Linda and Christoffer’s 1970’s home was renovated to meet the needs of modern life

When it came to reimagining the interiors of Linda and Christoffer’s home, built in the 1970s, the designer chose a cinematic approach: the new interior would be like a sequel to a classic movie, bringing the story into the present while also preserving the spirit of the original.

The home of Linda, Christoffer, and their children has been extensively renovated from top to bottom. The glass double doors open into a new office and library room, which was formerly the dining room.


Engineers Linda and Christoffer and their children, aged 16, 12, and 11. The home is a fully renovated detached house in Kauniainen, in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Built in 1979, the house has an area of 255 m2.

Located in Kauniainen and completed in 1979, the house was designed by local architect Marita Lemström. The original, sturdy front door was in such good condition that it was left in place. The balcony was brightened up with a new coat of paint.

AS SOON AS HE SAW IT, interior designer Ilkka Palinperä was impressed with how beautifully Linda and Christoffer’s family home had retained its original charm. Inspired by the tranquil atmosphere of the house, Palinperä was intent on ensuring that the comprehensive renovation would not take away its character.

The couple also wanted the renovation to introduce an Asian touch, as Thai aesthetics have been close to their hearts ever since their shared experience in their university days as exchange students in Thailand. Although the floor plan of the house was already clear, there was room for improvement in certain places to better serve the needs of the family of five. There is a consistent, relaxed Scandinavian style throughout the house. For Palinperä, every house is like a movie with its own story to tell. From this point of view, a renovated home, at its best, is a sequel in which the story follows naturally from the original while also saying something fresh and new.

“This renovation taught me that the designer is like a film director, who needs to know the story of the home in order to be able to continue it in the right direction.”

Dot cushions by HAY on the sofa
The large windows in the living room let in plenty of natural light. The sofa is adorned with colorful Dot cushions from HAY.

Space and light

Linda and Christoffer were first attracted by the brightness and clear layout of the house. On the recommendation of friends, they decided to hire Palinperä to devise an interior design that would provide the layout and look that best suited the family. “We are both engineers, so a good layout was very important to us,” Linda says. The renovation left no room untouched. The large windows in the living room are the originals, and still, illuminate the upper floor of the home.

CH24 Wishbone chairs around the Muuto's dining table
Carl Hansen & Søn’s Wishbone chairs blend beautifully with the vibrant surface of the herringbone parquet in the dining area.

Classics from floor to ceiling

The dining area was combined with a spacious living room where even a larger group can gather. The painting by artist Carolina von Schantz was a gift the couple received when turning 40. The dining table is from the Scandinavian design company Muuto. Above it, there are hanging Sipuli pendant lamps by Innolux, which Linda took a liking to for their timelessly classic look. The table is also surrounded by other design classics, namely the Wishbone chairs from Carl Hansen & Søn.

The brass and wood details in the kitchen add a warm contrast to the gray-toned surfaces.

Elegance and function

Linda collects crockery, glassware, and ceramics, so her wish for a display cabinet came true in the new kitchen, which is now one of the family’s favorite parts of the home. The kitchen has been designed with such precision that it only takes one step to empty the dishwasher. The home’s fixtures, complete with personalized handles, provide a unified look and minimize wasted space. They were all designed by Palinperä. The kitchen worktop is made of quartz.

The original spirit of the house can still be seen in the 1970s open fireplace downstairs.

Reconciling old and new

The fireplace in the living room was repainted, but the marble siding has graced it for decades. Although the house was originally designed and built with great care, the renovation made the overall look more modern and reflective of the family’s preferred style. The kitchen in the background is harmonized by the slatted wall, which every visitor to the house has loved.

In the minimalist bathroom and spa, the worries and woes of everyday life are simply washed away.

A little tranquility

Perhaps the best part of the house that most evokes the harmonious Asian esthetic is the new spa area downstairs. Christoffer really wanted it to include a bath, and after a long search, the perfect choice was found from the British-Italian company Lusso. Another eye-catcher is the beautiful natural stone pool, from the Italian chain Iperceramica. The bathroom tiles are from the Finnish company ABL-Laatat.

Bold blue creates a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom. Light-colored textiles provide a fresh contrast.

Into the blue

The strong blue of the parents’ bedroom seemed a bold choice at first but has proven to have a deeply calming effect. The bohemian bedroom lamp brings cozy warmth to the room. The bedroom was also transformed on a deeper level, with the walk-in closet being shifted left to form a corridor that leads behind the end wall into the bathroom.

The previously dark staircase was given a fresh and elegant look with the addition of lighter-colored steps stairs.

One step at a time

One of the most visible changes was made to the staircase from the ground floor to the upper floor, with a lighter and sleeker look that was created step by step. New hand railings completed the revamp. The bright and stylish result is a striking departure from the bulky and dark original staircase. The lower lobby is easy to keep neat and tidy thanks to a storage solution spanning the wall. It too is the work of the interior designer, Ilkka Palinperä.

Get inspired

Carl Hansen & Søn
CH24 Wishbone chair
Dot cushion
Lato LN8 coffee table
JWDA table lamp
Tratten wall lamp
Kiondo basket
Aalto vase
Warm Nordic
Lean Back lounge chair

See also:

All items at Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Minna Ruotsalainen Images: Satu Nyström

The story was previously published in Avotakka magazine 6/2022.

Previous story
Next story

Sign up to Finnish Design Shop’s newsletter and enter a monthly gift card prize draw!

Sign up

For the love of design

Design Stories is Finnish Design Shop's own online magazine, that takes you to beautiful Nordic homes, introduces new products and beloved icons – and much more!

Go to the Design Stories front page

Shop Nordic design

Design Stories is provided by Finnish Design Shop, the world’s largest online store specialized in Nordic design.

Discover our selection

Buy & sell authentic vintage is a curated online marketplace for pre-owned design maintained by Finnish Design Shop.

Find treasures at Franckly