Elegant family home combines uncompromised style with relaxed living

Soft, light colors give this hundred-year-old apartment in Helsinki, Finland, a beautiful, modern look. Extensive renovations transformed the space into an elegant yet relaxed home for a family with children without erasing the signs of the past.

Kitzen kitchen
The entrance hall opens directly into the spacious lounge/kitchen area that has room for a few soft armchairs in addition to the dining table. Kitzen’s simple model was selected as the kitchen furniture.

THE SPACIOUS APARTMENT, built in the first half of the last century, underwent a thorough renovation. While being modern, the apartment respects the past and charms anyone who enters it. The home of Riika and Patrik Wikberg is an interesting combination of very different things; it provides a carefully detailed high-quality setting for relaxed family life.

The apartment itself is elegant and features soft, light tones. Yet it provides a perfect setting for the family’s active toddlers. The winding tracks of the train set or the cities made of building blocks on the living-room floor do not break the atmosphere. Instead, the whole remains balanced. This home proves that even when you have children, it is not necessary or even desirable to compromise on style.

Flos IC S1 pendant, brass
An IC S1 pendant designed by Michael Anastassiades for Flos illuminates the entrance to the home. Reetta Marga’s painting catches the eye across from the kitchen island. The sculptural Etcetera chair is a classic designed by Jan Ekselius in the 1970s.
Marimekko  Umpu vase, amber
Shelves were added to the wall recess to provide a spot for changing arrangements of beautiful objects. The current display on the shelves includes Marimekko’s Umpu and Flower vases, both designed by Carina Seth Andersson. The Kubus 4 candleholder is from By Lassen.
Bora’s cooktop extractor system
The minimalist kitchen is large, even though its actual size is difficult to determine as it blends into the background. Bora’s cooktop extractor system leaves the space above the island free.
Menu Snaregade table round 138 cm, black oak
The versatile kitchen gets light through a courtyard-side window. Menu’s Snaregade dining table was placed under Nemo Lighting’s large Ellisse Double pendant.
Vitra Eames DSR chair, white - chrome
Vitra's DSR chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames is catching some rays.

As Riika points out, genuine, high-quality materials can usually be repaired, whereas worn-out imitation materials cannot be saved by any means. According to the residents, who are accustomed to renovating apartments, it is advisable to carry out the renovation carefully to create a harmonious whole. High-quality materials are worth investing in, especially if they feel important for the result, since they bring joy even if the apartment is not supposed to be yours for the rest of your life.

High-quality materials and skilled renovation professionals guarantee a good result.

Riika and Patrik did not make any compromises, even though this apartment in southern Helsinki, which is their third consecutive completely renovated home, is unlikely to be the family’s last renovation project.

Ligne Roset Togo lounge chair
The beautiful crown moldings running at the edge of the ceiling were crafted by Kipsi Helsinki. Ligne Roset manufactures the Togo lounge chair designed by Michel Ducaroy in 1973.
Menu  Plinth table, cube, white Carrara Marble
The sofa is Hakola’s, the small Plinth marble table is Menu’s, the coffee table is Adea’s and the rug is Anno’s. The classic yet modern Atomium lamp in the living room is from Lambert & Fils.
Wästberg w171 Alma wall lamp, signal white
The rooms are painted in the same shade, and all rooms feature high skirting boards. The Spade chair by Please Wait to Be Seated keeps company to Wästberg’s w171 Alma wall lamp.
Artek 124 degrees mirror, medium, black shelf
Designed by Daniel Rybakken for Artek, a 124 degrees mirror reflects light and the view. The green Mini vase is from Marimekko.

In the capable hands of the couple, the once run-down space was transformed into an incredibly beautiful home that is stunning already as is, even without any furniture or objects. The crown moldings and skirting boards that reflect the building’s construction period add the finishing touch to the high-ceiling spaces. The ceiling medallions of the ceiling lamps, the old panel doors with their wide, beautifully crafted moldings and handles, as well as many other elements that either are or look original give this home an elegant look that respects the past. The new, modern patterned parquet creates an exciting connection between the past and the present.

