In the home of textile designer Eri Shimatsuka and architect Jussi Kalliopuska, Finnish architecture meets Japanese aesthetics, joy and playfulness.
Textile artist Eri Shimatsuka, architect Jussi Kalliopuska, and daughter Aila. Their home is in an apartment building in Herttoniemi, Helsinki.
JAPANESE ERI IS a textile designer and Finnish Jussi is an architect, and they both have contributed to creating a beautiful home for their family. The fixed wooden furniture designed by Jussi provides a framework for the interior. It gives the space structure and character and makes you think of Japanese wood architecture.
“I have always liked both modern and traditional Japanese architecture. When we moved here, we wanted to give the space a nice flow and decided to dismantle all intermediate walls. To replace them, I designed light-colored wooden shelving structures that divide the space into smaller areas with different functions. When I was planning how to divide the space, I read many Japanese architecture and design magazines that gave me several ideas. Those magazines inspired me, for example, to use light-colored wood, create soft shapes and provide the space with a clear structure,” reflects Jussi.
The wooden surfaces make the space feel cozy and calm, which is just what the couple was looking for. The surfaces also bring a touch of nature into their home.
“Nature has always inspired my work, but during the pandemic, nature and the time spent in nature have become even more important. Nowadays, it’s so important for me to also have natural elements at home,” describes Eri.
Eri’s textiles feature plant motifs and various natural shapes, and she often plays with the subtle juxtaposition of complementary colors. Self-designed textiles also add a splash of color to the interior of her own home.
“Interesting color combinations add depth to the interior and help create the desired atmosphere.”
“Colors are really important to me. They affect my mood, and I need them around me. Especially in the fall and winter, when it’s dark outside, colors can feel therapeutic. Interesting color combinations add depth to the interior and help create the desired atmosphere.”
In Eri and Jussi’s home, textiles are changed according to the seasons. In winter and autumn, a warm color scheme creates the desired coziness, and in spring and summer, bright, cool tones give the home a fresh look. The Japanese take on patterns is reflected in the way Eri mixes different motifs. The casual yet sophisticated approach has given the space a visually interesting and harmonious look.
“Although we want to surround ourselves with peace and tranquility, we don’t want our home to look too serious. Our home is the place where we can unwind and be ourselves. The most important thing is that we like it here and that this is a cozy nest for us all,” summarizes Jussi.
“Although we want to surround ourselves with peace and tranquility, we don’t want our home to look too serious.”
That’s why Eri and Jussi also thought much about the comfort of their daughter Aila when planning how to divide the space and what functions should be included in the designs. They wanted Aila to be able to run around in the house, through the bedroom and hallway to the living room. Thus, their child’s running route became one of the criteria for good living in addition to beauty and functionality.
Text: Selina Vienola Photos: Paavo Lehtonen
This story was first published in Asun magazine's issue 32.