My love affair with books and reading began as a small child and I was quite voracious in my appetite to read everything I could get my hands on. Fortunately, we lived across the road from the tiny, local library that was housed in the scout hut. I spent every spare moment in there, even becoming the self-appointed assistant to the librarian. I don’t think I gave her much choice in the matter but in return for put the returned books back in the right places on the shelves, she let me take extra ones home with me.
For quite some time, I had a bit of obsession with tales from the North lands of Scandinavia. It probably began with the TV series, Noggin the Nog. A beautifully yet simply animated Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin series, charting the adventures of the kindly King of the Northmen and his eskimo queen, Nooka.
Gracing my bookshelves were Hans Christian Anderson’s slightly menacing fairy tales, the incredible shrinking Mrs Pepperpot and the madcap Pippi Longstocking. Along with anything to do with trolls and giants.
Another huge favourite were the Tove Jansson’s books about the magical world of the Moomins. These gentle creatures lived in Moominvalley, which was possibly somewhere in Jansson’s home country, Finland. They looked rather like hippopotami and the central characters were Moomintroll, his parents, Moominmamma and Moominpappa and his friends, The Snork Maiden, Little My and Snufkin. Their gentle adventures were an absolute delight and I read the books over and over again
Imagine my delight when I recently came across a website that stocks Moomin homeware products from Finnish designers, Muurla. The range includes enamel ware mugs and jars, candles and baubles, all depicting scenes and characters from the Moomin stories. Perfect as Christmas or birthday gifts. The enamel mugs are great for kids as they are virtually indestructible and a good, step-up from baby’ish, plastic sippy cups.
The website selling them, Nordic Mood, is actually based in my home town of Manchester and is a new online retailer run by Emma and Vermund. It offers a wide selection of Scandinavian style furniture and home accessories. They stock products that aim to capture the cosy contentment of Vemund’s traditional Norwegian childhood in Bergen and hopefully bring a touch of ‘Koselig’ lifestyle to the UK.
They are passionate about design and quality and take inspiration from their family holidays in Sognefjord and the soft muted colour palettes of its natural surrounds. Together they have curated a collection of furniture, lighting and accessories that encapsulates the warm, congenial mood of traditional Nordic home life and so promotes emotional wellbeing.
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