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Laura Luoto's Inspiring Second-hand & DIY Helsinki Home

So finally, THAT Finnish apartment I promised to share with you! The beautiful 1950s apartment is nestled in the heart of Helsinki (such a great city - I can't wait to go back one day!) and belongs to interior designer Laura Luoto and her boyfriend Ville. Laura has had a passion for all things second-hand ever since she was a child and the pair have decorated the 43 m2 space using a blend of wonderful flea market finds as well as pieces she has built herself and the odd contemporary piece. I couldn't resist reaching out to Laura to find out more. 

What do you do for a living?
I am an interior designer - with a passion for designing well thought-out homes for my clients. I strive to create high quality, practical spaces with a beautiful aesthetic. It's important to me that a living space feels harmonious so that the mind can rest. 

Can you tell us about your passion for second-hand?
My passion for second hand started when I was very young from when we used to visit flea markets as a family. At that time, I would spend all my money buying clothes from thrift stores but at some point, I started to become more interested in purchasing cool and eclectic items for my own room. When I moved into my own apartment, my budget was small, so buying second-hand allowed me to fill up my apartment with cool finds. 





What's the best thing about buying secondhand things for your home? 
I love the idea that no one has a home like mine since most of the pieces are one-of-a-kind. The uniqueness is what makes this apartment feel like home to me. 

Do you need adjust the pieces you find second-hand?
Absolutely. I love leaving my own mark on pieces - and when I adapt them, I feel even more connected to my home because I've worked hard to make it my own. 

I see from your website that you also make your own furniture occasionally?
Yes, when I can't find something I am looking for within my budget, I sometimes make it myself. For example the coffee table in the first picture is handmade! 

See Laura's instagram highlights for more information on how to make a table like this. 

Lovely home! 

It's also so inspiring to learn that you don't need to spend a fortune to create a beautiful and unique living space. Time to hit those flea markets - and get the toolbox out! 

See more of Laura's home over at @Laura_luoto (there are some great DIY ideas there) and find out more about her work / services as an interior designer here

Feel inspired by other second-hand homes here (don't miss Ida's home, a Norwegian cottage with a wabi sabi vibe and a hyggeligt Danish home on Jutland!- or join the Finnish home love fest in this archive

That's it from me this week. I've got a photoshoot at home today for Carpe Diem Beds for which I'll be transforming my bedroom into a luxury winter haven. Sounds heavenly, don't you think? It's no coincidence that I've timed the shoot right before the weekend!

Have a great one guys, see you Monday! 

Niki

Photography:  All pictures by Krista Keltanen and Jonna Kivilahti except 2 & 4 which are by Laura Luoto - shared with kind permission

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A Charming Summer House in the Finnish Countryside

I'm on a roll with Finnish homes this week (still dreaming about that cabin by sea, how about you? This lovely 1960s home in the countryside belongs to Nina Möller, co-founder of Bang Interiors. In her design work, Nina strives to create spaces that centre around quality, comfort, functionality and sustainability - all factors that transcend into her own family summer house. White walls provide a backdrop for an eclectic blend of furniture which includes vintage finds, antiques, design classics and contemporary touches. The result is a relaxed home in which to kick back and relax all summer long! 

What a perfect place to switch off and unwind! I can just imagine sitting out on the terrace while the children run around on the grass under the midnight sun! 

Could you imagine wiling away your summer here too? 

For more summer house inspiration today, pull up a chair and scroll through the Summer Cottage archive - there are hundreds of beautiful spaces to look at from the past ten years! 

Happy hump day friends (I'll never get used to that term - I think it's the British in me!!). 

Niki

Photography: Krista Keltanen / Editor & stylist Jonna Kivilahti, shared with kind permission

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An Idyllic Finnish Summer Cabin on the Water's Edge

Hello friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Here in Scandinavia, it looks like the summer isn't ready to give up on us just yet - and we're being treated to a last hurrah, with blue skies and sunshine. In honour of this, I'm excited to be taking you on a tour of a wonderful Finnish summer cabin. Perched on a rocky incline, overlooking the water, the timber cabin is situated on a secluded island close to Rymättylä, South Finland. Owner, Nina Ahonen - interior designer and stylist - has created a wonderful, laidback oasis, from which to switch off from the world and enjoy the magic of the surroundings. The cabin is accessed by boat from Helsinki. Here's a peek inside. 

How incredible! 

When we're out sailing (binoculars out!), I often spot idyllic cabins like this one on the various islands we pass. They always look so idyllic. 

Could you imagine wiling away a summer here? 

