Last week, we blogged about a couple of vintage Palaset storage boxes we put into our shop. Today, we’re featuring their designer, Ristomatti Ratia.
By all accounts, he has so far led a very colourful life. He’s been married numerous times, had a challenging relationship with his mother and had even appeared on the Finnish version of Dancing with the Stars.
He has, however, found the time to design all manner of products in his 50-year career. From clothing, spectacles, jewellery, glassware, cutlery and bedding to a free-standing fire and even a boat-shaped coffin and urn for ashes!
He’s best known for a couple of his early designs; firstly, his 301 shoulder bag (shown above in green) for his parents’ company, Marimekko. The other is the aforementioned, award-winning Palaset modular storage system – the LP units are especially sought after by vintage vinyl junkies. I discovered today that the ever forward-thinking Sir Terence Conran stocked Palaset in his Habitat shops in the 1970s. The image of the beanbag-seated lady is taken from a vintage Habitat catalogue.
His contemporary designs are readily available from the Finnish Design Shop and the Ratia Shop. His vintage designs pop up from time to time on 1st Dibs, eBay and Etsy.
Ristomatti Ratia has, as one might expect, a beautifully furnished home. You can take a house tour here.
Additional image credits:
70 Luvulta | Flickr | Mundadaa | Why not 2nd Cycle
We picked up these fabulous red & white office drawers last week. They’re from the Palaset range designed by Ristomatti Ratia for Treston of Finland in the early 1970s.
They come in individual units which slot on top of one another allowing you to customize your own larger system as required. They’re also available in brown, yellow and green colourways. For vinyl junkies out there, the open cubes are the perfect size to accommodate LPs. The modular range was very popular at the time, selling worldwide, but it’s increasingly hard to find these days. We think that there was a later re-launch, but the manufacturer used an inferior plastic and production didn’t last very long.
Look out for the early examples. They have real solid weight to them – people often think they’re made of wood when first handled.
In addition to designing office products, Ristomatti Ratia worked on a variety of homewares – fashion accessories too – including spectacles and a best selling shoulder bag. Incidentally, he’s the son of Armi Ratia, née Airaksinen, the founder of Marimekko.
We’ve put the drawers into shop space number 2. The look of this space changes quite often, but it tends to mix mid century modern design with much older country antiques. It’s certainly quite eclectic at the moment!
These two stacking units are priced at £195 (ish!) for the pair – ‘collection only’ for these. Drop us a line if you’re interested and would like us to reserve them for you… or, if there’s anything else in the pictures that takes your fancy, we can advise on prices, shipping options if applicable etc.
Marimekko Hulmu trousers
This Wednesday Wish is continues last week’s subject of trouser garments (and colours giving a little nod to this week’s Diamond Jubilee).
I love the retro look of bell-bottoms, big patch pockets and contrast piping – just perfect for summer! They’re designed by Tuula Pöyhönen using Hyppy fabric designed by Maija Louekari.
Check the Marimekko website for stockists & prices.
CT OX Unikko print Converse sneakers – £64.99 from Ran (UK) & $75.00 from Converse (USA)
Converse and Marimekko have got together to produce a fabulous line of shoes for ladies. This Unikko print (originally designed by Maija & Kristina Isola in 1964) version is my favourite however I can’t find a retailer that stocks them in my size (UK size 9… I’m 5′ 11″ and have HUGE hands & feet!).
Each pair comes with a drawstring shoe bag in the same Unikko fabric!