Combining old with new is my favourite interior style. If a home is filled with only new and modern furniture, no matter how stylish the outcome is, the rooms tends to be cold. The home turns into a hotel room. To have a homey feeling new furniture needs to be combined with old things.
If a home is filled with only new and modern furniture, no matter how stylish the outcome is, the rooms tends to be cold. The home turns into a hotel room.
If you have not inherited old furniture a good place to find vintage furniture is internet autions and fleamarkets. When picking a piece of second hand furniture make sure the body of the piece is in good shape. Don’t mind about the fabrics or colors – thay can be easily updated!
I made a perfect vintage chair find a few weeks back. A pair of newly restored Asko K-chairs from the forties was for sale on an internet fleamarket site. The pair of these Finnish classics that were nearly in every home on the forties had been recently upholstered with contemporary Johanna Gullichsen cheerfully yellow fabrics.
Johanna Gullichsen makes good quality fabrics with nice contemporary patterns. The Doris fabric comes in different colors. I love the look of the fabric. It is lively, bold and cheerful. And it has a nice modern look to it, making a perfect contrast with the old chair.
The K-chair is a perfert chair to sit on and it offers easy seating for elderly people: it is comfortable to sit on but it is not too soft nor too low for elderly people to stand up from. And hey, let’s face it – each passing day we are all getting older!
A coffee table or a side table is often a statement in contemporary style. In Scandinavian style sofa tables are often made totally or partly out of glass to give an airy look to a room. Also sleek, thin lines are preffered. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these kind of tables, I love them and see the beauty in them!
However, as mentioned before, our livingroom is grande. A large room needs large furniture to look complete. Also the problem with an open concept is, that in order to work properly the pieces of furniture should make a complete picture. Our diningroom table is an old heavy oak table, which I love, so the rest of the tables needed to match the style.
I love wood. Driftwood is by far the most beautiful wood. I have pieces of driftwood lying in my livingroom table tops as eyecathers. Pieces that I have collected from all over the world on my travels from beaches. For my sofa table I wanted to have something earthy-looking, not too sleek, not too modern. I wanted to have a table that invites people near: to lift your feet on it, to play board games around it, to read, to draw, to have a cup of tea and read a magazine.The table needed to be large enough to accommodate all, strong enough to keep its shape dispite all the life and it needed to have a drifwood-look, which I love so much.
I found a perfect solution from Boknäs line. A large, heavy table that would last the pace of life. A table that was at the same time contemporary, stylish and laid-back. The table is gorgeous! But dear-Ikea what you have taught to the furniture manufacturers! The table was in teeny-tiny pieces with hardly any instructions with it. It took hours to get it together. If it had been me the table would be burning wood. But my darling husband, the Cold-Blooded Warrior, took it easy and got the table together.
But dear-Ikea what you have taught to the furniture manufacturers! The table was in teeny-tiny pieces with hardly any instructions with it. It took hours to get it together. If it had been me the table would be burning wood. But my darling husband, the Cold-Blooded Warrior, took it easy and got the table together.
To have even more seating in the room I decided to have foot stools. But I wanted to have playful stools that would add texture to the room as well as joyfulness. The foot stools needed to be small enough that they could be placed under the table. I found just what I was looking for once again from Sits. The Circle is a perfect sized foot stool to sit, play and put your feet up.
The table ended up to be quite what the livingroom needed! And we love this timeless piece. It also works as a quite elegant playground.
In this busy world a mind needs a place to rest. To recharge your batteries. To give your inner you some room to relax and to listen to yourself.
Too many times people tend to find relaxation out of noisy bars, movie theatres or from the company of other people. Surely these all are good for socialization, but a human mind needs more. It needs alone time. Just time to be. Nothing more.
I find my alone time usually in the nature. By the sea. That is my place to rest.
A few days ago we paid a visit to my husband’s uncle and aunt at their summer home. I knew that the summer house would be an amazing place, since their city home is one of the most beautiful apartments I have ever visited. But the summer house blew my mind! I was in tears the whole time just because the beauty of the place. Because of the tranquility and serenity of the old 1902 built house.
I love my husband’s family. My family. They are the most intelligent, fun, caring and tender-hearted people on earth! On top of that his uncle and aunt are the most creative artists. I am really out of words. Let the photos do the talking!
