Lumitiikeri enchants at the Tuusula Housing Fair with its harmonious atmosphere

Laura Seppänen designed an interior for the Lumitiikeri house at the 2020 Housing Fair, which stands the test of time and soothes with its minimalism. She struck a common chord with the future owners of the residence right from the start.

Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The most monumental element of the Lumitiikeri living room is the curved wall finished with lime mortar, soaring to almost seven meters. The April side table is by Nikari, the voluminous Bobo armchair by Hakola and the Taccia table lamp and String Light pendants by Flos.

ONE OF THE GEMS of the 2020 Housing Fair in Finland is Lumitiikeri (Snow Tiger), designed by Laura Seppänen. Known for her minimalistic style, she became interested in the modern housing fair building by Hevi kivitalot (Hevi stone houses) particularly because of its curved walls, varying room heights and extraordinary spatial solutions.

For her first housing fair project, Seppänen selected neutral and harmonious colors, plenty of natural materials and unique works of art by Finnish artists and designers. Finnish Design Shop Contract Sales had the pleasure of supplying the furniture, light fixtures and accessories she chose for Lumitiikeri.

Hi, Laura! The Lumitiikeri interior is ready, and people can come and see your creation in August. How do you feel now?
“Hi! Thanks for asking, can't complain. This has been quite a spring in all respects."

Interior designer Laura Seppänen
Laura Seppänen is a Helsinki-based interior designer, stylist and interior journalist, who started her design business L/S design agency in 2015.

How long a project was the Lumitiikeri interior all in all?
“My first contact with Hevi kivitalot was in early 2019. This is my first-ever project for a housing fair, and I decided to go for it when I saw the house drawings. A two-story, fair and modern stone house impressed me with its innovative architecture.

I met the owners, the Nylund couple in spring 2019, and then started drafting. I place a lot of value on the first impression – it’s usually the most intuitive and delicate signal in terms of visual goals. In the early stages of projects, I spend a lot of time on creative work to allow plans to build and change as the project goes along.

"In the early stages of a project, I  spend a lot of time on creative work to allow plans to build and change as the project goes along.”

The first months were spent on spatial design, placement of water and electricity outlets, dimensioning of wet areas and fixtures, and general design. The surfaces and materials were discussed early on, too, and after the fixed elements I went over to lighting.

I considered furniture choices early on. In my view, furniture and small furnishings play an important role that is too often undervalued. Furniture and individual items have a direct effect on how people behave in a room and what the atmosphere is.”

Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
Laura Seppänen designed a set of spectacular stairs for the house, featuring steps in oak and microcement covered concrete. The large round pots are from the Hourglass collection by Ferm Living, while the smaller pot is Kubus by By Lassen.
Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
Subdued paints in neutral tones, walls finished with lime mortar, and large ceramic floor tiles with a matte, marble-patterned surface create a timeless interior. The Perch bar stool and the December Lounge chair are by Nikari.
Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
Lumitiikeri’s otherwise neutral and light color scheme is contrasted with a dark kitchen. At the foreground, the Plinth table in black Marquina marble by Menu; Ura vase by Marimekko; and Avant candelabra by Ferm Living.

What were the starting points for the interior design?
“I always start from the people who will use the space and the building itself, but in this project I also wanted to express my view on the Finnish construction culture by bringing in the experience and expertise of Finnish small and family businesses.

"My aim was to create a kind of ode to Finnish expertise, in terms of materials, design and the actual construction.”

My aim was to create a kind of ode to Finnish expertise, in terms of materials, design and the actual construction. This house was designed in partnership with Finnish businesses, and my job was to create the framework and curate the local experts to work together.

My design hinges on simplification, timelessness, harmony and soothing minimalism. This generally means using structural solutions that hide any extra technology, tailored fixed elements, plenty of bespoke furniture and consistent color choices and surface materials.”

Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The kitchen cabinet doors are black-stained ash veneer. The countertop made of marble terrazzo hosts some current and future kitchen classics: Plissé electric kettle and Juicy Salif citrus squeezer by Alessi; and Alfredo carafe and Onion bonbonniere by Georg Jensen.
Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
Around the bespoke dining table are a group of Standard and Wire Chair DKR chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames. The playful porcelain vase is called Kink, and the steel pitcher is from Georg Jensen’s HK collection. Lighting is provided by a black Aim pendant by Flos.

How was your cooperation with Finnish Design Shop's Contracts Sales?
“This was by no means my first project with Finnish Design Shop, but it was probably a first for us both to create the interior for a house in a housing fair. Finnish Design Shop’s extensive range of products has something for a variety of projects. I’m eternally indebted to Johannes Nieminen for his excellent customer service, patience and all the hard research he put into this project.

When creating the interior for the housing fair project, or indeed all my projects, I prefer to use, whenever possible, brands that are lesser-known in and new to Finland, and brands that have only recently been launched in the international market. The Finnish Design Shop is in this respect an extremely open-minded and innovative company which, in my experience, has always been happy to accommodate my curious wishes and moods.”

Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The toilet downstairs combines black ash veneer and a white, large ceramic tile with a marble pattern.
Lumitiikeri bathroom | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The minimalist bathrooms were created with the same natural luxury that is found in other parts of the house. The bathrooms are crowned by matte-black wall faucets and showers by Vola.
Lumitiikeri sauna | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
Black was used not only in the kitchen but also in the downstairs bathroom and the upstairs spa and modern sauna.