The carefully designed home is like an elegant jewel and beautiful as is, even without any furniture.

The apartment’s floor plan was simplified by knocking down cupboard walls next to the hallway, hall and kitchen to make the apartment brighter and less labyrinthine. Now light can flow freely through the apartment from both directions, and the combined kitchen, dining room and lounge area opens up from the entrance. The layouts of the living room and bedroom were left as is.

Neutral cupboards
The view from the space used as the parents’ bedroom to the living room. The cupboards look neutral, so they are suited for both adults’ things and children’s toys. This way, the use of the rooms is easy to vary.
&Tradition Formakami JH5 pendant
Riika and Patrik wanted to keep the spacious, high-ceiling rooms airy, so there are relatively few objects in the rooms. The rug is by Anno and the Formakami JH5 pendant is by &Tradition.
Shiny window recesses
The apartment was renovated carefully down to the smallest detail. The window recesses and sills are shiny, as was the style back when the building was constructed. The wall paint has a matt finish, and the cupboard has a satin finish.
Marimekko Unikko duvet cover 150 x 210 cm, beige-off-white-blue
When making new purchases, the residents focus on timelessness, durability and eco-friendliness. Matri’s bed meets the criteria. The Unikko duvet covers are Marimekko’s, the throw is Roots Living’s and the rug is Anno’s. The ceramic piece on the wall is by Armi Teva.
Skagerak Aino mirror, small, oak
The bathroom has a crisp white finish complemented by black taps. The towels are by Marimekko, and the small Aino mirror is a design by Wesley Walters and Salla Luhtasela.

Design and interior decoration are a passion for Riika, who is interested in interior architecture. It is something where Marimekko’s Chief Business Development Officer can apply her love of aesthetics. Colors, shapes, spaces and moods inspire and titillate her with their possibilities. This is also visible in Riika’s Instagram account, @coterieofficial, which focuses on interior design.

The harmony, tranquility and beauty of the home balance out the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making its residents feel good.

“It’s interesting and challenging to outline the potential of the space and the future atmosphere. I design the whole interior from the smallest detail to the big picture, and we try to carry out the plan from start to finish in as short a period as possible,” says Riika. “That’s why the places of lamps and various functions have to be decided at an early stage. We are, however, in no hurry to get the furniture, the select few items may gradually find their way to our home, where less is more.”

Harri Koskinen for Timberwise
The doorways are spacious and high, and the stunning floor was created with Timberwise’s Kolmio parquet designed by Harri Koskinen.
Pholc Mobil 70 pendant, black
One of the large rooms serves as the children’s room. One wall is covered with floor-to-ceiling storage furniture. The black Mobil 70 pendant is from Pholc.
Old extendable bed
The older child, who has already grown rather tall, was recently given an old, beautiful extendable bed for sleeping. For now, his younger sister is sleeping in a baby bed by Sebra. The charming bear head was made by the boy.
EO Elephant chair
On top of the soft rug by Roots Living, there is a cute set that consists of an Elephant chair by EO and a Mouse chair by Nofred, as well as old nightstands that function as small tables suitable for play.

The carefully detailed 121-square-meter apartment is flexible and can be modified to meet current needs. The rooms of the children and parents have already changed places a few times, and the living-room furniture has visited other rooms at times.

The spacious kitchen has become the family’s favorite spot, since it hosts a few comfortable and sculptural armchairs in addition to the dining table. Carefully selected objects form various combinations in this home where light tones are the common denominator.

Get inspired

Formakami JH 5 pendant
Umpu vase
w171 Alma wall lamp
Chair 14
Elephant chair
IC S1 pendant
Mouse chair
Plinth table

See also:

What's new at Finnish Design Shop >
Riika Wikberg on Instagram >

Text: Ulla Koskinen Photos: Sameli Rantanen

This story was originally published in Asun magazine's issue 32.

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