A Scandinavian Design Advocate in Australia

Maria is born and raised in Lapland, Finland, but is residing in sunny Sydney, Australia since 2005. She is passionate about Scandinavian design and is a certified Health Coach, who has been featured in several Design and Health Magazines. We have interviewed her to get to know her personal relationship with the Nordic region and design.

What are the most significant differences between Finland and Australia?

Number 1 thing that comes to mind is definitely the climate! I come from the Northern part of Finland that has very clear seasons, but here in Sydney the seasons are more blurred. Winter here can sometimes be warmer than summer in my hometown! There are cultural differences as well, of course, and I think the climate plays a part in this too. 

Can you highlight your favourite qualities with Scandinavian design?

A strong history with craftsmanship resulting in finely tuned, high quality pieces must be my favourite thing about Scandinavian design. What can actually look quite understated on the surface is often the most complex piece of design.


“A strong history with craftsmanship
resulting in finely tuned,
high quality
pieces must be my favourite thing
about Scandinavian design.”



In your opinion, are there any Scandinavian trends emerging to Australia?

The “Scandi look” has been a strong interior trend in Australia for years. However, in my opinion it has been a somewhat “stereotypical” view to what is actually a lot more defined and complex. Unfortunately, Australia also has a reputation for its widespread replica industry and a lot of the iconic designs (Scandinavian and otherwise) have been copied. I would love to see the authentic Scandinavian designs gain more ground here, but it will take a while for people to change their views and consumption habits.

Is there anything from Finland you miss?

There is a lot! The longer I live abroad (13 years and counting), the more nostalgic Finland becomes. I miss the forests, the seasons, the sauna, even winter and definitely the snow!

What are your most favourite places to visit when you go back to Finland and the Scandinavian region?

I tend to go straight up to the Arctic Circle where my hometown is and in recent years I haven’t done much travelling around the rest of Scandinavia. I love the northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway – the landscapes are beautiful, and it is so serene up there.

Photographs by Maria Laitinen.

Thank you, Maria, for answering our questions. We are sure your advocacy in Australia brings forth the Scandinavian authenticity, and we hope you will soon get to experience the Finnish snow once again. You can learn more about Maria and her inspiring blog at TheScandiHome.com, or follow her on Instagram, @ScandiHome.


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