What wishes did the Lumitiikeri owners have for the interior?
“We had a uniform vision right from the start with both Hevi and the customer. The customer’s wishes, in a nutshell, were: neutral color palette, natural materials, harmonious feel, ecological choices, Finnish products and luxury for daily life. To complement the stonewalls and high ceilings, they wanted furniture and fittings that have a homey feel, warmth and soft acoustics.

As to the owners, he is an engineer, and values versatile things of technically high quality. I paid particular attention to this with regard to lighting. For example, the height and brightness of the Aim pendant by Flos is adjustable, and the String Light pendants can be mounted in a number of ways. And the DCW éditions Mantis BS5 wall lamp can be turned and adjusted both at the shade and the arm.”

Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The idea of producing Hakola’s Edit shelves in black-stained ash came upon to Laura Seppänen over a cup of coffee with the Finnish brand's creative director Annaleena Hämäläinen. The chair at the table is Motif by Form & Refine, and the Wicker rug is by Roots Living.
Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
Menu’s sculptural Reverse table lamp, Ferm Living’s Mineral coffee table and Nikari’s Biennale stool are a perfect fit among the works of art in Lumitiikeri.

One of the 2020 Housing Fair themes is art. How does it show in this project?
The Lumitiikeri decor consists of several pieces of furniture and light fittings that I would consider works of art in themselves. These include the April tables by Nikari, Bastone sideboard by Poiat Studio, and lamps by Muller Van Severen. To go with the small furnishings, I curated art, graphics and items by Finnish artists and designers.

The house includes wall art by Niina Kratz and Ari Pelkonen, graphics by Reeta Ek, ceramics by Hanna Heino and Pasi Kärkkäinen, natural clay sculptures by Henriikka Leppänen, pots by Udumbara and wooden objects by Hanna Saari. These unique, handmade items, some of them specifically for this house, give an added touch.

Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The white faucet and sink make the utility room particularly light. The Bon trays and Ceramic basket by Ferm Living keep small items beautifully displayed and readily available. The Veggie wax candle and balm in a pine container are made by Hetkinen.
Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
Eye-catching elements in the upstairs movie room include not only the unique works of art but also the Kizu table lamp by New Works, the large Kubus bowl by By Lassen, and the Luminator floor lamp and white Aim pendants by Flos. The coffee table was custom-made by a local carpenter.
Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The fully upholstered Loafer lounge chair by &Tradition can be moved quietly on the bedroom parquet. The Standing Lamp designed by Muller Van Severen makes a great reading light, and next to the chair is Menu's Androgyne side table, with a marble top.

What is your favorite thing in the house and/or its interior?
“As you come in, you first notice the stairs I designed. I’m particularly proud of them. The steps up to the landing are crude concrete coated with microcement, with unusual dimensions. The next flight of steps consists of ‘floating’ oak steps.

If you can select one item from the Lumitiikeri interior decoration, what would it be?
That’s a tough one, because I was also able to pick plenty of furniture that I like very much. But intuitively my first choice would be the Bastone sideboard by Poiat.

Master bedroom | Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020, Finland
The black sliding door, DCW éditions’ Mantis BS5 wall lamp and the Airisto bench designed by Joanna Laajisto give a twist to the white master bedroom of Lumitiikeri. The luminaire inspired by traditional Asian paper lanterns is &Tradition’s Formakami JH18 table lamp.
Lumitiikeri | Housing Fair 2020 in Finland
The Ridge vase by Muuto, Kontur vase by Kähler, Atollo table lamp by Oluce and other light-colored items create a fresh look combined with the Bastone sideboard in oak designed by master cabinetmaker Antrei Hartikainen.

Shop the style

Flos
String Light
Vitra
Standard chair
Nikari
April table
Georg Jensen
HK pitcher
Valerie Objects
Standing Lamp
Hakola
Bobo lounge chair
Menu
Plinth table
Ferm Living
Ceramic basket
Adea
Fay chair
Flos
Taccia table lamp
Muuto
Ridge vase
Alessi
Plissé electric kettle
Vitra
Wire Chair DKR
Nikari
Biennale stool
Ferm Living
Avant candelabra
Marimekko
Urna vase

Johannes Nieminen, you were Finnish Design Shop’s Contract Sales representative in the Lumitiikeri project. What was it like to work with Laura Seppänen?
Laura was very particular about the look and feel she was creating, and it was great to help her achieve it. The end result shows first and foremost her fantastic vision, complemented by the almost perfect design represented by our products.

Were there any particular high points or challenges during the project?
I’m particularly happy we were able to provide Laura with lamps by Valerie Objects. The sculptural luminaires designed by Muller van Severin were not yet in our collection when Laura said she was interested in them. I decided we would make it happen, and indeed at the Stockholm Furniture Fair I was able to secure them to our collection. We had no idea we were going to have a pandemic on our hands at the time, causing problems with, for example, the availability of fabrics and marble, and the timetable.

What are you favorite items in the Lumitiikeri decor?
My favorites are the Standing Lamp by Valerie Objects, the Plinth tables by Menu and the Mineral coffee table by Ferm Living, all found thanks to the project. I’m sure I will remember them as Lumitiikeri products.

• Tuusula Housing Fair, August 3–30, 2020.

Read also:

• Space for creativity – Laura Seppänen turned a former hair salon into an inspiring studio >

Text: Laura Hallikainen Photos: Mikael Pettersson and Mona Salminen

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