Bowls by Mac Collins for Vaarnii. Courtesy Jussi Puikkone

Furniture Brand Vaarnii Celebrates the Possibilities of Pine

The self-proclaimed “brutally Finnish” furniture brand’s inaugural collection features pieces by talents such as Mac Collins, Max Lamb, and Kwangho Lee.

What does it mean to reimagine the role of timber in Finnish design? While Alvar Aalto’s bent birch furniture is often regarded as the symbol of Finnish Modernism, new furniture and homewares brand Vaarnii instead opts for pine, which is softer and typically considered a low-quality wood unsuitable for furniture and interiors. Founded by Antti Hirvonen and Miklu Silvanto, the self-described “brutally Finnish” company launched in Helsinki this past May but made its international debut at twentytwentyone’s showroom during the London Design Festival in September. 

Featuring ten unique pieces crafted entirely from slow-grown, FSC-certified Scotch pine—the most abundant species in Finland—the inaugural collection includes works by renowned designers including Fredrik Paulsen, Max Lamb, Soft Baroque, and Kwangho Lee. As opposed to other types of pine, Scotch pine is suited for furniture making because it is denser, harder, and heavier. According to the founders, each piece honors Finland’s cultural values of “honesty, clarity, simplicity, and toughness” while also responding to the natural qualities and challenges of the material such as its positive response to humidity and the ways in which its natural oils and resins react with light over time. 

Hirvonen explains: “It takes about 100 years for a wild pine to grow into an appropriate length to be used in furniture making…. Our product will at least last that long.”

An image of a pine table with a pendant lamp hanging above it against a beige background.
Vaarnii, whose name is a portmanteau of vaarna (Finnish for “dowel”) and saarni (Finnish for “ash tree”), is a new furniture company whose inaugural collection celebrates the inherent qualities of pine. Coated in an oil wax, the ten pieces naturally patinate over time and feature a matte finish that preserves the grain while preventing cracking. Each subsequent collection will explore a different material. Courtesy Jussi Puikkone

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