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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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An Inspiring Finnish Home With an Element of Surprise

It was such a long while since I featured a Finnish home, wasn't it?! I have absolutely no idea why since I love Finnish style. In fact, one of the highlights of my second book The Scandinavian Home was that I got to visit Finland for the first time and photograph two inspiring homes. Naturally both had saunas (they are such an integral part of daily life that there are said to be more saunas in Finland than cars!) - but with one being in the countryside and one in the city the two styles were very different. The home of interior design and lifestyle blogger Sini Liikala, her husband and two children reminds me very much of the second place we visited. It's modern, bright and minimalist with a beautiful, large open-plan living space.  But it also harbours an element of the unexpected...

In the kitchen, sleek, white kitchen cabinets from Finnish brand Topi Keittiot  (IKEA sells similar) are broken up by a black mat faucet and sink (both Tapwell) . The shelves above are laden with ceramic and glassware including the classic Oiva Stoneware Teapot* by Marimekko (loving the gentle silhouettes).

I like how Sini has combined marble (the large square tiles are from Tarratinta) with wood flooring to create a distinct kitchen zone and add a lorry load of warmth! I'm not sure if you're thinking what I'm thinking: how about stubbing a toe in the night?! On closer inspection however, it looks like the wood floor has a soft gradual edge. The oak bar stools are from Hay and the lights are the Artek A110 pendant (FYI!). 






 "I think our home is quite a typical modern Finnish house. Nowadays people like to build modern houses with big open spaces, large windows and minimalist shapes. Although, I still think our home is quite unique and looks like us."




The family dining area includes some real Scandinavian classics including the Artek beehive light and wishbone chairs. I like how the inclusion of a black chair balances the dining area with the black door behind (US readers - check out Target's budget friendly look alike!). The white storage cabinet in the background (and below) is by Finnish brand Lundia.






"The best thing about our home is that we have a big open space which incorporates a kitchen, dining room and living room. It means we can all be together as a family but there is still enough space for everyone to do their own things if needed."



Despite the open space, Sini has created a cosy spot for the family to relax (I bet it's even toastier when the fire's going!) using layers of textiles (including a Beni ourain rug), plants and a raft of new nordic design pieces such as a pink Ferm Living Plant Box (I've got my eye on that, how about you?!) and the Around coffee table.

"I think that the best interiors come with time, and years bring different interesting layers to it. I usually buy furniture that I hope will last decades and tell the story of our home to our visitors."

 "Every interior guide says that all the rooms should be in 'perfect harmony' with each other to create a complete look. I am quite a 'safe' decorator who loves neutral tones but I wanted to have one room with a completely different look." 


To achieve the darker look,  Sini covered the back wall with bold floral wallpaper from Ellie Cashman Design (if you have the time you must check out this insta feed!). The rest of the room has been painted in Stiffkey Blue from Farrow & Ball. A rattan pendent from Bloomingville, and an IKEA bench and cabinet add a soft, light touch to the overall look.

"I really love our bedroom because it's like going to a completely different land! It's dark and kinda romantic and that's what I like in a bedroom. People are always so surprised when they enter the room! They're like "wow! this is awesome!" it's not what you'd expect from our home when you look at the other rooms. And that's why I love it so much, it's my hidden flower garden."



"We have black window frames so I figured black doors would go well with them. I also wanted to add an 'edge' to the interior since most of our walls are white. I have not regretted them, I love them!"


Thank you so much for inviting us into your home Sini! Love that you have broken the design rules and followed your heart - that's what makes a house a home - don't you think?

If you'd like to know where more of the items give me a shout in the comment section below and I'll do my best to help. Sini is also great at tagging her images over on instagram, so you can always check there too (and see more of her home over on her blog!)!

If you fancy taking a peek at more homes in Finland today, how about this home in a converted factory,  a living space where old meets new and the calm Finnish home of Anna Pirkola. Yup, the Finns know what they're doing when it comes to interiors!

A little bit of Finnish trivia for you too - did you know that when a baby is born in Finland they are given a box which includes every single item thing they might need for the best start in life? The box itself is designed to be slept in too! You can find out more about what it contains and why they provide it here (it makes for a fascinating read!).

Have a lovely day all!

All photography © Sini Liikala shared with kind permission. 

*My Scandinavian Home posts include some affiliate links.

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All Things Bright & Beautiful in a Pared Back Family Home

I am so in love with today's home tour. Nestled in the jungle, but still a short distance from Singapore's popular shopping and dining precincts, the black and white colonial house was built in 1935 for an Officer of the British Army. Today the beautiful property is leased by Charlie Cameron, the creative behind interior and lifestyle blog Lottie Is Loving, her British husband, two children Finn and Pippa and their mini schnauzer Jet. Originally from Australia, Charlie has decorated the home with a fusion of Australian and Scandinavian style which includes lashings of fresh white, touches of rattan and pastel accents. The result is an incredible, light and airy relaxed family home.

 "My upstairs cup of tea / reading spot. When you’re not looking down at your book - all you see are trees and jungle. It’s my favourite room in the house."


