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Discover Modern Nordic Design In Helsinki

  • March 26, 2023

From the colorful prints of Marimekko to Ittala glassware and the functional Artek furniture, Finland is not short of leading names in the world of design.

The Nordic nation is a major destination for anyone interested in art and design, and there’s no better place to discover the details than the Finnish capital and UNESCO city of design, Helsinki.

A European city of design

While the city of Helsinki itself is quite compact, almost half of Finland’s 5.5 million residents live in and around the capital region.

In 2014, Helsinki became the first Nordic city to be designated a UNESCO Design City. Part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, the Design City designation recognizes Helsinki’s design-focused cultural landscape, design schools and design-driven creative industries.

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A visit to Helsinki isn’t just about design museums and shopping opportunities. The city itself is a constantly evolving example of integrated design thinking. Baking user perspective into the design process applies to the design of objects but also public services, public spaces and visual identities across the city.

Contemporary architecture is also a feature of any city break in Helsinki, whether you deliberately visit the buildings or simply admire them as you wander past on your way elsewhere.

The striking wooden facade of Oodi Library and the fascinating Temppeliaukio—better known as the rock church—are particular highlights.

Top Finnish design brands

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Style Throughout the Decades

  • October 12, 2022

“IF I WORE BEIGE no one would know who I was,” Queen Elizabeth II famously said. They were the words of a woman with a keen awareness of what clothes meant. Fashion, to the late Queen, was not frivolous – nor was it an insignificant part of her job. Quite the contrary; the monarch knew that what you wear matters, and when you are a public figure of such magnitude, it matters very much.

Over the seven decades of her reign, Her Majesty became a style icon, but not necessarily because she set or even followed trends. Instead, she weaponised clothing. Getting dressed, as the Queen, meant marrying two complicated impulses: the desire to dress as oneself (her cherished countryside pragmatism) and the awareness that your personal expression must, in a way, be secondary to the role you fulfil – clothes loaded with symbolic weight. The Queen’s unflinching sense of individual sacrifice and her awareness that she was, first and foremost, a public servant, played out in how she dressed.


In this way, the Queen’s clothes were both costume and symbol. She would incorporate colours, motifs and accessories which spoke to the event she was attending, the head of state she was meeting or the nation she was visiting. Her use of colour allowed her to stand out – not only bringing joy to those who met her, but actually making it easier for those who had often travelled far to do so, to pick her out of the crowd. She would be bold when required, tempered when reflecting a national mood, or practical when the occasion called for it. She was stylish, polished and elegant to a fault, and never without forethought. The Queen wore nothing by accident.

For the length of

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7 Home Renovations You Shouldn’t Waste Your Money On

  • September 30, 2022

Updating your home is a big deal. Whether you’re sprucing up your place to sell or just want to improve your quality of life, it’s important to make sure you’ll get your money’s worth.

More than half — 55% — of homeowners completed a renovation project in 2021, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Study. The median spend per project was $18,000.

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Considering the amount of time and money that goes into just about any renovation, the last thing you want is to finish a project and realize you shouldn’t have started it in the first place.

Therefore, it’s important to think long and hard about why you want to complete the project before getting started. You’ll also want to research the potential value the renovation could add to your property — especially if you’re preparing to put it on the market.

Want to find out if the renovation on your wish list is actually a good idea? Here’s a look at seven renovations to think twice about, along with cost estimates from HomeAdvisor and Remodeling magazine.

Swimming Pool

“People are often surprised to hear that adding a swimming pool provides a terrible ROI,” said Zachary Staruch, team founder and broker associate with The Pelican Team, based in Southwest Florida. “You typically only get about 65-70 cents back for every dollar you spend on a new pool in Florida and the return is even worse in seasonal climates when you don’t get year-round use from it.”

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t build one.

“However, as I tell everyone — including myself when we put in a pool — there can be

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