The Karuselli chair was a long-time dream for Lauri Kähkönen

In the home of Lauri Kähkönen, creative director of restaurants Grön and Way, all the objects are meant to be used. The vintage Karuselli chair by Yrjö Kukkapuro makes even everyday life feel festive.

Karuselli lounge chair by Yrjö Kukkapuro
The Karuselli chair by Yrjö Kukkapuro is a Finnish design classic.

“I HAD DREAMT of Yrjö Kukkapuro’s Karuselli lounge chair for a long time, and I finally found one offered by a Turku-based collector. I got the chair back when we were still living in our previous home in Helsinki’s Puu-Vallilla district, and when I brought the chair home, I was able to get it through the front door but not through the narrow, angular hallway. We were just about to move out, so the chair had to stay in the wine cellar of one of the restaurants for a while. Fortunately, we were able to get it through all the doors in our new home.

Even though our Karuselli is old, it is still in good condition. Our daughter, now 1.5 years old, loves climbing in the chair and often plays hide and seek behind it. The condition of the chair has also been tested by a group of children who got the idea of spinning it wildly while they were playing. I was a little worried about how the poor old chair would survive the treatment, but it endured it all like a champ.

Lauri Kähkönen and his Karuselli lounge chair
Lauri Kähkönen is a founder of Grön. The restaurant serving high-quality plant-based food in Helsinki got its first Michelin star in 2018.

“This chair or things like beautiful tableware are what everyday luxury means to me.”

Karuselli chair by Yrjö Kukkapuro
Artek makes the Karuselli chair with black, white and nougat leather upholstery.

This chair or things like beautiful tableware are what everyday luxury means to me. I don’t understand why fancy plates should be saved for parties or why nice clothes should be kept in the closet when they can bring you joy every day.

We have a lot of second-hand furniture in our home. Some of it has arrived in our home via Grön, which was decorated with furniture I found in flea markets and antique stores. The interior design of the restaurant was, in a way, based on the Danish-inspired teak chairs, and they are part of many memories. Since the chairs were old, they were in the habit of breaking, and once one collapsed under a journalist in the middle of an interview – only a week after opening the restaurant.”

Lauri Kähkönen and his Karuselli lounge chair
“I’m the one in our family, who decorates and tours flea markets,” says Lauri Kähkönen.

What: Karuselli lounge chair

  • Created by Yrjö Kukkapuro, the Karuselli lounge chair is one of the most well-known Finnish chair designs.
  • Kukkapuro started developing the comfortable fibreglass chair, using his body as a guide, in the 1950s and completed the design in 1964.
  • The international launch of the chair took place at the Cologne Furniture Fair in 1965.
  • The Karuselli lounge chair made its way to the cover of the Domus magazine and the Victoria and Albert Museum collections. It also functioned as the tv chair of Finland's former president Urho Kekkonen.

What is Franckly?

  • is an online marketplace for pre-owned design
  • Created and curated by Finnish Design Shop
  • Buy and sell pre-owned design treasures: >

See also:

• The Karuselli lounge chair at Franckly >
All furniture designed by Yrjö Kukkapuro at Franckly >

Text and photos: Suvi Kesäläinen

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