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The Happy, Vibrant Home of a Finnish Designer

Finnish designer Pinja Rouger, her French husband and two daughters recently returned from a stint in the USA, setting up home in a traditional 1940s log house just outside Helsinki. When they moved in, the house was in need of a modern update. The pair have slowly set about renovating it room by room, adding their own fun, colourful stamp while being careful to retain the traditional charm. I caught up with Pinja to find out more about Finnish design, her love for colour, and their vibrant, happy home! 

Above: a Papu X Hakola pouf sits beside an iconic Ball Chair designed by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio. 

Day Velvet armchair by Hakola, rug from Anthropologie, The Botanical Shelf (designed by Pinja) 

Who is the driving force behind the interior? 
We both work in the product design industry, but I would say I'm more into interior design. I love to use colours, pastels and bright colours and like to have fun with my home interior. 

What do you do for a living?
I've worked as a product designer as well as a colour and material designer. At the moment I'm working as a freelance designer across the design field from graphic design to product and furniture design. A couple of years ago I designed The Botanical Shelf for house plants together with Rikke Kantinkoski (see her home here) - we were lucky to find a Finnish manufacturer: Adea.  


What does Finnish design mean to you? 
To me, Finnish design is a lot about functionality and purity of materials. Although I've always been a big fan of Marimekko and their bold use of colour and pattern. I would say Finnish design is a bit of a combination of pure functionalism and minimalism with a fun twist. Us Finns love simple, Scandinavian style, but we're not afraid to play with bold details and colour either. 

Above: Iconic Finnish design pieces such as the Marimekko Siirtolapuutarha teapot and Iittala Alvar Aalto vase sit beside books and other treasures. 

Above: IKEA glass cabinet, Eames rocker (RAR)*

Would you say the products you design are typically Finnish? 
When working on a design I want to be conscious about the design production process and strive to understand how the production process can be made more sustainable and simple. I think this is how a lot of Finnish designers think. We like to use natural materials and simplify the production process - for example, in furniture design we use a lot of wood. Recycling is also close to my heart and I like finding old furniture to renovate. 

How do you transfer your love for colour into your home?
I'm a person who always picks the colourful option and not the safe grey or black. Many colours inspire me. About ten years ago, I went to buy white kitchen tiles and I spotted bright red and glossy red tiles and I knew I had to have them! To me, colour makes things look more interesting and fun and I love to play with different colours and find new combinations. Also the material always affects how the colour appears and I love the tonalities even just one can colour can give depending on the material, light, surface and space. 

Have you always been into interior design?
I got much more into interior design when I started my blog (Pinja Colada) around 8 years ago. For me, it's always been a channel for inspiration, to get inspired and give inspiration.

Above: vintage Artek 69 chairs*, Berså wallpaper by Borås Tapeter

Thank you so much for inviting us into your wonderful home today, Pinja! 

You can see more pics of her vibrant family home over at Pinja Colada (don't miss the DIY ideas!) and on instagram: @pinjacolada

There's a ton of other Finnish homes to be found in this archive too!  

Anyone else feeling massively inspired by the colours in this home today?

Niki

Photography: Pinja Rouger
Affiliate links marked with *

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A Finnish Collector's Home Full of Vintage Treasures

I've posted a LOT of Finnish homes on here in the past, but never one like this! Stepping inside Pauliina's home in Harjavalta, Western Finland is like stepping back in time."I love 50's and 60's furniture and get so much inspiration from a thrift store," Pauliina tells me. "Usually I don't want to buy anything new, I try to find everything thrifted." The fruits of Pauliina's search have resulted in a unique home full of vintage treasures with pops of pink, blue and yellow accents. Don't miss her very pretty, very fluffy cats too!





I love this pair of brass cranes, I spotted similar ones at Hotel Henriette in Paris. This corner of Etsy is a great place to pick up a pair of your own.

The walls have been painted in code G370 from Tikkurilas and the floor is dotted with pretty rag rugs (traditional floor coverings made from leftover fabric scraps). 


"One of my favourite pieces is our coffee table in our living room. I also love our green armchair, it's designed by Olli Borg and is called 'Rondo'."

Keep a look out for an original version of the 60's Rondo chair on auction sites like Bukowskis. The light grey walls have been painted in Tikkurilas (code 1923) and the pink linen curtains are from IKEA (don't you love it when that happens? It's like when you ask someone where their dress is from and they say they 'bought it yesterday in H&M' - result!



The retro style wallpapers have been sourced from BoråsTapeter and Pihlgren&Ritola.

"The three best places to find lovely vintage items in Finland are Pimee vintti, Wanha mari and in summer time there are many good outdoor flea markets here in Finland. You can find the schedule here (in Finnish only)." Pauliina.

How pretty does Pimee vintti look? It's a little like the area I visited for my book The Scandinavian Home and I've been dying to go back ever since!

This guest room is full of 50's / 60's floral prints - and looks right at home in the house built in the same era.  

***
Aaaaa, I really loved looking around this home, it was like going in a time machine, right down to the last detail (did you spot the retro radios?!). If you have a spare moment today you must visit Pauliina's instagram feed and blog where there are hundreds more pictures of this space and snippets from the homes of similar minded vintage bargain hunters! 

Does this home inspire you to go hunting for vintage treasures?!

For more retro vibes today check out the relaxed Antwerp home of a creative duo, Tamsin Flower's cheerful London Home and a pared-back Australian beach house with a retro vibe. These are all such wonderful homes - I love them all! 

