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
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One of Norway's Most Beautiful Homes Is For Sale!


The Oslo home of Nina Holst is a bit of an institution. Instantly recognised for its clean lines, soft, muted colour scheme, sloped wood ceiling, scandinavian design furniture and fabulous views over the Oslo fjord - it's been at the heart of Nina's wonderful blog Stylizimo for years. And now, it's up for grabs! Yes, really! Not only does this mean one lucky person gets to move in (could you imagine?!), it also gives us a chance to see what Nina does next - which will no doubt be incredible! In the meantime, let's enjoy a tour of her Norwegian home, one last time! 

Egg chair*, I am not sure who this artwork is by (tips welcome) - but Nina creates and sells paintings in similar hues here.





Kubus candleholder


IKEA cabinet, series 7 arm chair, Limited edition PH 3/2 table lamp, source made to measure white linen curtains here*




Do you recognise this fabulous walk-in-wardrobe? I once wrote a feature about it: Tuesday DIY: A Fab Walk-In Wardrobe on a Shoestring.   


I will never tire of Nina's home - it's so simple, yet so serene and inspiring.

Could you imagine living here?

After my trip to Norway earlier this week, I'm certainly tempted!

It's for sale here. Just saying....

Fancy dipping into a few more Norwegian homes this weekend? How about a serene japan style home in western Norway, a Norwegian house by a fjordan elegant Norwegian home in striking dark colours and a stunning Norwegian home in many shades of blue.

Got to love the Norwegian flair for interior design!

In the words of our Norwegian friends:

Ha en flott helg! 

Niki

PS I'll be stopping in tomorrow to share the latest update on my summer cottage kitchen renovation.

PPS It's been one crazy week, I'm so looking forward to a more chilled one next week (fingers crossed!) and spending a little more time on here. Is there anything in particular you'd like to see? If so, give me a shout below!

Photography: Nina Holst / Stylizimo shared with kind permission

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4 Hot Vintage Chairs You'll Never Believe Are IKEA!


Everyone knows IKEA as that big yellow and blue Swedish store selling low cost furniture (and meatballs). But did you know it can also be a bit of a vintage gold mine? Yes, really! I'm talking sought after IKEA pieces that are catching the eyes of collectors around the world! Some are originals from the 60s and 70s and others might have been sold as part of a limited-edition collection such as the Stockholm PS range or in collaboration with a designer. Either way, they're fabulous, on trend and you might already have one lurking in your home! Here are four, sought after, vintage IKEA chairs that are hot right now in the world of vintage:

1. EKER chair
Designed by Gillis Ljunggren in 1960. Original price €6.50 ($7.25). Today's second hand value circa €100 ($110).
2. NATURA chair 
Designed by Karin Mobring in 1970. Original price €55 ($61). Today's second hand value circa. €500 ($558)
3. KROKEN chair
Designed by Christer Blomquist in 1969. Original price €28 ($31). Today's second hand value circa. €100 ($110)


4. AMIRAL chair
Designed by Karin Mobring in 1970. Original value €20 ($22). Today's second hand value circa €450 ($500).








I can't believe these are IKEA! They look like true design classics! Little wonder they've gone up in value over the years!

Do you have a favourite?

Perhaps you already have one of these in your home? If so, there might just be a queue of people on eBay waiting to buy it!

Next time you're in IKEA, why not consider how you can turn a purchase into a collector's item. Here are four things to think about:

1. Look for high quality furniture that will age with grace
2. Keep an eye out for pieces with a classic / iconic form
3. Opt for limited edition pieces from collections such as the Stockholm PS range (released each year) and designer collaborations etc.
4. Pick out items made from limited edition fabrics

Do you have anything at home that you bought for a song that has become a collector's item? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Niki

PS I'm hiking along the Hardangar fruit trail in Norway today with Shaun Russell from Skandinavisk and perfumer, Stefan. It's breathtakingly beautiful. Follow along on Instagram stories if you're curious!


Photography courtesy of Ikea Livet hemma.
Thank you to Felicia Alm for contributing to this post

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Design Spotlight On: Erik Magnussen




I recently broke one of my prized Porcelight pendant lamps over my dining table. More than upset, I made contact to see if I could replace it. It was a chance mail which led to me feeling truly inspired by the deceased designer - and realising that I also owned several other pieces by Erik Magnussen - including the classic Stelton vacuum pitcher. Today Magnussen's designs live on through the family business. I caught up with his son Magnus to find out more about the award-winning designer and found his humbleness, struggles with dyslexia and background as an inventor a true inspiration.



Porcelight - Made By Hand (photo My Scandinavian Home) 

How did Erik's Younger Years Influence His Profession?
Erik grew up in a home influenced by art. His Father was a scientist, inventor and an engineer and his Grandfather was an artist (also named Erik Magnussen) who counted Danish architect Thorvald Bindesbøll and artist Svend Hammershøi as friends. Erik was severely dyslexic (he could barely read), but went to a creative-minded primary school which allowed him to spend a lot of time drawing and playing with clay. When Erik was twenty, he built a ceramic workshop in the basement of his parent's home with the help of his Father. A year later he was offered a job at Danish ceramics manufacturer Bing & Grodahl.