Other Finnish summer cabins and cottages to love: 


And for something more year-round with ALL the warm feels: 


Gaaah, take me to Finland (I'm currently obsessed with this country as I've just written an article for a magazine about Lapland - I promise to let you know once it's published!). It's such an incredibly varied country - from the summer paradise in the south, to the frozen Arctic Circle in the North where husky sledding and the Aurora Borealis await! 

Here's to an inspiring start to the week! 

Niki

Photography: Krista Keltanen, Researcher, journalist and stylist: Jonna Kivilahti - shared with kind permission.

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A Contemporary Finnish Cabin On The Water's Edge

This is turning into a very Finnish week, I must say! I love that, since I always feel I don't show nearly enough homes from this Nordic country. While yesterday's Finnish home tour wouldn't have looked out of place in my Relaxed Rustic book (formerly known as Modern Pastoral), this holiday cabin designed by award winning architect and owner Joanna Laajisto has more of a contemporary edge. Villa Rauhanniemi is perched on the edge of lake Karjalohja (don't even try to pronounce that!) in Southern Finland and designed to embrace the indoor-outdoor lifestyle our Nordic friends so enjoy in summertime. The pared back interior allows the lush surroundings to take centre stage while natural materials such as wood help to add warmth. But most of all, I love the deck. I could just imaging sitting there watching the sun going down with a drink - wait till you see it! 

What an idyllic setting! I recognise the last image from an outdoor space round-up I created a few months back. It's so great to see the cabin it's connected to!

Could you imagine spending summers here, looking out over the lake? 

I'm sure it's magical in winter too, when the lake turns to ice and the world is covered in a soft blanket of snow. 

You can see more of Joanna Laajisto's work here

Take a peek inside a load of other incredible Scandinavian holiday homescabins and rural retreats in the archive. It will have you dreaming of summer! 

I'm off to Denmark this morning by train (carrying a load of paperwork including my negative test!) - where I'll be making a short film about hygge with Knud Erik Hansen, CEO and grandson of the founder of Carl Hansen & Søn for their online open-house event in June - register for our live Q&A here!). Come and join me on Instagram stories for a sneak peek behind the scenes! Knud Erik's house is simply incredible! 

Niki

Photography: Mikko Ryhänen found via Desire to Inspire with thanks. 

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Kati's Rustic 19th Century Log House in Iitti, Finland

Good morning! How was your weekend? It was a bank holiday weekend here in Sweden and I spent part of it brushing up my Hygge knowledge in preparation for the filming I am doing with Carl Hansen & Søn in Denmark tomorrow and Wednesday (so exciting - I can't wait to share more info!). For those of you not familiar with the term, Hygge is a Danish word, used to acknowledge a feeling or a moment, alone or with friends which is cosy, charming and special, in a relaxed, humble way. It's a celebration of slow living and focusing on the simple things in life. I immediately thought of aspects of this log cabin in Iitti, Finland. The country house dates back to 1839 and Kati Pilli-Sihvola took on the task to lovingly restore it - being careful to maintain its original hyggeligt charm, while adding modern touches. Kati describes her style as 'country rustic minimalism' - and I feel the interior matches this perfectly! Ready to take the tour? Wool socks at the ready! 

Kati kept the original fireplace - previously used to bake and cook food - and added modern conveniences such as a range cooker and wood burning stove.

Look at that ceiling! Isn't it incredible? Kati has worked hard to restore it and it's a perfect reminder of the history of the building. 


Simple sheepskins, blankets and cushions are a hallmark of understated Scandinavian cosiness, while a vintage cabinet painted in dusty pink provides a perfect spot for bits and bobs. 

It's incredible to think this wall is almost 180 years old! 

In front of it, a basket is used to store extra blankets for when the temperatures plummet outside - or you simply feel like making things extra cosy! 

In the sitting room you can clearly see the wonderful old patina in the ceiling and also the old brick floor - combined with the darker walls, it's easy to imagine how hyggeligt it would feel in the evening under the glow of candlelight. 

Peeling paint on the 'spell' doors and a vintage leather chair adds to the rustic, relaxed vibe. 


What would a Finnish home be without a sauna? And I have to say, I've never seen one as incredible as this. It oozes old world style, and easy to envision generations before beating themselves with birch branches (a Finnish tradition) and feeling a sense of pure relaxation. Today, Kati and her family lovely to relax here.  


What a perfect tour with which to start the week! It certainly has me dreaming about pastoral life! 

For more lovely images of Kati's home take a look at her blog and instagram - they're full of inspiration. 

And here are some other Finnish home tours you might love today: 


Kaunis Suomi! Beautiful Finland! 

Wishing you a wonderful start to the week friends! 

Niki

Photography: Kati Pilli-Sihvola

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