Finnish desing has its own style. In furniture it comes in squares. In fabrics in comes in large prints. In architecture it comes either in wooden-romantic-style or functionalistic stone style. Either way, Finnish desing has its recognizable style. And it has been made to last.
For me one of the most beautiful form of Finnish design comes in glassware made by Iittala. Iittala is known for its quality and style. In fact, Iittala combines the most loved Finnish lines in design. The most succesful designers have their own lines in Iittala productions, such as Alvar Aalto.
On the morning of our 18th years of engagement, I got a total surprise gift from my husband. I mean, usually it is the anniversary mornings that the gifts are given! My own Romantic Warrior wanted to suprise me and that he did well! I got a beautifully wrapped Iittala-gift-box from him. Inside of the box was an original Oiva Toikka bird Yellow Grouse. I was mesmerized! The bird was the most beautiful Toikka bird I had yet seen! The pattern together with the strong yellow color is hypnotizing!
Inside of the box was an original Oiva Toikka bird Yellow Grouse. I was mesmerized! The bird was the most beautiful Toikka bird I had yet seen! The pattern together with the strong yellow color is hypnotizing!
As I placed the Toikka bird on its nest on our livingroom table, I knew that was the nest the bird-Tipi, as the kids named him, was ment to have. On a ceramic plate designed by another respected Finnish designer Anu Pentik had created. Pentik has made her name on clay ceramics and her heart-warming lines are loved by Finns.
Choosing a sofa is a nightmare for me! Not because I don’t know what I want but because it seems that the sofa of my dreams is not made – or at least it is not imported to this side of the Atlantic!
As I go to furniture stores in Canada, I am in heaven. The sofas over there are different. They are of good size. They are inviting. They come in all fabric styles. When you go to a furniture store in Finland all the sofas are the same: either they are made of leather in a style from the eighties or they are cube-like in neutral colors. And that is when I become desperate. I know what I want. But I cannot get it.
The livingroom in our new house is a large room (aprox 30 m2/350 sq ft) with a high ceiling and with large floor-to-ceiling windows. Our old livingroom furniture, especially the sofa, was too small for the grand room. We needed a new sofa.
I do have an Ikea sofa in the tv-room. It comes from the Söderhamn family and it is quite practical with kids. However, it is not a quality sofa nor does it look like it. It is not a sofa I would feel comfortable having in my livingroom. No, in my livingroom I wanted to have something more posh. A grown-up elegant sofa. But I didn’t want it to be serious. I wanted a lounge-like sofa.
My poor husband, or shoud I say my Fearless Warrior, took the challange and cruised through the furniture stores with me. He sat on more couches that one should never sit on. And always I found something that was not right: the arm rests were odd, the sofa was too soft, too hard, too low, too high… Finally it was in fact my husband and kids who chose our new sofa. Maybe it was the result of them beeing so tired, but when they sat on the Sits Heaven sofa which is exclusivly sold by Boknäs in Finland, there was no turning back. That was the sofa the family chose. I was only able to choose the fabric.
My family chose well. I love the sofa as well. The only thing I worried about was the fact that the sofa has feathers in it and I have been allergic to those old feather pillows since I was a kid. The salesperson assured us that the modern way of washing the feathers and the usage of only duck feathers does not cause allergies anymore. Actually I even found a medical study about this on internet also stating the same. So, we took the risk and ordered the Heaven couch. And it truly has been Heaven! It is large enough to accommondate easilly the whole family. It is soft. It is modern. It is classy. And it has the lounge-look I was looking for. And I’ve been even napping on it with no allergic symptoms.
I chose linen fabrics for my Heaven. The covers are washable, 100% linen covers. The feeling of the linen on your skin is Heavenly. It was a bit more costly but it was well worth the money.
Sits have a wonderful app on appstore, where you can find all their product information, including the fabrics and measurements. We chose our Heaven to be large because our livingroom is large. The sofa is 3,41 m/11,4 ft wide so it gives room for 4 people to sit on it very comfortably and for 6 people if large number of seating is needed.
One of the first things I bought for our new home was an old trunk. It was totally a random purchase – I had no idea where I would place it. Actually, I feel as if the trunk came to me. I found it on an internet auction website and I made a bid. And before I noticed, it was mine. I bought it even I had never seen it.
I cannot quite say what attracted me in the trunk. It had something different. It was not like the old Scandinavian wooden trunks. This one was noticeably different: it had an old leather surface, leather belts and ornamental iron details. I had not seen an old trunk like that before.
