A modern 1960s city apartment in Helsinki was transformed into a timelessly beautiful and warmly luxurious home for a family with children. Poiat Studio was responsible for planning the renovation – already the second time for this family.
THE SIMPLE AND sophisticated apartment was renovated with aesthetics as the prime focus, although the practical side is so ingrained in the designer’s approach that it’s always in check.
The home with its elegant oak touches and pale tones is the second home designed by Poiat Studio for the family. While looking for a new, more spacious apartment for their growing family, the owners knew they wanted to enlist the help of the same professionals, who had created such a comfortable home for them before.
“The family and designers shared the same values and ideas over quality and budget for realizing their wishes. When even the preferences and style were similar and personal chemistry a match, the starting points were nothing short of ideal. When beginning a residential project, that’s what the situation should be”, says Antti Rouhunkoski, co-founder of Poiat Studio.
The new home has a lighter feel than the family’s previous home, but otherwise included similar solutions. The owners appreciated the way the designers divided spaces with coherent fixed furniture and paneling. They liked how the solutions concealed a great deal of storage space and formed a streamlined, overall structure and backdrop for subsequent additions.
Details and materials play a starring role in the minimal décor.
“All of our projects include something old, something existing and something new,” says Antti. “The old comprises visual mementos and impressions, the existing includes the context of the site, and the new is about the client’s wishes and designer’s visions.”
A well-executed project means that all these elements are brought together, so the home looks like its designers and feels like its owners and they find it comfortable.
THE ARCHITECTURAL STYLE provides the framework for the design. The designers at Poiat Studio pay attention already to the transition as a person enters from the street, through the stairwell and into the home – the progression and the way the home welcomes the person.
The entrance of the top-floor apartment is luxurious. A clean-lined, structured view opens up from the spacious lobby, with living areas glimpsed through a few doorways. The gaze is steered towards the heart of the home lined in oak veneer paneling that stylishly conceals a wardrobe, toilet and other storage.
The period of the property is reflected in the dimensions and chosen materials.
The wainscoting is a marriage of aesthetics and functional qualities, creating both visually appealing structure and shielding the extensive doors and paneling when the children’s play gets a little rougher.
Carefully considered details can enrich an otherwise minimalist interior with an elegant finishing touch. The way paneling joins, continues or comes to a halt has an effect on the overall mood. In addition to a careful design, it’s important to find carpenters and builders with the right skills and desire to apply their expertise to the project.
A building project is always about collaboration and a sum of many parts, so it’s vital that everyone shares the same motivation and goal. Fortunately, the owners have always understood the significance of each detail and been ready to invest in them.
Layering and personal touches create a timeless aesthetic.
“We prefer simple, clean lines with a touch of luxury and elegance. We feel comfortable surrounded by few, carefully chosen objects and don’t crave any particular interior pieces or accessories,” the owner explains.
Cohesion, layers, and details play a starring role; the smallest elements have a direct effect on both quality and aesthetics. A home is meant to be lived in, meaning that a refined vision needs to withstand daily lives both in practice and visually.
At best, a layered feel only improves with time, as the home matures and receives a more personal stamp – a timeless beauty.
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Text: Ulla Koskinen Images: Sameli Rantanen
This story was originally published in the Asun Homes Volume 5.