In Laura and Jonne's home, works of art, beloved books and carefully selected design classics play the lead role. The interior is inspired by artists’ studio homes with high ceilings and natural light flowing in through large windows.
Laura Kuusajoki, interior architecture and furniture design student, Jonne Heinonen, photographer and photographic artist and their pet cat Alfe. Their 65-m² home is situated in a small wooden apartment building, completed in 1933 in Lahti.
LAURA AND JONNE’S inspiring home is full of not only art and books, but also light, space and an air of relaxed comfort. The couple has created a perfect combination using colors, furniture with a gentle patina of time, and interesting modern solutions. Laura and Jonne love old buildings and art, in all forms. They are inspired by studio-style artists’ homes with high rooms and ample natural light, decorated with timeless classics and even surprising works of art from different decades.
How did you decide to choose this particular home?
Laura: “A couple of years ago, we moved back to Lahti because of our studies. We both come from Lahti originally, so it is our hometown. In this home, the grey floorboards and spaciousness charmed us. We spend a lot of time at home, so our criterion was to find a comfortable home that feels like our own.”
Jonne: “The location is important, too. I timed my way to school: rolling downhill on my bike, it took me 48 seconds. I also appreciate they way natural light flows in the space, and there is a lot of it here. I've always liked old and original things. It's great that here, they have not been spoiled by repairs.”
What is the common thread of your interior?
Laura: “Visuality and neatness. I like simple shapes and patterns in interior décor. At the same time, a combination of different types of textiles and materials brings the just right degree of contrast to the home.”
Jonne: “Fostering a sense of space and the way cold and warm materials interact. The unobstructed flow of natural light from room to room is important. In addition, the interaction of the old and the new and how art communicates with all of this. Art provides an opportunity to step into a world that does not exist “concretely”. My in-laws put it this way: there is always room for a small painting in the home."
Laura: “Art has been present in my life since I was a child. My grandfather was an artist and my childhood home is full of works by him and my mother.”
The home becomes interesting when the interior design is a combination of design from different decades.
Where do you acquire furniture?
Laura: “Almost all of our furniture is recycled or inherited. The bookshelf and bed are actually the only new pieces of furniture we have bought. We only buy timeless, high-quality furniture. For this home, we found armchairs by Yrjö Kukkapuro on an online flea market and bought a second-hand dining table by Artek. Jonne got a lovely old linen closet we placed in the bedroom.”
Jonne: “We only look for furniture when we really need some. The home becomes interesting when the interior design is a combination of design from different decades. Sometimes it is rewarding to browse auctions and our favorite home décor stores online. It would be great to find a Remmi chair by Kukkapuro, but Laura dreams about a big dining table. I've been looking for an architect’s set of drawers to keep photographic prints in, but they seem to be very hard to find."
Do you have a favorite place at home?
Laura: “The living room, definitely! The atmosphere is warm and we spend most of our time there. There are books in the living room that I like to browse and many objects with a wide variety of memories. There are also sculptures made by my mother.”
Jonne: “My favorite place changes often. I want the kitchen to be clean and functional. The living room is important, and so is the bedroom. Natural light plays a big role in where I stay and like to be at any given time.”
How are your professions reflected in the interior design?
Laura: “My profession influences my thinking about space and light at least. Homes with a personality attract me, and those about which you cannot know everything at first glance. That makes you curious to see and explore more.”
Jonne: “As changing photographic works on the walls and along the walls. We are fascinated by artists' studio homes across Europe. Maybe someday we will live in a home with really high rooms and plenty of space around. Our home would have wonderful, beautiful natural light, and good chaos to a certain degree. If Laura got to choose, our home would be in the English or French countryside and the house would be surrounded by a rose garden.”
“We are fascinated by artists' studio homes across Europe.”
If the sky were the limit, your home would have…
Laura: “There would be paintings from floor to ceiling here, and a myriad of colors on the walls and kitchen cabinets. If Jonne could decide, he would have a spacious study of his own in our home.”
Jonne: “If the sky were the limit, I would like to have a small darkroom of my own. If Laura could decide, I think we would have much more colors and space that would allow for more experimental solutions. I long to have functional storage space, which is not often available in old houses. And more books and art, there can never be too much of them! ”
Text: Mimmi Pentikäinen Photos: Kaisu Jouppi