Ilkka's Charming Rural Retreat In Finland

Hei! How are you today? Feel like getting away from it all? Today, I'm whisking you off to rural Finland and the charming bolthole of interior architect Ilkka Mälkiäinen. Acquired 12 years ago as a weekend escape from Helsinki, Ilkka and Janne have carefully renovated the country home to bring it back to its former glory. Think high ceilings, beautiful wood floors and rooms painted in deep charcoal and steel grey. Today, the home is a goldmine of Finnish antiques and vintage finds and packed with charm. Welcome to Ilkka and Janne's age-old country retreat! 

How beautiful! I love the relaxed, eclectic feel of the home. 

Did you have a favourite room? I've always had a real weakness for romantic style bathrooms. Imagine locking up your city apartment, coming out here to the quiet of the countryside and running a candlelit bath. Heaven! 

This takes me back to the day I captured a home for The Scandinavian Home deep in the heart of the Finnish countryside. And there was a moose grazing in the meadows beside the house. 

I've been wanting to return ever since - something for next summer perhaps? Have you ever been to Finland?

If you're after a little more Finnish dreaming today, here are a few other homes to love: 

Have a cosy day! 

Credits: Krista Keltanen / Jonna Kivilahti - shared with kind permission

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A Cosy Finnish Log Cabin In Winter Time

This morning I had to wear gloves for the first time while cycling to the studio. It was one of those crisp sunny mornings - and I found myself excited about the prospect of winter woollies and thick socks! Are you there yet? In honour of this, I thought we could embrace the Scandinavian winter spirit with an über cosy Finnish log cabin. Flanked by lake and forest in Sastamala, 3-hours from Helsinki,  'Koivikko' (meaning 'birch grove') cabin provides the perfect retreat for owners Kimmo Pirhonen, head of Finnish clothing and homeware brand Balmuir, and Ville Pursiainen. The cosy 100-year-old cabin required little in the way of renovation, with the floors already painted soft grey when they moved in. Instead Kimmo and Ville have focused on creating a cosy hide-away, from where they can recharge their batteries and enjoy the peaceful surroundings without distraction. Ready to get toasty? Step this way...

How lovely! 

I could head there for the weekend and stay the month, how about you? 

The timber walls are just beautiful! 

Imagine waking up in that fluffy bed beside the fire on a winter morning - coffee gently brewing on the stove. Gaaah! 

Check out the original feature in Sköna Hem (in Swedish).

If I've got you in the toasty cabin vibe now, check these 'hyggeligt' hideaways out too: 

Anyone else dreaming about a weekend at a cosy log cabin now? 


Photography: Krista Keltanen, shared with kind permission. 

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A Modern Finnish Home With a Warm, Rustic Touch of The Med

Welcome to 'the bubble'! Today we're heading to Finland and the beautiful home of Päivi Lemström. The contemporary home might be surrounded by forest and have many of the trappings of your archetypal Scandinavian home - but there's something a little different about it too. Päivi splits her time between Finland and Mallorca, collecting beautiful items for her brick and mortar shop Monday to Sunday Home - and filling her own Finnish home in the process.  with rustic treasures that give it a wonderful, summery taste of The Med. Think crisp white linen, vintage stools, market bags and straw hats  - giving her home a wonderful, summery taste of The Med - all year round! Tervetuloa

If you love a white linen sofa as much as I do, good news: it's easier than you might think. Bemz sells beautiful loose fit white covers for IKEA sofas. And you can take them off and wash them too. Päivi has five kids and a dog so these sofas still look as crisp as anything! 

Beautiful benches like this can be picked up at this great Etsy shop*. 

Nothing like a collection of straw hats to give your home a summery vibe! If you've got them stashed away in a cupboard or storage - now's the time to bring them out and give your home a little bit of a spring sunshine!

I wish I had space for a cabinet like this in my kitchen. Do you have one? It's perfect for displaying favourite crockery without collecting dust! 

A few weeks back I mentioned that my Mother was stressing over her kitchen since she has gone for white tiles, white cabinets and a stone worktop in her kitchen renovation- and was concerned it was going to be too cold. Päivi's kitchen is a fine example of how you can go for a 'fresh' and contemporary look and then add a load of accessories to make it feel warm. Check out this post on 8 ways to ass instant hygge to your kitchen for more ideas! 

The main living room is very open plan - which is very common in Scandinavia since homes are so well insulated (when I was growing up in the UK, for example, it was more common to have smaller rooms in order to heat one room at a time - although this is definitely changing these days!). 

The last time I was in Mallorca visiting my sister I picked up a few a few basket bags at the market and I use them for everything here in Sweden. I love the ones in Päivi's home - aren't they pretty? She no doubt sells them in her shop - but if you don't live nearby, try this online shop*. 