Did Erik consider himself a designer?
Erik never called himself a designer, but his passion for crafts began with clay and he always spoke of himself as a ceramicist. However, in his early years at Bing & Grondahl, his work would mostly be described as art. He primarily made sculptures, and the focus was on small productions. But he was eventually drawn to mass production and his projects evolved into porcelain for kitchens - both for private use and businesses.







Porcelight - Made By Hand (photo - My Scandinavian Home)

Did you ever work closely with your Father? If so, how was he in his workspace?
I wasn't working in the company when Erik was active, but his studio was attached to my childhood home and he worked from there since I was born. He very much enjoyed being self-employed, he had complete autonomy over his work and still had the ability to be very productive. Erik got inspiration from everywhere and it felt like he was always working. He spent very little time at his desk, but when he did, he was sketching or working with clay models. He liked the partnership he had with Stelton and Engelbrechts Furniture and he worked closely with the product development departments until the day he passed away.










1960s Z Folding Chair by Erik Magnussen for Torben Orskov (photo courtesy of 1stdibs

What did his creative process look like? 
Erik looked to solve problems he experienced in everyday life, whether it was designing an ergonomically shaped chair, or a thermos jug you could hold with one hand while reading the paper in the other. A lot of his design stemmed from readily available products that annoyed him. He once said:

"Certainly, there is no real need for more stuff. There is so much crap around. And unless you can somehow raise the quality, make everyday life a little bit easier for the end user, only then can you justify adding to the pile." 

He always carried out a lot of research to see what was already available and worked closely with the product development department to keep the production process as simple as possible.





Petit Plateau Lounge Chair / Erik Magnussen for Engelbrechts (2009) (Photo courtesy of Engelbrechts). Erik found inspiration for this chair by contemplating the shape of his left hand. He made the first model from clay.

What was Erik like as a person?
Erik was just as tolerant as his designs. Nobody was too small. There wasn't a clear divide between his work and private life: he worked with people he liked, and many became good friends. He was very humorous, and people often tell me his designs reflect this. He had a concept which he called 'fine-thinking' - it was kind of a joke, but there was some truth to it too. He would lay on a sofa in the living room, put on Miles Davis and close his eyes. To me, it looked very much like he was asleep, but after thirty minutes he would get up and go straight to his workspace and draw something as though he had drawn it hundreds of times before.

Erik has helped shape Scandinavian design in many ways. What set his work apart?
Erik had a different approach to design from other earlier Scandinavian designers. He was more like a scientist. Aesthetics was never his top priority. He had an extraordinary interest in materials, comfort, the production process and making everyday life easier. He took the concept of 'simplicity', which so often characterises Scandinavian design, to another level. Simplicity formed the basis of everything he did. He simplified the process for both the user and the factories in a way which hadn't been seen before. He also wanted to keep the prices down so that they were accessible to more people. I don't think you can find many iconic pieces with prices as low as Erik's. He moved away from creating sculptures for upper-class family gardens to creating mass market products for that very reason.

Erik Magnussen Ship's Lamp 1004 (Photo courtesy of Stelton

Was he ever aware of this?
I think he was aware, but I don't think he thought a lot about it. He was professionally engaged but did not feel the need for attention from the media etc. That's probably why his products are far more famous than his name.

Was there a key turning point in Erik's career?
While Erik was working as a ceramicist at Bing & Grondahl he was headhunted by Stelton to take over the position of in-house designer from Arne Jacobsen. He went on to design one of the most successful vacuum jugs of all time.






The iconic, best-selling Press Coffee Maker and Vacuum Jug which Erik designed for Stelton (photo courtesy of Stelton).

What did your Father think of the success of the Vacuum Jug?
Popularity was not really my Father's thing; the rest of his family was way more excited when it appeared in movies etc! However, I think he appreciated that he had designed a product that people like to use, and it opened up doors for him as a designer and gave him the peace of mind to take on only projects which he felt passionate about.

Did he focus on items solely for the home?
His work spanned many areas. He was known for table top items and furniture, but he also designed interiors for sailboats, navigation equipment and even mixing chambers for the intravenous treatment of cancer patients.

How do you continue his legacy today? 
My vision is to tell the story about Erik in the right way and bring his favourite products back to life. We are currently working on a new website for Erik Magnussen Design, that will tell the story of his creative process and how he worked. It will represent the way Erik mastered simplicity, and how simplicity was more than just straight lines. I hope to see some of his early products go back into production. Some of them have been removed from the market due to business merges, but the products are still there, and it’s up to us to find the perfect manufacturer.

Will you create any new products for the brand?
This has been a sensitive subject since Erik passed away, because we want ‘Designed by Erik Magnussen’ to mean exactly that. However, there have been several product launches since his death, where we worked with smaller details that hadn't been dealt with by Erik. This has been carried out in close collaboration with professional designers who knew him and what he stood for. This autumn we launched an electric kettle with Stelton, which is based on the classic EM77. Erik had already produced a lot of sketches for the kettle, but there were small details that needed to be solved in
order for it to go into production, and we were very happy to get help with the final 1% of the product. We also bring new colour ways to the classic EM77 each year which enables us to refresh the products without changing the design.



