Artful living in the city: Discover the serene home of an urban aesthete

When a former horse stable in Helsinki was renovated into apartments, a new home was also found for Jan Ketonen and his two dogs. Step inside this cozy urban dwelling brimming with art and design, guided by Design Stories!

Single Form coffee table, deep green
Jan’s combined living room-kitchen makes efficient use of space. The beautifully laid brick floor adds color to the decor. The green Single Form coffee table is by &New, and the black LCM lounge chair is by Vitra.

Residents:

Jan Ketonen, Finnish Design Shop’s eCom Sales and Marketing Director, along with dogs Kaapo and Lempi. The home is a 45 square meter two-room apartment in a former horse stable built in 1906, located in Helsinki’s Punavuori district.

Jan Ketonen
Originally from Vaasa, Jan Ketonen has found a home in Helsinki’s Punavuori. He works in sales and marketing at Finnish Design Shop.

Hello Jan! Could you tell us how you found this home?
“This home came across quite unexpectedly: I was browsing through the local newspaper and noticed an article about a major renovation project in Helsinki. I became interested and decided to check out the site and visited one apartment. Its size, the quality of the materials, and especially the location immediately convinced me. The idea of moving from one district to another began to feel like a good idea.

I’ve always enjoyed the city’s vibe and love that I can head out on spontaneous adventures in the nearby areas without much planning. I’ve lived in several districts of Helsinki, but Punavuori feels the most like home. The cultural offerings of the area, such as nearby restaurants and galleries, as well as the proximity to the sea, bring the richness to life that I seek. It’s great that you can bump into friends on your home street.”

Fredericia Calmo sofa
Beneath the Fredericia Calmo 95 sofa lies a Sera Helsinki Laine rug. The lighting fixtures are the Artek A805 and A201. A ferm LIVING Kona side table serves as a flower stand.
Fredericia Calmo sofa
Jan has acquired art whenever possible. The painting is by Tuukka Tammisaari.
MOntana Furniture chest of drawers
The olive green chest of drawers from Montana Furniture provides a spot for the turntable and the most cherished LP records. Framed works from the left: Fredrik Karell, Linda Linko, and Anna Niskanen.
A turntable
Music plays in Jan’s home in some way from morning to evening. The ceramic artwork is from Akiko Mori’s Grid series.

How would you describe your home?
“Old buildings are my preferred living environment, and this home is the perfect blend of tradition and modern urban life. My home is in an old horse stable built in 1906 on the inner courtyard of the apartment building, and it was renovated into residential use over a three-year period.

What attracts me about my home are its uniqueness and the details that breathe history. I value how the renovation respected the original elements. Piping and ductwork are skillfully exposed, and the brick wall's texture has been preserved. The sculptural elements on the bedroom walls add character and depth to the space.

The apartment’s large window not only provides natural light but also a connection to the outside world, which enhances the sense of openness at home.”

“I like to keep things organized and the look of the home serene.”

What kind of decorator are you?
“I like to keep things organized and the look of the home serene. I’ve mostly decorated with art, and furniture and lighting fixtures acquired gradually. I appreciate a serene atmosphere, which I can enliven with fresh flowers and high-quality incense.

Spontaneous gatherings in the evening are part of my home’s lively ambiance; being at home is always more fun with wine and good company. My dogs also know how to take their own place in this home.”

C62 Bjørk dining table, 115 cm, oiled oak
Around the C62 table by FDB Møbler are Carl Hansen & Søn’s classic Wishbone chairs. The green PH 5 Mini pendant light is by Louis Poulsen. The painting is by Marianne Nieminen.
A dining table with a wine bottle and olives
Spontaneous evening gatherings are part of the lively atmosphere in Jan’s home.
HAY Indian Steel Pitcher
Jan likes to keep things organized and the home’s appearance calm. The kitchen is located along the long wall, and the tall cabinets also provide storage space for the entrance hall. On the table is HAY’s Indian Steel Pitcher.

How has the style of your home evolved?
“The style of my home reflects my own growth story and taste, which has matured over the years. My inspiration for decorating reaches back to the cozy memories of my childhood, and the pieces I’ve collected along the way have become part of the whole.

I must admit that many of my decorating choices have been made with my dogs in mind: I’ve considered what colors and materials are practical, and, for example, the choice of the living room sofa and rug was made with the consideration that dog hair wouldn’t stand out.

Working at Finnish Design Shop over the past year has only strengthened my love for decorating. It is a great joy and honor to work in a field that fascinates me both personally and professionally. High-quality design products add value to my life and to the lives of others.”

Do you have any vintage finds in your home?
“Previously, I wasn’t the most skilled hunter of flea market finds, but gradually, I’ve begun to feel that I can sometimes spot the real gems. One of my current favorites is definitely an old Arabia water pitcher – it’s a beautiful and functional item, and I use it almost every day.”

Eames Storage Unit ESU, 2 HU
The bed cover is from Bongustan. The artworks are by Jaakko Mattila, Jaakko Uljas, and Milja Havas.
Artek Lucia candleholder
The most beautiful objects are on display on the Vitra Eames Storage Unit. The Lucia candleholder was designed by COMPANY.
Flowerpot VP9 portable table lamp, swim blue
The portable Flowerpot table lamp by &Tradition moves around the home as needed for lighting. An Artek Stool 60 doubles as a nightstand.

What is your most cherished item?
“I could say playfully that there are several treasures, but if I have to choose just one, it would definitely be one of the artworks. Art brings me joy and serves as a source of relaxation at the same time.

If we’re talking about furniture, I’ve dreamed of owning the Wishbone dining chairs since childhood, and I finally acquired them for this home. On the other hand, the playful design of the wheels on the Tebian Carte serving trolley delights me, as does the combination of materials.

Lately, I’ve become newly passionate about lighting and am now dreaming of a light installation that would bring light to the hallway wall. The Artek A805 floor lamp has been a good purchase to place in front of the window. Its sculptural shape beautifully echoes the rhythm of the slatted blinds.”

HAY Dogs dog bed, S
In the entryway, there is a playfully colorful dog bed by HAY Dogs. The Tati mirror is by Asplund, and the artwork is by Sofia Okkonen.
Akari 1AY table lamp
The oak-framed serving cart by Tebian features an elegant green marble top. The orange table lamp is Vitra's Akari 1AY.
Jan Ketonen with dogs Kaapo and Lempi
Jan, Kaapo, and Lempi stand in front of their urban city home. Jan has made many of his home's interior choices with his dogs in mind. “I've considered what colors and materials are practical,” Jan explains.

Your home indeed has a lot of art. What does art mean to you?
“Art has become a more significant part of my life over the years. I often spend weekend afternoons in galleries and museums, and I am pleased with Helsinki’s rich and diverse art scene.

“I am often quite spontaneous in my art purchases. If a piece speaks to me on an emotional level, it might find its way into my home.”

With ten years of art enthusiasm, the walls of my home have begun to display works that have become meaningful to me. Art offers experiences—sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it serves as a stress reliever, and sometimes it’s just an aesthetic pleasure that I enjoy while spending a moment with my thoughts.”

Get inspired

Carl Hansen & Søn
CH24 chair
Louis Poulsen
PH 5 Mini
HAY
HAY Dogs bed
Artek
Lucia candleholder
Vitra
LCM lounge chair
&Tradition
Flowerpot table lamp
&New
Single Form coffee table
Iittala
Taika Sato jar

See also:

New arrivals at Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Riikka Siusluoto Images: Suvi Kesäläinen

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