea where it comes from, but our respective aesthetic ideas and modes of existence have a great deal in common. This is both strange and fascinating, as Japan is very different from Finland as a country.


The challenges that all working parents face are eased in Elina’s case by the fact that Elina’s husband Klaus is also a designer and the couple even hare the same studio. But the wider surroundings help too:

– Helsinki is an ideal setting for this kind of life, with parks all around and an environment that is generally safe and secure, but that also provides abundant inspiration, Elina adds.
The marine archipelago makes Helsinki an ideal urban setting in summer, as numerous seasonal outdoor cafés open for business. These venues are also an attraction for Elina and her children.

– Helsinki can provide a splendid rural holiday feeling in summer, and our favorite family pursuit at this time of year is to take a rowing boat out to one of the nearby islands. The journey alone is a wonderful little adventure for kids.


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