Have a lovely day!

Photography: Pauliina

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A Clutter-free Finnish Home with the Loveliest Childrens' Rooms

I seem to be going through a contemporary Finnish phase right now: there's something about the light, minimalist style in particular that feels like a real mid-week breath of fresh air. Do you feel the same? If so you'll love one of my latest finds: the home of Melina, Niko, children Minea and Noah and French bulldog Pablo. The newly built open-plan house has been decorated in shades of white, light grey, tan and beige and is full of light and completely clutter-free (it's the kind of place that even the mess looks pretty) and yet feels family friendly too (the kids rooms rock!).  Ready to take a peek?

Faces No1 Poster, the cushion looks similar the Malmen velver chestnut one I have in my bedroom and you can just see a glimpse of the lovely Saxe lounge chair. Tips on sofa in the comment section welcome (it looks very much like the Bolia one I used to have).




I love this combination of the black string shelving system against light wood - so striking! 

Nordström sell a canvas play tent like this one. 

What a dream bedroom?! From the gym equipment (from Suomen Voimistelurenkaat) to the rain drop wall stickers (these are fairly simple to make yourself but you can also pick up some just like these) and of course, the bed (made by Niko).



Photography: Melina / Mini Show

And there you have it, a contemporary, clutter-free home that's perfect for children.

Anyone else thinking of attacking their home with a black bin bag?!

See more pics of Melina's home over on her blog and instagram feed - where she also shares children's clothing finds, toys and recipes (yes, she also bakes a mean cake) -  it's in Finnish, but there's always good old google translate! And as always there are a load more wonderful Finnish homes to explore right here too.  

Hyvää päivän jatkoa! (I hope this means 'have a great day' in Finnish...).

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Suvi's Beautiful Modern Home on Finland's West Coast

Hei, Kuinta voit? ('hi, how are you' in Finnish I hope!). It's Friiiiday - woohooooo! I always find it so hard to concentrate at the end of the week, don't you? (it could be the thought of a G+T on ice just around the corner!). Tomorrow we're heading to the family cottage a little further up the coast where I'm hoping to take some long walks (the nature is beautiful up there). A girl after my own heart on the nature front is Suvi Melender-Lågland who lives on the beautiful West coast of Finland with her husband, children, Daniel and Fiona and two cats. Suvi's inspiring blog Valkoinen Harmaja and instagram feed features snapshots from her modern Scandinavian home peppered with intermittent pictures of the incredible nature that surrounds it. Let's take a peek inside Suvi's world!

Rocking chair, Round mirror: Save / splurge, Kähler Omaggio vase.



How would you describe your style? 
Modern scandinavian with a cosy twist.



What's your goal when it comes to decorating?
I want to create a timeless interior, which I spice up with small trendy items. Interior trends can be seen in textiles and smaller accessories.




Would you say your home is fairly minimalist?
I am not a minimalist in the strict sense. It is important to me that home feels cosy and inviting - not too styled.


Can you spot the TV?! Maybe my greenhouse make-over last summer might give you a clue?! It's the Samsung The Frame disguised as art!

If you had to pick one Finnish designer who would it be?
My all time favourite Finnish designer is Alvar Aalto.


I love Suvi's bedroom, it's so pretty! There's something about the combination of dusty pink bedding (this one is similar) against the St Paul's Blue by Jotun Lady wall colour. It also helps that one of my favourite lights (the Formakami by &Tradition) has also been thrown into the mix (remember it from this home?). 


The bespoke headboard has been painted in the same St.Paul's blue as the wall and doubles up as a shelf - such a clever idea when space is of a premium. I think I prefer this to the wall mounted shelf, there's something cosier about it, what do you think? Suvi has shared the DIY instructions here (in Finnish but the pictures are helpful!).

Do you have any tips for anyone looking to bring Finnish style into their home?
Use (Finnish designers) Aalto furniture and Iittala and Marimekko. Keep everything simple and minimalistic.


And finally, where would you recommend people to visit in Finland?
I would recommend spending time in nature - it is very inspiring! Beautiful areas in Finland can be found around the coast (we are just starting to build our summer house by the sea and the nature is so beautiful there!) as well as the East side where there are thousands of lakes. Lapland is a great place to visit in the winter. Visit Finland shares some great tips!



Thank you so much for inviting us into your world Suvi!

You can see more of Suvi's home over on her blog and instagram feed. I also featured her sitting room back in 2014 (it's gone through quite a big transformation since then!).  

In case you missed it, I shared another Finnish home earlier on in the week here - both homes have opted for blue in the bedroom but the one from earlier in the week has a surprising twist!

And finally, if you're looking for a simple way to incorporate Finnish style into your home, Suvi suggests adding a Finnish design piece, and one of these beauties are a great place to start:

5 Finnish Design Classics That look Great in Any Home





1. Artek A331 Beehive 2. Oiva teapot by Marimekko 3. Aalto Stool in Birch 4. Aalto vase 5. Block light

If you're into bold and bright patterns - Marimekko sells some really funky fabrics both for the home (check out this bedding!) and to wear (this skirt is pretty!). And of course, no mention of Finnish design would be complete without the Moomins! Who doesn't love the Moomins?!

Right. I think that's it from me for the week! I hope you have some great plans for the weekend! See you Monday campers!

Niki

All photography © Suvi Melender-Lågland
My Scandinavian Home posts include affiliate links. 

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