Asli Ufacik’s light and airy 1960s home is packed with personality and pastel hues

The apartment in a 1960s terraced house in Vartiokylä, Helsinki, evolved into a bright home that both reflects the spirit of the era and functions in the everyday life of a family with children.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the living room decor.
Interior architect Asli Ufacik and her family live in a terraced house built in the 1960s. The apartment needed a bit more than just polishing, but that didn't scare Asli away: she had a clear vision of the outcome even before signing the deed.


Interior architect Asli Ufacik, spouse, and 13 and 4-year-old daughters. The home is a 112-square-meter apartment in a two-story terraced house in Vartiokylä, Helsinki, built in 1968.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the garden.
The atmosphere in the backyard is magical and bohemian. The climbing vine on the balcony reaches for the patio while bushes and perennials provide a frame for the oblong garden.

THROUGH THE CLIMBING VINE you can see brown boards, a white plastered wall and blue window frames. The rectangular terraced house from the 1960s blends into its surroundings effortlessly while creating a fun contrast with the abundance of natural organic shapes.

Interior architect Asli Ufacik and her spouse fell in love with the view five years ago when they were looking for more space for their growing family. Asli’s “almost compulsive need” to keep track of apartments on sale led her to this gem in the area she was currently living in. The run-down condition of the apartment did not scare Asli away, as she had a clear vision of the outcome even before signing the deed. Fulfilling the vision took two major renovations within five years, the first of which involved the modernization of the kitchen and the downstairs floor plan. Later, the bathrooms were renovated during plumbing replacement and the upstairs floor plan was modified.

Now the old-fashioned wallpapers, poison-green stairs and 80s kitchen have evolved into an airy, colorful interior that reflects the spirit of the 60s.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the living room decor.
Flourishing house plants create a fresh atmosphere and grow in almost every room of the house.

Charming greenery

The large windows typical of the 60s let plenty of light and greenery into the living room. A fiddle-leaf fig and money tree provide the interior with height variation, and some of the plants have been mounted on the wall next to the TV in Kekkilä’s flowerpot holders. Hakola’s sofa was bought used online, and it is sufficiently large for the whole family to spend time together reading and watching TV – at the moment it is waiting for a new, more colorful upholstery. The minimalist 1960s ceiling lamps are also from an online flea market. The vibrant African basket was bought in Loviisa in a shop called Karamaloo.

The original open fireplace separates the dining area from the living room, making the space beautiful and functional. Original parquet flooring was sanded and varnished during the first renovation.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the kitchen decor.
The cotton candy hues create interesting contrast together with the pinewood cabinets and the screed floor. Brabantia's NewIcon pedal bins are used for recycling.

Pink dream

Asli fell in love with the soft pink tone of Formica’s laminate countertop and wanted Helno’s kitchen to be tinted in the same shade. The floor looks like concrete but is in fact, as Asli calls it, “poor woman’s microcement”; screed that has been sanded and varnished. Since the screed is not designed to be visible, there was no guarantee of the final color, but the risk paid off. Brabantia’s stylish pedal bins function as the home’s recycling hub.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the kitchen decor.
Un-jointed wall tiles look delightfully laid-back. The wall lamp is by French lighting manufacturer, Sammode.

Wild card

Asli thought that pink and pine formed such a fun combination that she had to try it. The pine cabinet is also by Helno. The shiny zellige-style tiles have been laid casually without grout. When Asli first saw the wall lamps by Sammode, she immediately knew she wanted them for her kitchen.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the dining room decor.
The powdery pink chairs link the kitchen and the dining area together. The elegant A330S pendants were designed by Alvar Aalto.

Around the same table

A doorway was made between the dining area and kitchen to increase the amount of light and facilitate access. Asli has bought the Danish chest of drawers in an antique store in Tattarisuo, Helsinki, and she has already had it in many apartments before this one. The lithograph on the wall is by Oiva Toikka. The spindle-back chairs are by Hakola, and the dining table by HAY has lived together with the family in three different homes.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the staircase decor.
The beautiful spiral 1960s staircase catches the eye.

