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Marimekko: Fun with Fabrics

Marimekko is a Finnish company famed for their modern, happy, printed fabrics. They use the prints on everything from fabric by the yard, women’s dresses, bags and decorative housewares. I had the pleasure of visiting their NYC flagship store during their Fun with Fabrics event. Going through the doors is like being drenched in happy color. A riot of wildly graphic patterns meets you as you enter the multi-layered space.

The famed “Unikko” pattern, based on poppies, is strong, pretty and officially a design icon. This is actually iconic and ironic since when the company began, founder Armi Ratia declared that she did not want any floral patterns at all within the brand. However, this one is still a staple worldwide.

Unikko is available in a myriad of colorways and applied to a variety of different products from bedding to bibs and pretty much everything in between.

One of the most wonderful elements of Marimekko is the fact that you can march right in and purchase their fabrics by the yard and apply them to whatever you like. You can use them to create curtains, wall art, pillow covers or anything else you can dream up.

One of their most famous children’s prints is Bo Boo—primary colors crash into each other via cars and trucks made out of geometric shapes.

As with many of their prints, you can find them on housewares as well as clothing. When I was a small child, living just outside Boston, my father bought me a complete set of bedding in the Bo Boo print from the famed “Design Research” store in Cambridge—the first store in the USA to carry Marimekko. I loved the print then, and I love it now—Bo Boo forever!

I really enjoyed this graphic of an elephant wearing cowboy boots—so fun! The knit version of the Bo Boo pick-up truck is adorable and folksy—a super shelf accessory that doubles as a toy.

Marimekko can bring that modern cool into an otherwise staid room. See how the giant panda bears bring the cute, while the organic blue, grey and green abstract shapes bring da funk? These prints provide a fresh fun flavor.

Check out more Marimekko looks on their website, or check out one of their many design stores.

Jennifer Saranow Schultz

Thursday 20th of February 2014

I'm a huge fan of using Marimekko fabrics for nursery and kids' room wall art -- in fact, I grew up surrounded by Marimekko fabric wall art and I created cute, though crooked, Marimekko wall art for my daughter's nursery:

Today’s Hint: Easy DIY Nursery & Playroom Wall Art – Hint Mama

Thursday 20th of February 2014

[…] the only fan of using Marimekko –and Marimekko-like – fabric to decorate nursery walls. Over at Project Nursery, artist Sam Simon writes about how “one of the most wonderful elements of Marimekko is the fact […]

DIY: Fabric Wall Art - Project Nursery

Thursday 23rd of January 2014

[…] for your particular design style. I wanted to go big and modern, so I snapped up 1.5 yards of Marimekko cotton printed fabric. I wanted vibrant colors against the graphite colored walls of the […]


Tuesday 7th of May 2013

Pretty colorful fabrics that you can frame! Love your selections!

Sam Simon

Friday 10th of May 2013

right? I LOVE Marimekko!!

Ross Neytiri

Wednesday 6th of March 2013

Wow, I'm sure I'd go crazy in this store! And I'm sure my husband wouldn't allow me inside if he'd know about it.

Sam Simon

Tuesday 12th of March 2013

Here's the trick, don't tell your husband! Just come home in something block printed and fabulous!