The seller knew nothing about the trunk. I was somewhat disappointed because it was obvious that it had a story. As I got the trunk home I washed it and searched any signs of information. As I was cleaning the lock I noticed it had writing on it. I was able to read words “Star Lock Works Phila PA”. I was fascinated about my findings! I spent a few hours on the internet searching for information. I looked information about American trunks, since the stamp on the lock was written in English and I assumed “Phila” would stand for “Philadelphia”.
I found an internet page, This Old Trunk, full of details on old American trunks.I decided to give it a shot and took some photos of my trunk and wrote an e-mail to the company asking if they could give any estimation of my trunk and its age or style. I really didn’t even expect to hear anything back. In just few hours I received the most kind e-mail from Mr. Marvin Miller. He told me that indeed my trunk was American made trunk.
Marvin filled me with information I was seeking for. He told me that there had been several trunk companies on the east coast of America. Companies like Newark, NJ and New York City that made trunks similar to the style of my trunk. These companies exported their goods to Europe. Of course the trunk could have been used by a traveller who purchased it in America and then left it in Finland as well. The lock on my trunk was made by Star Lock Works of Philadelphia, but they did not manufacture trunks. Marvin told me that my trunk was made between 1900 to about 1915 based on the hardware style.
I was thrilled! Not only I had made a bargain but my instinct had been right! The old trunk had a story to tell. My trunk had seen the world number of decades before I had been even in my parent’s dreams!
I was thrilled! Not only I had made a bargain but my instinct had been right! The old trunk had a story to tell.
Marvin even scanned me some pages of old catalogues where similar trunks as mine were sold. I now knew from where my trunk was from! I had hit the jackpot!
As I planned the interior of our livingroom it was clear to me that the trunk would stay. It gave life to the new materials of our stone house. It gave a story to the modern surroundings. And I love the combination of old and new. Sleek and used.
As I started my journey into contemporary interior I realized that I already owned a few pieces of furniture that I loved for their simplicity. In fact I had owned them for years, but I had never really seen the beauty of them before. One of the most valuable furniture I owned, that became the cornerstone to my new style, was a chair that my husband had inherited from his grandfather. The chair had been in our house for years but I had never really paid any attention to it. Now I took a better look at the chair. Placed it in our livingroom and realized what an amazing piece of furniture it was! It had the most beautiful lines, exceptional craftmanship and beautiful finishing.
I had always known that the chair is Danish design but I never realized it was a gem. And I felt quite stupid about it. But to my own defence I must say I had a lot of antiques that I had inherited. From different periods of time, some more valuable than the others. As I had lived my childhood in a 1800’s Manor guest house, our home had always been filled with antiques. Most of them I have now sold. I kept only the pieces I really, really liked. And I even sold few pieces I loved because I couldn’t find a place for them in our new home. I wanted to have air around me. Empty spots in the house. Clean lines. And I wanted our home to be easilly maintained.
I learned, that the chair I had fallen in love with was in fact a designer chair. A genuine Niels Møller chair. The clean lines of the chair were the result of years’ product development. I love the straightforward approach of the teak details Møller has created. As I studied more of Niels Møller I found out that he has a line of beautifully designed furniture. Furniture, that stays firm year after year. Just like my chair.
I learned, that the chair I had fallen in love with was in fact a designer chair. A genuine Niels Møller chair.
So this Niels Møller masterpiece is now the cornerstone in our home. Altough it was originally designed for office use, it stands proudly in our livingroom looking at the rest of the room that has been created to match its style.
And what comes to Danish desing I am really speechless! I salute the Danish way of making beauty out of minimalism. It leaves absolutely no room for mistakes. Every piece of furniture is taken to its highest level of designed functionalism. All the measurements are taken from the human anatomy and the furniture really caresses its user. The materials are chosen to last from one generation to another.
Modern and contemporary furniture doesn’t have to be box-like that leaves no room for beauty-seekers. Scandinavian style is very different from one country to another. The Finns tend to believe that modern equals to Alvar Aalto or Ikea, both of the brands being very square in design. On the other hand, Danish design searches soft lines with minimalistic approach and high quality craftmanship. Both the lines and functionatility, fulfills the beauty-seeker’s heart with pure joy! I believe I made it clear – I am in love with the Danes!