Oskari and Jere have a passion for interior design, and their impeccable sense of style guides them to choose cozy paint colors and complement them with furniture from different eras.
Brand and PR specialist Oskari Nivala, 26, and tax consultant Jere Posti, 27. The home is a two-bedroom apartment in Helsinki, in a building completed in 1913. The floorspace of the apartment is 55 m².
ALREADY BEFORE THEY had found a suitable apartment, Oskari Nivala and Jere Posti had decided that there would be no white walls in their new home. They were looking for a spacious two-bedroom apartment in downtown Helsinki without any particular style or year of construction in mind. Their only requirement was that the apartment had to be in a condition where reasonable renovation would suffice to turn it into a harmonious home reflecting their taste.
This apartment was the third that Oskari and Jere went to see. The couple fell in love with the impressive ceiling height, spaciousness, original painted white floorboards and the recently renovated L-shaped open-plan kitchen.
“In our previous home, we had a separate kitchen, which sometimes felt impractical. Now we wanted a home with room for a large dining table that we could gather around without always having to rearrange the furniture,” says Oskari.
The kitchen became perfect after painting the walls around the cabinets in olive green and replacing the pulls on the doors with oval brass knobs.
“We also decided to install two identical pendants above the countertop, which completed the look,” explains Jere.
THE WALL COLORS were selected already before moving in. Cover Story’s carefully curated paint selection made choosing the right tones easier.
“Artek’s store in Helsinki had a burgundy wall that we just had to have, and we ended up using the shade in the hallway,” says Oskari.
The color chosen for the bedroom is a more tranquil water-green tone that goes well with the shades used in the hallway and living room. The olive shade was selected for the living-room walls based on intuition.
“The olive tone creates a calm backdrop for many existing and future furniture,” says Oskari.
For the couple, atmosphere is the most important thing in interior design. In addition to walls in different colors, visual art and the combination of both old and new items are the key to creating the perfect atmosphere. Art plays a particularly important role in all that.
“Even if you paint the walls in nice colors, they are nothing without pieces of art hung on them.”
“Even if you paint the walls in nice colors, they are nothing without pieces of art hung on them,” Oskari and Jere say in almost perfect unison.
When it comes to art, everything goes, as they are attracted to many types of pieces and artists with different personalities. They often fall for representational art with abstract features.
“One of the first pieces of art we bought together turned out to be a lithograph by Finnish artist and sculptor Laila Pullinen. After some googling, we found out that I’d been exercising in the vicinity of the Valaistuksen tie sculpture by Pullinen for years as a young athlete when I was living in Oulu,” says Jere, who is originally from Northern Ostrobothnia.
THE COUPLE HAS BEEN in no rush to finish decorating their home. Instead, the interior has been allowed to form organically and over time. Most of the objects are from auctions, vintage stores and flea markets. Mainly, only the lamps have been bought new.
“We wanted to avoid creating an interior that feels ill-matched to the building. Interiors are interesting when they feature a harmonious and timeless combination of objects from different decades and the overall look is consistent and classically beautiful.”
The first purchase the couple made for this home was a set of pine chairs from the 1940s. The dining table was found from an online fleamarket: it's a library desk from India, and Oskari had saved a photo of a similar table in his inspiration folder on Pinterest long before they even found the apartment.
When Oskari and Jere went to pick up the table from the person selling it, it turned out to be the exact same one that Oskari had saved a picture of! They barely got the massive, extremely heavy table through the glazed doors and narrow hallway.
OSKARI AND JERE LIKE combining different materials: glass, stone, ceramics and wood in different shades. In addition to the rugs on the floor, the framed wall rug gives the interior softness and structure.
According to their interior design philosophy, the couple is ready to let go of unnecessary objects, such as furniture. In fact, before moving to their new home, they sold furniture that had ended up in the previous home from both of their old apartments.
“People spend a large part of their lives at home, so comfort is worth investing in.”
“People spend a large part of their lives at home, so comfort is worth investing in. Surroundings have a great impact on well-being. It’s difficult to concentrate, let alone relax, if there’s stuff lying around and the kitchen is dirty,” points out Oskari.
Both Oskari and Jere see sustainable interior design as a way of life and think that sustainable interiors cannot be created overnight.
“It takes time, effort and the ability to live with incompleteness. Nevertheless, second-hand items become much more meaningful than brand-new objects ordered online,” adds Oskari.
IN ADDITION TO FLEA MARKETS, the couple favors auctions.
“It feels that many people have kind of forgotten that auctions are great places to make unique finds, such as affordable and surprising pieces of art,” says Jere.
Jere and Oskari are dreaming of having their bathroom renovated.
“We’d like to give the bathroom a facelift and have it re-tiled with organic-looking yet classic tiles. Then, we’d also like to get cream-colored, ceiling-to-floor wool curtains for the windows. They’d give our home a sharper look and soften the acoustics without preventing the flow of natural light in the space.”
“Our idol Oprah once said that ‘You get in life what you have the courage to ask for’,” says Oskari and gives a laugh.
Oskari and Jere were married in spring 2023 by Oskari’s mother.
Text: Mimmi Pentikäinen Images: Kaisu Kaplin
Featured products may not be available worldwide. The story was previously published in Avotakka magazine 9/2023.