The bamboo pendant light steals the show in the sitting room (this one is similar) and the Palm in the corner bridges the gap between the soft furnishings and pendant - while adding a little colour and drawing the jungle inside.





 "Over the years I have developed a less is more approach to styling.  I am drawn to a contemporary Australian aesthetic but I am influenced by a combination of styles and have a soft spot for Scandinavian design and Moroccan flair." 


The Swedish string shelving system has been used in replace of a windowsill and melts into the back ground. But my favourite piece has to be the pink Moroccan rug - how pretty is that? Happytapis sells similar (just saying!).

A white hanging chair, leather pouf and Rubber plant have been used to create the perfect reading corner! Having said that, we used to have a hanging bubble chair in our sitting room and these things are a total kids magnet!

Love this Mark Tuckey Stool from Australia - a new favourite of mine! 

"For me, it all comes down to pieces that I love and finding a balance between styles - a little masculine with a balance of feminine."  

 

I can't get enough of these rattan hallway benches right now, how about you? There are plenty in the shops right now (this one is from Elements Concept in Singapore) but I've got my eye on some of the one-off vintage ones too, like this fabulous mid-century modern love seat. Keep an eye on Etsy, Gumtree and Ebay for similar!




"There is something to be said for beautifully crafted well designed pieces and I prefer to practice patience and wait for the right piece than to quickly buy something to fill a space and then regret it.  I really believe that creating a beautifully styled home takes time."

 

The soft pink accent seen in the rest of the house is carried through to the bedroom using cushions and art. In the guest room (below) 'The King of Potreus' flower adds a hint of soft pastel.

And finally, Pip's room is as pretty as can be - with One Fun Day wallpaper and fairy lights.


Photography © Charlie Cameron / Lottie is Loving

The rooms are fairly spacious, yet Charlie has exercised a huge amount of restraint, giving each item plenty of breathing space. If you'd love to re-create this style in your home but not sure where to start, here are a few tips and tricks:

***

Charlie's Tips for Creating a Pared Back Style

1. Use Negative Space
Leaving areas of your home free of design actually helps to draw your eye to the elements that are most interesting in a room.  Cleverly used, negative space can help a room to feel deliberate and well styled.

2. Think in Tones
A base of whites and greys can always be added to with a bright pop of colour - so keep things neutral and harmonious and choose a small amount of colour to add to your scheme.

3. Remove the Clutter
Have a small room or area of your home (that is preferably hidden) where all the everyday items of life with a family can live.  Regularly clear the clutter from the day and if you have kids, get them in the habit of clearing all their items away at the end of each day.
***

You can see more of Charlie's home over on her Instagram feed and blog (where she also shares recipes and other lifestyle inspiration).

Other bright and beautiful family homes you might be interested in: a lovely Dutch family home, a striking and relaxed Swedish family home and a light-filled Swedish home.

Have a lovely day!

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A Scandi-inspired Urban Oasis

Hallo (limited German ends there...)! I'm excited to be sharing a tour of the lovely home of Maria in North West Germany today. Maria was born in Sweden, and still feels inspired by Scandinavian style, evidence of which can be seen in her apartment which she shares with her husband and two Jack Russell terriers. Her home had me at the hallway - which is flooded with light from the double glass front door. Imagine coming home to this each day?! In the blog survey, many asked to see more 'real' homes, and Maria's struck me as this. There's something so personal and relaxed about it - and the entire space benefits from the most beautiful light. Enjoy the tour!

 Qatmer kilim rug, Button hooks from HK LivingFrench basket bag (so pretty!)

There's something about large, spacious hallways that make a great impact when you walk through the door.



I love Maria's mid-century bureau and it's ideal for narrow spaces too. The mirror above it is from IKEA (and ideal for leaving your lippy / keys etc on!). The accent wall has been painted in Farrow & Ball.

Hay Copenhague table, Kartell Masters Chair, About A Chair, Ripple Curves Pendant lights.



 Over-sized Hektar pendant from IKEA. 




Did you get a warm feel from this space too?

How I'd love to have this much light in my home (it's the one thing we're quite short of in ours and I do miss it - especially in the winter!).

Is there anything that stood out to you?

Check out more shots from Maria's home here

Get The Look




1. qatmer kilim "ser"
2. Copenhague Table CPH30
3. Ripples Curve Pendant Light
4. STOCKHOLM mirror
5. About A Chair
6. Kartell- Masters Chair
7.  French basket
8. HK Living hooks

Looking for a little more interior inspiration for the weekend? You might also like this mid-century inspired space in Berlin, a relaxed home with fabulous splashes of colour and snapshots from the dreamy house of a ceramicist.

Any fun plans for the weelend?! I've got a a bit of an office revamp going on at home which I'm looking to finish up (so wild these days...!). I hope it all works out so I can share the before and after next week (watch this space!). I might just have to treat myself to some drinks in the sun too... do you have any fun plans?

Have a great couple of days and see you Monday!

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