Habitare proved to be a very interesting fair event once again this year – although most of the attending companies seemed to have chosen not to push the limits with their displays of design.

The international friend and commentator of this year’s Habitare event was Alice Rawsthorn, who writes about design in the New York Times and Frieze Magazine. The display of Marimekko, located right at the entrance to the fair, was among her personal favourites. I did not get a chance to peek in at all, as the space was very crowded during the opening day. Other press favourites were the Hakola display, My O My and Garage combined display, and the Tikkurila display with multi-coloured swatches.

Attending Habitare made me think about interior design in the sense that while most people seem to put a lot of effort into the interior decoration of their homes, many office spaces and workplaces still seem to be designed to look very dull and uninspiring. This problem could be fixed with a little bit of imagination or by hiring an innovative, professional interior designer – or by investing in at least a few pieces of nice and functional furniture. This year’s inspiring winner of the Habitare Design Competition, “Syli”, for example,  would brighten the look and feel of any office.

This year, Habitare also included an extensive arts section in the form of Art Helsinki 2016 contemporary art fair, which I got a chance to visit the very first day.

The Art Helsinki exhibition featured works by such artists as Ilari Hautamäki, Tommi Toija and Katja Tukiainen, just to name a few. Hautamäki’s green-shaded paintings and Toija’s sculptures were the absolute personal favourites of mine in the exhibition.

Investing in art or design must be the most affordable and feasible way to make any space, be it the office or your home, immediately look more fresh and inspiring.