Thursday, 27 September 2012

siiri & velho's home sweet home ♥

this past summer while in finland, we had a chance to stay with my uncle velho and aunt siiri. after living in a condo in tampere for many years, they built their dream house in 2005 in nokia... you can see more photos here...

when they built the house, they kept the existing trees on the property. this is common in finland (i wish it was here too...) and makes the homes look as though they blend in with nature. 
people often think their house is older than it is because of the mature trees.
siiri adores this welcoming view when she drives home everyday.

there is an open concept between the dining room and living room. there are hard wood floors throughout 
and wood planks run across the vaulted ceiling (this is typical in finland)

siiri and velho both feel strongly about using quality pieces to furnish their home. 
velho has inherited many of the pieces from his parents (my grandparents) such as the dining table and chairs.

the pendent lamp in the dining room is by juha leiviskä of artek from 1969 and came from velho's parents 

they wanted the house to have tall ceilings and out of practicality they made decisions such as avoiding the use of thresholds since it's easier to clean without them

when they moved into the house, the only furniture they had to purchase was a couch for the living room and one for the basement.
behind the door that you see in the back is the entrance to the large shower/laundry/bathroom and sauna. behind the wood slates and above the bathroom is a loft fitted with a bed 
(this was going to be unused space and siiri joked that it could have been nokia's tallest washroom!)

there is no art hanging on the walls because siiri explained that the lighting they chose would clash with any extra features placed on the walls. besides, with such stunning windows facing their property, there is no need for any other art work (!)
the wooden window frames are stained a beautiful warm colour on the inside which siiri always considers when making any decorating decisions. the outside of the frames are grey because again, for practicality's sake, although most window frames are white in finland, siiri went with grey so that they could get dirty without appearing so.

velho inherited arne jacobsen's classic swan chair from 1958 from his parents... 
my brother and i had a lot of fun spinning in it as kids and now lucy also gave it a whirl ♥

when planning the house, it was on siiri's wishlist to have a fireplace facing the dining room with a bread stove facing the kitchen. this is what separates the dinning room from the kitchen.

for their twentieth anniversary, siiri and velho bought the karuselli chair 
designed by the finnish furniture designer yrjö kukkapuro in 1964.
the witty little green stool (most likely used for milking) in front of the chair came from a barn that was on the couple's property. 

from their bedroom they have access to a dressing room and the sauna

sulo is siiri and velho's little pride and joy ♥ they are extreme dog lovers (it runs in the family!) and have had several dogs. 
sulo is clearly a part of the family since he has a bed in every room ♥

velho's dad (my vaari) was very handy and creative and made this chest that lucy (vaari's great grand baby) now climbed on. 
he also made some stools and other accessories around the house.

the good finns that they are (!), siiri and velho treat themselves to 'aina valmis' sauna everyday. 
it's a heater that is basically always on and can heat up in a matter of minutes.

saunas are practically the most important rooms in finnish homes (can i get an amen?) and there are such modern designs and features available. i like that siiri and velho have kept a traditional sauna 'look' but have incorporated classy narrow subway tiles and a glass door.

i love the mix of surfaces in their kitchen: warm upper cabinets on one wall, clean white on the other, butcher block counters on one side and stainless steel where the sink is (again, this is typical in finland to have stainless steel counters by the sink). 
siiri explained that although their kitchen and bathroom cabinets are custom made, they did not cost much more than off-the-shelf cabinets since they bought them through the architect.

siiri's favourite feature of the whole house is the lighting in the corner of the kitchen during the winter months.

siiri and velho have an eclectic mix of accessories, some which are from their eight years spent in africa.

although many pieces of furniture were inherited, some of them came from their 'mylly' (their old cottage, the one my mom also grew up with, was an old 'mill'... it was my favourite place in the whole world ♥), including the classic red kitchen table and blue chairs (they're the same as i always remember!) and the black bentwood chairs by their entrance

oh siiri's bread... i've never tasted any better ♥ (and lucy loved it too!)
(in fact, she uses this oven far more often than the conventional one- 
in seven years, she has only had to clean  the electric over once!)

besides the bread stove, siiri also wanted to incorporate built in book shelves when planning their home.
(they have meticulously tidy home and siiri explained that with built-ins you never have to bring the actual shelf out to clean behind it... i don't remember the last time i've moved any bookshelves to clean behind them...)

velho wanted a 'luxurious' man-cave to call his own... and luxurious it is with his workshop, pool table and tv. it's actually a walk-out basement and garage combined, so on the other side you see their car and velho's 'baby'

siiri is an avid gardener and many of the plants in their yard came from her childhood home and from their 'mylly' 
they built a fence around the back and side of their house, which is rare in finland.

the house is built of a material called 'siporex' which is apparently extremely thermal 
and a fraction of the weight of regular concrete. 
i don't think i've seen doors in finland made of anything but wood... love them

if they could redo something in their house, they would have added a bathroom downstairs and they would have let the metal roof weather for longer rather than painting it so soon (it's peeling already).

they love living in this community - for european neighbour's day (may 25th), all the neighbours get together to make 'lettuja' (crepes) and 'makkaroita' (sausages). their little area also hosts a music night where they jam together and take part in a potluck. on any given night, you could find twenty neighbours all gathered together chatting. however, they also respect each other's space and peace. 
sulo also loves the area and has many furry friends ♥

i told you that siiri's favourite features in the house are the fireplace and the lighting in the kitchen... velho on the other hand is most proud of his beer selection and cold room... sorry, no pictures.

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