Inspiration from Milan Design Week for the newest VALO destinations – Thoughts from Head of Design, Minna Hurme

“Strengthening the already established brand identity and trusting in VALO’s path, which is Finnish and clear, with details that enrich a home-like environment for customers visiting VALO repeatedly, feels increasingly important. It’s crucial to avoid being swayed by various trends.”

VALO Hotel & Work’s Head of Design, Minna Hurme, visited the Salone del Mobile and Milano Design Week in Milan. Salone Internazionale del Mobile is a showcase and meeting place for designers’ ideas and experiments.

“The idea was to explore new trends and phenomena with future VALOs in mind.”

“I approached the vast sea of furniture and materials with somewhat conflicting feelings. Amidst all styles and options, I also pondered VALO’s brand identity. It feels increasingly important to reinforce the established brand identity and trust VALO’s path, which is Finnish and clear, a home-like environment with details for customers visiting VALO repeatedly. We must avoid being swayed by various trends. Fortunately, among them, there were also interesting, enduring, and responsible options.”

Most of the furniture for the first VALO Hotel & Work was carefully selected. Furniture choices considered aspects of sustainability, carbon footprint, durability, and repairability.

VALO’s furniture is mostly of Finnish and Nordic origin. The main material is solid wood due to its low carbon footprint. Finnish wood and local production are favored to minimize transportation emissions, and local producers are used. Most of the beds, tables, and sofas in VALO’s rooms were made in Lahti, only 100 km from VALO.

VALO has created long-lasting and adaptable solutions, such as fully detachable cushions for chairs. Upholstery often wears out first; detachable cushions and upholstery can be repaired or replaced separately from the chair frame.

“Finding furniture wasn’t easy, and often it meant finding a tailored solution for VALO. Later, I have had many discussions with furniture manufacturers on this topic. It’s great if the furniture is made from recycled or low-carbon materials. It’s also great if the material of the furniture can be recycled. But maybe even that isn’t enough. The entire life cycle of the furniture must also be considered. How can its worn parts be replaced if something breaks without replacing the entire piece of furniture?”

“Today, I was super excited to see solutions to this challenge, especially at the booths of Italian LaPalma and Swedish BlĂ„stion! Solutions where sustainability is understood throughout the product’s life cycle, from manufacturing to the end of the product and material. The furniture was adaptable, suitable for many purposes, with repairable and replaceable parts, and easily updated to a contemporary style. With these solutions, the longevity of the furniture, both functionally and stylistically, reaches a whole new level.”