Susanna and Jussi Vento’s apartment in Helsinki, Finland, is pretty tiny at just three rooms: two bedrooms — one master and one for the couple’s daughter — and a kitchen/dining room space. Rather than putting a sofa in the kitchen area, the couple opted for a long table, where they spend time with family and friends. Susanna is an interior designer, and she also works for the Finnish design magazine Deko. One of her favorite tricks is utilizing a local automotive painter for furniture redos; it gives the furniture a smoother finish than that achieved with paint and a brush. Because the apartment is so small, Susanna relies on plenty of white to brighten it up; in fact, the floors and ceilings are all white. Her formula is white + black + a pop of color or natural wood accents. Susanna and Jussi love hunting at fleas markets and thrift stores for beautiful additions to their home. Instead of a sofa, the couple bought two of Bertoia’s Diamond chairs. Susanna found them by searching online for “wire chairs,” thinking that if someone didn’t know the designer’s name, she could probably find a bargain. She then used her favorite automotive painter to give the chairs a new finish. If she has to buy something new, Susanna springs for design classics. Though more expensive, she likes knowing that the pieces will last long enough to pass down to her daughter one day. Thank you, Susanna and Jussi! — Amy Azzarito
Image above: I fell in love with the apartment’s 1950s feeling — original double doors and a practical layout. The light in the apartment just sealed the deal. The image above is looking into the dining room from our daughter’s room. The wallpaper is Gran from Fine Little Day. The dining table is from Ikea. The tabletop was previously oak and the legs were black, so we had the local automobile painter paint it completely black. The patchwork carpet is Palermo from Gun Rugs, and the striped one is Stockholm Rand from Ikea.
Image above: Child’s bed is old Jolla from Muurame. Toy shelf is the classic String shelf system. The Eames Hang-It-All coat hanger is from Vitra.
More of Susanna and Jussi’s Helsinki apartment after the jump . . .
Image above: The side table is made from old Palaset parts. (Palaset is a classic Finnish shelf system). I then painted the side tables on my own.
Image above: I collect lovely 3D books and well-illustrated memory games.
Image above: The chairs in the dining room are a mismatch — Vitra DSW; Aero; Jasper Morrison’s design for Vitra, Basel; chair from Artek 2nd Cycle store; Tolix; and our daughter’s chair is from Ikea, but I painted a single rung in white. The Thonet lookalike is a flea market find. It was originally white, but I added the blue feet.
Image above: The lamp is the Flos Parentesi floor lamp from Plusminus Partners. The small table is Vitra’s LTR-table, and the chair is Bertoia’s Diamond chair.
Image above: I have designed our kitchen myself and local carpenter company Mittapuu made it. The D-poster is from Playtype.
Image above: The cutlery is stored in Palaset-boxes (same Palaset series as the bedroom night tables). The kitchen faucet is Vola. The cutting boards are a mix of self-made and boards from online stores.
Image above: Trays are a mix of online finds and some picked up on a Stockholm trip. The black vacuum jug is Stelton.
Image above: The coat hanger I designed myself from water pipes, and a local welder made it. If I can’t find what I want, I prefer to design it myself and figure out how to get it made. It might take more time, but you end up with something completely unique and special (and sometimes even cheaper!). Under the rack are 3 boxes for our hats, gloves, etc. The wall rack is Uten.Silo from Vitra.
Image above: The hallway in the apartment
Image above: The apartment building’s exterior