In the serene and beautiful Fiskars village in the southwest of Finland lies wooden furniture manufactory Nikari, founded by master cabinetmaker Kari Virtanen in 1967. Today the company is housed in the oldest machinery workshop in the country, where they manufacture sustainable wood designs of exquisite quality. The main offerings of Nikari are chairs, benches, and tables, though they also produce sofas, storage, and accessories for the home. All of their furniture is manufactured in Finland and possesses the same sense of restraint and reverence for wood that is native to classic Nordic design, though there is a distinct sense of warmth that comes with Nikari’s brand of minimalism.
The company has collaborated with some of the great names in Scandinavian design – Finland’s Alvar Aalto and Kaj Franck were among Kari Virtanen’s first partners, and the founder solicited Denmark’s Louise Campbell for their nature preservation initiative Design for Nature in 2012. Nikari also have a strong network with Japan and represent Tomoshi Nagano and Wataru Kumano, two designers known for their global insight and pure aesthetics.
For Nikari, sustainability is more than just buzzwords on a press release, it means enacting responsible methods of production and thorough planning to maximize efficiency at every stage of production until delivery. Since the start of 2015 the head office, studio, and workshop have all been powered exclusively by renewable energy from the hydropower plant next to their building in Fiskars. For their designs, they use certified woods – birch, oak, ash, elm, black alder, spruce, and pine – and treat surfaces only with natural soaps, oils, and waxes.