1960s gem

The impressive spiral staircase is Asli’s favorite thing in the entire home. Usually, such staircases typical of the 1960s are seen in the stairwells of apartment buildings from that era. The shoe cabinets hide the spouse’s numerous sneakers and the children’s shoes. The works of art adorning the wall above the cabinets are spray paintings by Jussi TwoSeven and a clay piece made by the older daughter.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the  work station decor.
Almost all of the home's furniture has been purchased second-hand, which is why they go perfectly with the spirit and scale of the 1960s home.

Powerful pastels

One end of the large living room hosts Asli’s workstation, for which she found a suitable desk from Tori, a Finnish online marketplace. There was no room for the Plaano office chair by Yrjö Kukkapuro at Asli’s brother’s home, so it ended up at Asli’s after being reupholstered. The leftover upholstery fabric was used to make cushions for the sofa. Asli got the painting by Saija Starr from her friends for her 40th birthday. The slender book cabinet was made-to-order by Helno for the family’s previous apartment.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the bedroom decor.
The upstairs windows open up to lush scenery over the balcony and into the garden.

From mother to daughter

The room of the 13-year-old daughter offers a lush view in the direction of the wide balcony. Asli loves house plants, and some of them have also found their way into the room of her teenage daughter. The tall fiddle-leaf fig is from Asli’s mother and the old velvet armchair from her grandmother. It has been matched with a rug seat cushion bought at the Habitare fair. The desk was bought used.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the kids' room decor.
A fresh and exuberant color palette creates the perfect backdrop for play in the room of Asli's 4-year-old daughter.

Embraced by soft colors

The room of the four-year-old daughter is decorated in pink. Asli buys almost all the furniture second-hand, and several pieces have found their way into her home from online flea markets. Muurame’s Jolla bed and Lundia’s nostalgic chest of drawers are vintage finds. The painting on the wall is a gift from a friend of Asli’s mother who made it for Asli when she was one year old.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the hallway decor.
The upstairs hallway gets beautiful light through a skylight, typical of the construction period.

Floor plan in order

Asli says that she drew many different versions of the upstairs floor plan. “I wanted a bathroom with a window and a spa and whatnot, and I just couldn’t make any decisions. Finally, I asked help from a colleague who then gave the idea for the final floor plan. It was a bit absurd not being able to solve the problems concerning my own home even though this is what I do for a living,” says Asli and laughs. The painting on the wall was made by Asli during her studies, and it is based on Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. The painting above the stairs is by Jenni Rope.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the bedroom decor.
The chocolate hues of the bedroom look irresistibly sumptuous. The rug is For the Whole Life by Mum’s, and the Viennese chair is a second-hand find.

Dark and white chocolate

Asli wanted a dramatic tone for the bedroom and was inspired by the name White Chocolate of Forbo’s linoleum flooring. As a result, a delicious chocolate-brown color, exuding the spirit of the 60s, was selected for the walls. Asli restored the original upstairs layout by dividing the large bedroom back into two smaller rooms. In the second renovation, one of these rooms was turned into a utility room. To serve as a placeholder for the next art acquisition, Asli stretched a wrinkled cotton fabric on a frame. The surface of the fabric goes perfectly with the tone of the wall.

An image of Asli Ufacik's home: the bathroom decor.
The ochre yellow floor in the downstairs bathroom gives a nod to the exuberant, color-bursting trends of the sixties.

Room for colors

Bold use of colors is typical of the 1960s, and Asli chose the home’s bathrooms and toilet to capture that spirit. In the downstairs bathroom, ochre yellow plays the main role, whereas in the upstairs toilet, subtle pink takes the stage. The bathing facility, on the other hand, features turquoise tiling. During the first renovation, the hallway with four doorways was turned into a bathroom and a shower.

Get inspired

Warm Nordic
Lean Back lounge chair
For the Whole Life rug
A330S pendant
Gabriel Näkki cushion cover
Kuntta jute pile rug
J77 chair
Tapio Anttila Collection
Jat-ko 135 table
Paper Collective
Stripes juliste

See also: 

New arrivals at Franckly >
All items at Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Katri Keihäri Images: Vuokko Salo

The story was previously published in Avotakka magazine 5/2022.

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