EM77 press tea maker & EM77 electric kettle. Photo Brian Buchard, Stelton

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us more about your Father's designs! I shall look at my wonderful Porcelight and Stelton Vaccum jug in a new light from now on (and certainly be way more careful with them too!

Do you have any Erik Magnussen designs in your home?

Niki

Top photo: Erik Magnussen, Plateau chair (Engelbrechts), EM77 (Stelton).

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The Timeless Danish Home of A Jewellery Designer & Vintage Furniture Collector


Oh yay - I do believe it's Friday! Finally! Do you have fun plans?! We're heading up to the west coast to work on a new renovation which I'm so excited about - but of course, not really relaxing (all will be revealed next Sunday!). Before we all shoot off for the weekend, I wanted to share one final home tour. And it's a beauty! Welcome to the Copenhagen home of Anders Forup, a jewellery designer and vintage furniture dealer, his partner Nina and their adorable babba (*kiss those cheeks*!). Needless to say, the home is teeming with incredible Scandinavian design classics including the Arne Jacobsen Ant chair, Hans J Wegner Peacock Chair and the Skultuna Lily candlestick holder* to name but a few. The furniture, art, and lighting shine against a backdrop of white and soft, mid-blue (when I said this shade was set to big, I wasn't kidding!). Nora and Laura of Our Food Stories paid a visit and snapped these lovely pictures.





Oj oj oj (as they say in Sweden) this space is beautiful! I am so in love with the blue shade in the bedroom - possibly my favourite room in the house (but it was a narrow squeak - the whole house is pretty fabulous!). 

It's also one of those spaces which feels timeless - it could look like this in 10-20 years and still feel current. I guess, that's the beauty of classic furniture (especially Scandinavian pieces which were designed to withstand the test of time), don't you think?

Did anything stand out to you? 

In case you'd love a little more Danish inspiration for the weekend (or planning on. visiting Copenhagen anytime soon), Anders shared these tips:

Anders Forup's Top Five
Favourite music: Madeleine Peyroux 
Three things to do in Copenhagen: Design Museum Denmark, Louisiana and Little Bakery on Holmen
Favourite instagram accounts: @bendtsens and @auktionstipset

Read the full interview over at Our Food Stories here

I'll love you and leave you (BTW my Swedish husband thinks this is a really weird phrase to write on the blog - but in the UK it's a perfectly normal saying - does it sound strange to you?) with these fabulous danish homes:


Trevlig helg! See you Monday friends! 

Niki

PS If you'd like to make your dreams even sweeter, I'm holding a give-away on instagram this weekend to win two luxury down pillows from Swedish brand Carpe Diem Beds - one for you and one for your partner / friend, and it's open to all! Hop on over to enter (closes on Monday).

Photography: Our Food Stories - shared with kind permission.

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A Simple, Relaxed, Happy Family Home With Scandinavian Touches


Oj oj oj! Today's home tour is a real goodie! It's full of soul, interesting details and lovely, rich accent colours like 'muddy puddle' (great name for paint in a children's room, don't you think?!), 'rum caramel' and 'soft maplewood'. Although it's located in West Wales, UK, it has a distinct Scandinavian look and feel thanks to the white washed backdrop and delightful Nordic pieces, which of course, makes my heart sing with joy this grey, rainy Tuesday in Malmö! The simple and relaxed space belongs to Cassie Chung, who has amassed quite a following on instagram thanks to daily updates of her interior and fab wardrobe style! Cassie takes inspiration from books, magazines, Pinterest, travel and blogs to evolve her style and create a wonderful family home which she shares with her husband and three children - Lyssia, Emmy & Mio as well a cat and dog (quite the full house!). Enjoy!



Eye Eye print*, This pendant light* is similar, as is this Kawa chair! 







Paint: Dulux, Rum Caramel*

Lisabo desk and Odger chair - both by Ikea



Lucky Boy Sunday Nulle pillowcase, Brown linen bedding*, Ferm Living basket*, IKEA junior bed, print by Pax and Hart
Paint: Dulux muddy puddle


What a truly lovely home! I love how Cassie has filled it with pieces which she has hunted far and wide making the space truly unique.

It also feels full of soul, and truly lived in.

I was really happy to discover a few of those Dulux colours too - I'm totally into brown tones after decorating my bedroom and office.

Is there anything that stands out to you?

For now you can keep up to date with Cassie's interior updates on instagram @casschung - but soon she'll also be launching an online shop too - watch this space!

Other homes I love today: umber and chestnut accents in a lovely Swedish home, a relaxed boho family home on the edge of a desert and a cosy, boho Swedish family home.

Happy Tuesday friends! We're just preparing for the arrival of two very VIP guests today - my Mother and Father from London - and it's my Father's birthday too! Can't wait!

Have a lovely day!

Niki

Photography: Cassie Chung, shared with kind permission
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