A gem from the 70s, a hideaway in Lapland and a house full of Artek classics – these 10 swoon-worthy homes attracted the most interest in 2022

In 2022, Design Stories opened the doors to dozens of homes around the world. Now it’s time to cast one more admiring glance at the astonishing residences and return to the most popular home and architecture stories of the past year. The TOP 10 features refreshing colors, a hefty dose of a sensual 70s spirit, and unique design gems – let us take you on an inspiration-inducing tour!

An image featuring Aija Staffans' colorful decor.
Aija Staffans' cozy home in Helsinki is filled with memories and meaningful objects. Image: Suvi Kesäläinen

10. A home filled with stories

Design Stories' 10th most-read home story of 2022 features, in addition to a beautiful home in Helsinki, one of designer Yrjö Kukkapuro's most coveted creations, the Ateljee sofa. We sat down with architect and researcher Aija Staffans and design influencer Isa Kukkapuro-Enbom on a 1960s Ateljee sofa, which Staffans had acquired from Kukkapuro-Enbom via Franckly.

In addition to the lively conversation, we – much like our readers – fell head over heels in love with the home filled with art and design treasures, where almost every object has a story. Even most of the plants have been passed down in the family from one generation to the next!

Read the story: A chat on a vintage Ateljee sofa >

An image featuring a wooden house in Port Arthur, Turku.
An exposed log wall is the eye-catching focal point of Vivian and Santeri's decor. Image: Elina Simonen

9. Peace and pastels

The mysterious closed-off gardens of the pastel-colored wooden houses of Port Arthur in Turku, better known as Portsa, are like calming oases in the middle of the city. You only get a glimpse of the courtyards when passing by, but sometimes an opportunity emerges to take in the unique milieu in detail.

Vivian Nissilä's and Santeri Salminen's homely wooden house charms with its breathtaking room height and thoughtful interior design choices – the bright home that beautifully respects the spirit of the old house is indeed irresistible!

Read the story: A charming wooden house in Turku >

An image featuring Antti and Vuokko Nurmesniemi's home and its eccentric decor in Kulosaari, Helsinki.
Did this tiled surface that smoothly binds together separate floors end up in your Pinterest saves too? Click the image for a full tour of this eccentric apartment. Image: Sameli Rantanen

8. More than just an apartment

Vuokko and Antti Nurmesniemi's home in Kulosaari captures the sensual spirit of the 70s yet is truly timeless. The entire 250-square-meter seaside home consists of a single, smoothly flowing space, with only a few partitions and open storeys – no wonder the daring building still sparks enthusiastic conversation, almost 50 years after its completion.

Read the story: Vuokko and Antti Nurmesniemi’s studio home in Helsinki >

An image featuring Villa Ervi and its decor.
Villa Ervi's flawless design language and charming details still look perfectly up-to-date. Image: Anna Brandt

7. A masterpiece of technology and nature

Villa Ervi, a handsome home designed by architect Aarne Ervi for his family, is another gem located in a maritime landscape in the middle of Helsinki. Currently looking for a new owner, the building completed in 1951 grasps the attention with its original architecture and unique details. The elegant, over 300-square-meter office wing of the prestigious home would also surely appeal to all remote workers.

Read the story: Villa Ervi by Aarne Ervi >

An image featuring the modern leisure home of Joanna Laajisto.
This lovely leisure home has been built with moderation and consideration. Image: Mikko Ryhänen

6. Sense and sensibility

Creating a comfortable contrast to a busy life in the city, interior architect Joanna Laajisto’s and photographer Mikko Ryhänen's leisure home in Karjalohja made the editorial team dream of a lake view and bulky plank floors.

The building, created with sense, sensibility, and skill was also one of the readers' undisputed favorites in 2022, and for a very good reason – the beautiful home highlights simplicity, quality, and a connection to nature in an unparalleled manner.

