Nordic design finds are the stars of Saara’s decor, and only the best pass her strict scrutiny
In downtown Helsinki, under the spires of a castle-like Art Nouveau building, there’s a home whose residents value a cozy atmosphere and design from past decades. Join Design Stories on a visit to this charming home!
THE SUN REACHES the breakfast table. The day starts with a leisurely meal, which also seems to be of interest to a certain duo. The wire-haired dachshund seniors Mauno and Kusti are not given anything from the table, but they decide to remain close by – just in case.
When sifted through the grid windows, morning light gets a particularly warm tone from the yellow surface of the building opposite. The resident of the home, Saara, says that in the very spot, morning light is at its softest.
One of the apartments in the impressive Art Nouveau building, designed by architect Gustaf Estlander and completed in the early 1900s in the center of Helsinki, has been made into a home with collected classics, diligently searched-for rare gems and other special finds.
Experience has brought precision to the acquisition of pre-owned design items.
Saara is interested in Nordic furniture from past decades, but particularly in Finnish ceramics and glass. Saara has an eye for spotting old Iittala and Arabia items in second-hand stores, but experience has made her critical, and not just anything passes her scrutiny. Nowadays, only very special items get selected.
Saara has also saved various gems from a miserable fate – with resourceful refurbishment and great effort, she has reached the potential that would have gone unnoticed by many.
Just a few years ago, the apartment itself was also a diamond in the rough. Now most of the square meters in the apartment, which has windows at both ends, are used for lounging and dining.
In connection with the renovation, the kitchen was placed in the former sleeping alcove.
During the extensive renovation, the former kitchen was turned into a small, cozy bedroom at one end of the apartment, which freed up the rest of the space for other purposes. The kitchen is now a natural part of the whole – both a practical and convenient solution for entertaining.
The majestic, original tiled stove is the heart of the living room. Typical of the time of construction, the ceiling height in the apartment is lofty. The color palette used in the interior consists of neutral, light and gray tones that gently complement the warm rattan and wooden details.
Despite the central location, the atmosphere in the home is quiet and peaceful. Whether that is because of the thick, century-old stone walls of the building or the beautiful, tranquil interior of the apartment, the serenity is palpable.