81 square meters looking just right

A family that recycles beautiful objects is a joy for an interior decoration enthusiast. Sandra had a precise vision of how the new home in a 1950s apartment should look after renovation. The headboard of her dreams was the only new piece of furniture.

The Crane cushion covers by Klaus Haapaniemi complement the vintage red shade of Gubi's Gräshoppa floor lamp. The E27 socket lamp is from Muuto. The paintings from Sandra's childhood home bring back nice memories.


Sandra Lounamaa, 30, is the CEO of Gubbe services for the elderly and Tuomas Lounamaa, 30, works for a tech startup. Daughter Seela is two years old. Their home is an 81-square-metre apartment in a 1954 block of flats in Tapiola, Espoo, designed by architect Viljo Revell.

Matri's Lempi rattan headboard was Sandra's dream purchase and one of the few new items in the apartment. The brass wall lamps used to belong to the previous owners of her parents' summerhouse.

PLASTIC CARPETS IN BEDROOMS, a fish border in a pale turquoise bathroom and a brown patterned tiled floor. When Sandra and Tuomas Lounamaa bought the apartment and saw the brown kitchen past its prime, they knew that they would not need to ponder what to save when they renovated the place. They would be able to make the 81 square-meter apartment look just the way they wanted.

When the couple’s daughter, Seela, was born, they lived in central Helsinki and their two-room apartment soon started to feel too small. Having first searched for a flat to renovate in the city center, they expanded their search to the Tapiola district of Espoo. They bought this home in January 2018. It was in its original condition.

Sandra has used colors more boldly here than in their previous home.

“When you surround yourself with a collection of objects and furniture that please you, it is easy to piece everything together,” Sandra explains. “Once the furniture has found its place, that’s where it stays. Even minor details matter because the whole creates the atmosphere.”

“Once the furniture has found its place, that’s where it stays. Even minor details matter because the whole creates the atmosphere.”

New purposes of use

The old linen cupboard now serves as storage space for Seela’s drawing kits and Sandra’s decoration treasures such as vases and ornaments. The basket and flower picture are flea market finds, as are the ceramic rooster whistles that Sandra collects.

Tom Dixon Copper pendant

New home for old things

The couple acquired Tom Dixon's Copper pendant about five years ago for their city center home. The dining table used to belong to Tuomas' parents and grandparents. The perfectly matching chairs are from an online auction. The works by Max Salmi came from Sandra’s parents. The large rug comes originally from the attic of Tuomas’ grandparents’ summer farm. The large plant was dear to Tuomas' grandfather, and it is a beautiful thing to remember him by.

Art displaced top cupboards

The couple considered an open shelf and mirror instead of top cupboards but opted for art instead. The picture to the left is from Sandra’s parents, and the other is a flea market find. “If I see a nice painting at a flea market, I usually buy it. It either finds its place in our home, ends up with friends or gets resold,” Sandra explains. A breakfast cupboard that conceals clutter makes the kitchen easier to keep tidy.

Strict lines

Tuomas is the chef in the family, accompanied by Seela. The kitchen required some thought as many styles pleased the couple. They ended up placing an order with HTH kitchens. It was clear that the extractor hood would not be mounted on the wall, but on a countertop – not the island, though, to keep it plain. The Bora extractor hood has been a good and efficient choice for the family. The turquoise glass pitcher is from Marimekko’s Socks rolled down collection.

Peaceful grey

Sandra likes color, but the bedroom is made calm using grey, white and wooden tones. The walls are painted using Tikkurila's shade G488, echoing the grey doors of the wardrobe. A wooden jewelry box made by her grandfather stands on the dresser, renovated by Sandra's mother. The intention was to paint the Ton chair black. Luckily it never happened, as the original shade feels just right for the room.

For a calm and unified look, match the color of the closet doors with the shade of large surfaces such as the floor or walls.

A solid choice

The herringbone parquet floor is one of Sandra and Tuomas’ interior decoration dreams come true. It was ordered from Novafloor. Previously, there was an entrance to the kitchen from where the round mirror is placed. The cabinets are by A. S. Helsingö in Feather Grey. Sandra buys many interior decoration items from flea markets, but she also recycles them quickly. This helps keep the home tidy.

Rich red

The study was made in the former clothes room. Before renovation, the floor was covered in plastic carpet and the walls were glaring yellow. Sandra had two options for wall color: brick and beetroot red. Beetroot won, and the couple is pleased with it. A rug, a bargain find by Sandra's mother, who is also a flea market enthusiast, serves as a carpet.

Less is more

“We have not bought that many new toys for Seela. Usually, she plays best with parents’ things,” Sandra says. The green on the wall echoes the color of the wallpaper on the opposite wall. The Runfree giraffe figurine, designed by Harry Howard Smith for Arabia is from Tuomas’ childhood home, while the cat and abacus used to belong to Sandra. The Kaare Living rainbow is a present from godparents.

Like a fairytale forest

Sandra wanted to create a fairytale forest feeling for Seela’s room and made a feature wall with the Lilac Pink wallpaper by Klaus Haapaniemi. The wardrobe echoes the same pink shade. Sometimes Sandra works remotely in Seela’s room, enjoying the atmosphere. She used to have the same kind of bed when she was a child. The carpet comes from Tuomas’ aunt, and the E27 socket lamp is from Muuto.

The wallpaper designed by Klaus Haapaniemi lends the children’s room a fairytale forest feel.

Timeless tranquility

The bathtub was replaced by a spacious shower cabinet in the renovation. Clean harmony is spiced up with matte black details. As the couple did not want to have the water pipes drawn on the wall surface, they had to be concealed inside the wall. That narrowed the bathroom by about 20 centimeters. The shower wall was made to measure by Lasitehdas.

Deliberate details

Bathroom fixtures were ordered from Blau Interior. Pricey, yes, but worth every penny, says the couple. The black tap is by Tapwell and the mirror by Otsoson. Sandra looked for the towel hangers for a long time and found the perfect ones, the clean-lined Knob hooks, by Menu in the end. Every detail is deliberate; there is even a socket for electric toothbrush inside the cabinet.

Get inspired

Klaus Haapaniemi
Crane cushion cover
Chair 14
Gräshoppa floor lamp
Lempi headboard
Socks rolled down pitcher
Tom Dixon
Copper pendant
Klaus Haapaniemi
Lilac Pink wallpaper
Knob hooks

Text: Mirsa Kaartinen Photoshoot arrangements: Nita Hauhia Photos: Krista Keltanen

This story was first published in the Avotakka magazine's issue 10/2019.

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