A Helsinki home inspired by 1950s design

Susanna and Mikko renovated their one-bedroom apartment in Punavuori, Helsinki with a precise purpose in mind for each square meter. They succeeded with the help of a good carpenter. The ideas for materials and colors came from 1950s design.

A home in Punavuori, Helsinki


Susanna Heinonen and Mikko Korkala, who work as experts. Their home is a one-bedroom apartment in an apartment building completed in 1927 in Punavuori, Helsinki. The house was designed by architect Aarre Ekman, and their apartment has 53 square meters.

Artek Golde Bell light

THE NEW, CARPENTER-MADE fixtures and a delicate mint green color are what make the one-bedroom apartment of Susanna Heinonen and Mikko Korkala, located in an apartment building completed in 1927 in Punavuori, Helsinki, so charming. The 53-square-meter home has been renovated by refurbishing all surfaces and reconsidering the placement of the kitchen as well as the storage of belongings and clothes.

The fixtures were done by a carpenter on the recommendation of interior designer Viivi Laine. The investment has proved brilliant. The square meters could not have been utilized as efficiently with ready-made modules.

The fixtures were implemented by the carpenter company Muoto2. The kitchen and the adjoining high cabinet, which also functions as the closet of the hallway on the other side and separates the entrance from the living area, were designed first. Due to their optimal sizing the spaces look larger than what their square meterage would suggest.

Due to the the optimal sizing of the fixture the spaces look larger than what their square meterage would suggest.

The clothing storage in the bedroom is efficient because there is enough rack space for jackets and shirts while knitwear and t-shirts have their own compartments. The open storage space is covered by a sliding door painted mint green.

When Susanna and Mikko purchased the apartment, it had parquet floors. They preferred to have the boarding underneath on display. Since partition walls had been removed from the apartment at some point, it was necessary to renew the boarding in the kitchen/living area. All floors, walls and the ceiling have been painted white to introduce freshness and light.

The ideas for materials and colors come from 1950s design. The rooms are not full of stuff, the fixtures are compact, and even the knick-knacks fit the spirit of the home.

Artek Golden Bell light

Perfect tiling

The kitchen has a café-like look thanks to the brick wall and Artek’s brass A330S pendant lamps. On the left side in the hallway is a cabinet for storing shoes. As the fixtures were done by a carpenter, the use of space turned out ideal. Magazines are stored in a Wire bin by Menu.

String System shelf

Good old String

One wall in the living room is covered by a white String System shelving unit in which objects can be beautifully displayed. A metal stool is a convenient place to set things down. The foldable Model No. 1 cardboard pendant by Andbros suits a young home.

Hay DLM table

Pastels and design finds

The couch is Studio designed by Carl-Gustaf Hiort af Ornäs and manufactured by Puunveisto in 1954. The armchair, whose appearance goes well with the couch, was bought from an auction and is an unknown Danish design from the same time period. Both have been reupholstered to suit this home. The mint green small table is an Andbros production, the pink is DLM by Hay.

Iittala Ultima Thule bowl

A happy house-warming surprise

The dining table and chairs were found already for the previous home from an antique store in Töölö, Helsinki. On the wall is a graphic piece by Linda Linko that Susanna and Mikko received from their friends as a house-warming gift. The dining area is easy to keep clean without a carpet. The Ultima Thule serving platter is a design classic from Iittala.

A home in Punavuori, Helsinki

Teak unites

The decorative, old-fashioned mirror doors were found online. They were surplus from a housing fair. The paintings that suit the color scheme of this home are from Papershop. The different vintage pieces of furniture, which are of various ages and come from various places, are united as a set by the same shade of teak.

A home in Punavuori, Helsinki

Beautiful storage

The home has many storage solutions that are either part of the decor or almost unnoticeable. One of the most charming is the light dressing table in the bedroom. Shoe storage, in turn, has been resolved neatly in the hallway with a high, shoe-depth cabinet.

A home in Punavuori, Helsinki

Brass and mint

A part of the wall in the bedroom was removed and replaced with a sliding door. This allowed for more storage space in the home. The sliding door was initially designed to be in brass but, for practical reasons, the residents settled on a painted surface.

See also:

More home storage ideas >

Text: Piia Kalliomäki Photos: Pauliina Salonen

This story was originally published in Avotakka.

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