Read the story: The leisure home of Joanna Laajisto and Mikko Ryhänen >

An image featuring a decor with plenty of vintage furniture.
The curated collection of vintage furniture fits perfectly into the refined mood of the terraced home built in the 70s. Image: Suvi Kesäläinen

5. Room for creativity

We often have a vision of how we want to go about decorating our home, but sometimes the home shapes us instead. The apartment of Anni Laukkanen and Daniel Avanloo in a terraced house from the 1970s inspired the couple to invest in vintage furniture, especially in beautifully patinated Artek pieces of different ages.

The charming, cheerful spirit of the colorful home has deepened their fascination with art and design and awakened new-found creativity.

Read the story: Home in a terraced house from the 1970s >

An image featuring an apartment in Helsinki, designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara.
The impressive apartment designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara is rich in detail. Image: Sameli Rantanen

4. Guaranteed Tapiovaara quality

Interior architect and designer Ilmari Tapiovaara's work is characterized by the ability to connect form and function in an unforgettable way. The same statement also fits the 1950s apartment in Helsinki, for which the developer of the apartment building commissioned Tapiovaara to be the designer.

Dignified and graceful, yet cozy down to the last detail, the space was also used for entertaining many esteemed guests – including former Finnish president Urho Kekkonen, who is known to have bathed in the sauna.

Read the story: An apartment in Helsinki designed by Ilmari Tapiovaara >

An image featuring a colorful interior with vintage furniture.
Sarah Hartmann's home is bursting with fresh color combinations and fun pieces of vintage furniture. Image: Kerstin Müller

3. Vibrance and vintage

Instagram and TikTok sensation Sarah Hartmann's Berlin home is full of surprises: the bright home is bursting with colors, do-it-yourself projects, and unique design gems, making the apartment a creative yet elegant playground with a distinctively upbeat mood.

The stunning interior, drawing inspiration from Wes Anderson's films, was just the boost we needed in the middle of 2022 – take a look at the pictures of the beautiful apartment for a serotonin surge!

Read the story: Sarah Hartmann's home in Berlin >

An image featuring Valtteri Bottas' and Tiffany Cromwell's leisure home in Lapland.
The Lapland retreat of Valtteri Bottas and Tiffany Cromwell offers the perfect spot for winding down. Image: Merja Paakkanen

2. A retreat in Lapland

When Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas and professional road cyclist Tiffany Cromwell fancy a break from their fast-paced everyday life, they head to Kilpisjärvi, Finland, to their cozy log house hideaway that overlooks the breathtaking landscape of the Saana fell.

The postcard-like scenery and a serene, Scandinavian interior make the northern hideaway a perfect place for a breather. This uncompromising leisure home sparked interest in our readers both in Finland and abroad, and the story became Design Stories' second-most-read home story in 2022.

Read the story: The leisure home of Valtteri Bottas and Tiffany Cromwell >

An image featuring Villa Ekkulla and its decor.
“Villa Ekkulla has a strong atmosphere and an interesting story,” interior architect Maija Rasila describes. Image: Karoliina Jääskeläinen

1. The 70s at its finest

Villa Ekkulla, a 1970s villa updated by interior architect Maija Rasila, deservedly topped the list this year: the story of Villa Ekkulla became Design Stories' most-read home story in 2022!

The villa located on Kemiönsaari was renovated and decorated respecting the unique spirit of the time and saving as much of the original elements as possible. The eye-catching mosaic parquet and wooden wall paneling were paired with timeless design treasures and a carefully selected color palette that emphasizes the soulful look of the stunning home.

“Villa Ekkulla went through a comprehensive makeover, which has certainly been interesting to readers. However, the villa itself also has a strong atmosphere and an interesting story. The 70s mood, which is now very much in-trend, probably also contributed to the matter,” Maija Rasila rejoices.

Join us for a tour and take in the timeless yet trendy Villa Ekkulla!

Read the story: Villa Ekkulla combines the best aspects of 70s interior design >

See also:

All home stories on Design Stories >
All architecture stories on Design Stories >

Text: Mira Ahola and Mikko Vaija

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