On Design: Soile Makkonen


Designer Profile

Luxury linens are the name of the game for Soile Makkonen, the founder of Ada & Ina, she introduces us to the brand

Words by Ali Howard

Ada & Ina have all your luxury linen needs covered; we chat to founder Soile on blending natural materials with quality craftsmanship

Soile Makkonen Soile Makkonen

Tell us about the brand and how it came about
Ada & Ina embodies the essence of nature-inspired aesthetics, simplicity, and the allure of linen fabrics. My journey with linen began decades ago while working for a small independent fashion label in Finland. Relocating to the UK at the turn of the century, I encountered a challenge: sourcing quality linen for interiors at reasonable prices proved elusive. I started selling on eBay but soon realised that it was not the right platform, so I established my first online store for selling fabrics only. Recognising that customers desired more than just fabric, I collaborated with skilled artisans, particularly adept women proficient in the art of handcrafted bespoke curtains, and I sought to marry the beauty of linen with their expert craftsmanship. This union not only honoured the fabric but also celebrated the talent and knowledge of these remarkable seamstresses. Along this linen journey, our offerings expanded to include a diverse range of products, such as linen bedding and Ada & Ina’s in-house printed curtain fabric collection.

What’s your design ethos?
 I want to honour linen fabric and offer affordable luxury fabrics without the luxury price tag. This principle extends to both our plain and printed fabric collections. Inspired by Scandinavian minimalism and nature, our printed fabrics reflect simplicity and elegance. However, my years of experience with UK clients have shown me the bold and courageous way British people embrace colour in their interiors, which I deeply admire. While designing printed fabric collections, I prefer one-colour prints. This deliberate choice aligns with our vision of creating curtains that are modern yet timeless. I firmly believe that simplicity is key when selecting the perfect fabric for bespoke curtains – less is indeed more!

Soile Makkonen

Tell us about the role of sustainability at Ada & Ina
The flax fibre used in linen fabric already boasts a significantly lower environmental impact than cotton, and it is biodegradable. Nevertheless, we are committed to minimising fabric waste as much as possible. In instances where waste is generated, we diligently explore avenues to repurpose it. For instance, we offer fabric remnant bags on our website at a fraction of factory prices, providing customers with materials ideal for crafts and small projects. Additionally, we transform roll ends, an inevitable by-product of the fabric printing process, into Roman blinds and cushion covers. We try to maximise the utility of every piece of fabric while minimising our environmental footprint.

Why should homeowners invest in bespoke window treatments?
Opting for high-quality natural fabrics paired with expert craftsmanship guarantees durability over time. There is much more choice in the heading styles, linings, and even in Roman blind chain colours. We have 12 different curtain heading styles to choose from. For instance, hand-finished curtains, such as the very fashionable tailored pleat, which maintain a neat appearance with flawless draping. In bedrooms, it’s important you don’t just cover the window with curtains that have blackout lining – you have to make sure the curtains cover the whole window when closed. By choosing bespoke curtains you can create this hotel curtain look and perfect darkness.

Soile Makkonen

Tell me about the linen bedding offering
The ethos driving our linen bedding mirrors that of our fabrics: delivering luxurious bedding at accessible prices. It seamlessly complements our linen fabric range. While white linen remains our top seller, our oatmeal natural linen bedding is gaining significant popularity. Unbleached and undyed, it harmonises beautifully with today’s beige-toned interiors and pairs effortlessly with any colour scheme. Plus, its natural charm only enhances with each wash. Additionally, we’ve injected some vibrancy into our collection with a selection of colours and timeless neutral stripes. Striped linen bedding brings a delightful summer ambiance to any bedroom.

What’s next for the brand?
We’re excited to announce the launch of several new prints this spring/summer. And we’re going to enable ordering relaxed Roman blinds directly on our website. While we’ve been offering relaxed blinds for a while, we’re now making it even easier for our clients to place their orders online and hassle-free.