Such a lovely home, don't you think? 

I wonder if there's a word for when Scandinavian and Mediterranean style come together - any ideas?! Scanderranean? Could that be something?! You heard it here first! 

See more pictures of Päivi's home over on her wonderful instagram account @mondaytosundayhome - or if you're lucky enough to live near Helsinki / Espoo, pop into her shop - it looks incredible! 

Päivi's home in Mallorca looks lovely too - would you like to take a peek? If so, I'll share the tour later on in the week.

In the meantime, here are some more Finnish homes to feel inspired by today: 

That's it from me today friends, I hope you're keeping well! 


Affiliate links marked with *

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Danila's Lovely, Earthy Home In A Finnish Rental

Quite often, the homes I show are blessed with dramatically high ceilings, beautiful stucco, original parquet flooring and other drool worthy period features. All very well if you are lucky enough to have these in your home, but what about the rest of us mere mortals? If you fall into the latter camp, you'll be as excited as I was to hear the owner of this Finnish apartment state in her instagram bio: "making the most of a not so glam 73m2 rental." Sound familiar? Read on for some beautiful inspiration from Danila Yonsini's lovely home!  

Danila has painted her walls in soothing earthy tones with a warm hint and added plenty of texture to break up the 'boxy' feel of the architecture.

IKEA rattan cupboard, Portrait H* is similar, Mantis table lamp*

Every time I see a Samsung The Frame TV it takes me straight back to that greenhouse make-over I did with Emily Henderson.  I love the one in my sitting room too - I always choose pictures like the one Daniela's chosen but my kids love to change it to more shall we say 'statement' art - just to wind me up!  

We're so used to seeing iconic String shelving in the sitting room, but I absolutely love it in the kitchen too (as seen here!!).  

Is it just our family, or is your hallway floor knee deep in shoes too? If you have the wall space for it, this storage from IKEA is really nifty! 

I spy a piece that has gone bananas on instagram lately: the round, white ceramic vase from HM Home (I couldn't find this in the online store so it might require a store visit if you're interested) . They're everywhere! 

I love the little sculpture next to the bed. Sadly, I don't know where this particular one is from, but I got sent a similar one recently by a Swedish artist and it's one of my favourite pieces! You can see a glimpse of it in my sitting room here and they're available here

I hope Danila's home has given you some inspiration for your own home! You can see more pictures here

Fancy delving into a few more Finnish homes today?

In case you missed it, I shared a stunning Finnish family home in a former schoolhouse yesterday (so dreamy!) and I also love the happy, vibrant home of a Finnish designer and Maiju's delightful home. Check out the entire archive here


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A Beautiful Finnish Family Home in a Former Schoolhouse

It's one of those days where I'm completely behind with E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G and I know that in any minute the children are going to fly through the door from school. Gaaaaah! Before they do, I'm going to reward myself with a moment of pure inspiration - I hope you'll find it inspiring too! Welcome to Anna Wallendahr's stunning country home in Lohjansaari, Southern Finland - "the land of a thousand lakes and breath-taking nature". A photographer and cafe owner, Anna captures breathtaking snapshots of her home and life in Finland which she shares on her instagram @aamuomenatarhassa. She lives with husband Jussi, who works in IT and runs gypsy brewery Ö brewing, two daughters Josefina (10) and Elise (6), three cats and 10 chickens. A former schoolhouse, the family home dates back to1898 and is blessed with 3.5-metre-high ceilings, spacious rooms and large windows. Anna and Jussi are renovating the house bit by bit - sharing their projects as they go. Here are some of my favourite corners. 

"Our house is surrounded by beauty here by lake Lohjanjärvi in Lohjansaari. I feel grateful for living in this amazing country." 

Sometimes Anna finds the many doors, windows and high ceiling a challenge. The living room took her a year to decorate - a make-over which included creating a windowsill that spans the length of the room. The result is stunning - and a perfect place for the cats to sit and gaze out of the window! 

Although only temporary (Anna plans on potentially painting the wood with deep / dark egg tempura paint), there's something beautiful about the wood walls in the master bedroom, don't you think? 


I can certainly see why Anna feels lucky to live where she does. The house is hauntingly beautiful - and the scenery is simply breath-taking! 

Could you imagine living here?

If you don't already follow Anna on instagram, it's a must! You can find it right here

And here are a few other schoolhouses to love:

Oh wow, now that I've started the search, I've found loads of them! Pour yourself a coffee, put up your feet and check out the archive here!

Have a lovely day!


PS I think I may have made it - no sign of the children yet - PHEW! 

Photography: Anna Wallendahr

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