An Estonian Home Filled with Colorful Textiles

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Although clothing designer Liina Viira was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, her family is originally from Estonia. In 2005 she felt her Estonian roots calling, so she moved to her grandparent’s home country to explore them. The plan was to stay in Estonia for one year, but nine years later, the country has become home and inspiration for her designs, which are based on Estonian folk costumes. When she bought her apartment in North-Tallinn a year and a half ago, it was pretty much a wreck – which meant it was exactly what she was looking for. It still had all of the original floors, ceilings and windows. The bathroom was the only room in the apartment which called for a full renovation. It had a layout that was common to Estonia in the ’50s (the toilet in a separate room, an oddly-sized linen closet and a bathtub that was incredibly small) so Liina tore everything out and renovated the entire space. The bathroom now feels palatial – so much so that when Liina has a party, half the groups end up in the bathroom and turn it into a dance floor! For the rest of the apartment, Liina stuck to white so her beloved textile collection and cherished metal objects wouldn’t take over. Thanks, Liina! And a big thank you to  Terje Ugandi for the lovely photos. Here’s hoping we can join the dance party in the bathroom one day. –Amy

Image above: Everything knitted! I made a wool-cover for my ’50s sofa. I love this pattern. It’s actually a single pattern that has roots in both, Estonian and in Swedish national patterns. The pillows are a find from one of my trips to Essaouira, Morocco. The veneer hatbox and suitcase are original “Luterma” products (a famous Estonian furniture company established in 1883).

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Image above: Chests, boxes, suitcases – I don’t know why I have such a love for them. Maybe it’s because I´m always on the move. Pillows are my own brand – NAiiV.  The clock is a gift from a friend, designer Pavel Sidorenko – it’s the motif of Stockholm made out of a vinyl record.

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See more of this Estonian home after the jump!

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Image above: The rug is from Essaouira, Morocco. The color and patterns have reference to and can be found in Estonian traditional clothing. It’s so cool to find out how the world is united by these ancient patterns. I like the thought that we are so connected and close – in a way.

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Image above: The picture of the lotus flower is a piece of the wallpaper that I had in my childhood home. My mother had some pieces of it left. Like me, she is also an emotional-stuff-saver. My mother’s pink envelope handbag, a classic that still works. The thoughtful wooden man was found in a vintage store in Helsinki. It just seemed so peaceful and now it serves as a necklace holder for my inherited “Setu”chain, another traditional Estonian piece.

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Image above: My provisional bookshelf, built out of wooden boxes and glass-disks. Most of the paintings on the wall are made by my French friend and artist, Grégoire Laroche Joubert

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Image above: This card-index cabinet is from a library. It is perfect for organizing all of my stuff. The green sewing machine is an “Elna grasshopper” from the ’50s. It’s in perfect condition and I still use it. The “Makarov”-pistol holster, serves as a party bag these days…lethal, don’t you think?

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Image above: My grandpa´s sideboard. I’ve had it for ages, and I never get tired of it. I inherited it together with the chairs and bedroom lamps. They were all made out of teak, in the late ’50s, and they are in great condition. The “Dala-horse” is a typical Swedish handcraft. The chair on the left is from a metal factory. I was at the factory for a different reason but fell in love with the chairs that the workers sat on. I made a deal and got to buy 6 of them. On the right you can see a knitted sleeping-bag I´ve made, called koo-koon.  You can also spot the skulls of a fox and a wild boar, treasures from the forest!

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Image above: The “little golden needle” is a fashion award I received in 2010. (Not that little…or golden…) Both the chair and table were second-hand finds.

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Image above: A very humble bling-bling shelf.

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Image above: The dress I wore for the presidential ball last year. It is made of leather, the embroidered pattern on the chest made by myself. It was actually very comfortable! The chair is also from my grandpa. I opened up the wall between the kitchen and living room. In the background you can see the kitchen, with the only wall that was painted in color.

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Image above: My collection of traditional belts.

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Image above: That toaster, aah I love it! Its a fire hazard though it doesn’t have a timer. The backdrop and the kitchen tops are covered in zinc-metal, the raw finish is excellent!

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Image above: My grandmother crocheted that bed-cover for me. It took her a year. It’s one of those things I would run into a burning building to get out. The blanket on top of the bed is  a limited edition by NAiiV. And grandpa lamps that I created new lampshades for in textil printed by “Josef Frank”.

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Image above: Evidence of love for metal and rust. I have quite a few of these cabinets. I think that the combination between the raw metal and the glass is really beautiful. I’ve never kept my clothes in a closet. I think of them as a part of my decoration. And clothes are for me, also a sort of memorabilia, filled with stories.

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Image above: Of course my wardrobe is crammed with colorful knitwear!

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Image above: A very ascetic kitchen. I built the kitchen sink out of an old metal frame and I covered the top with zinc-metal.

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Image above: My bathroom/ dancefloor. The lamps are called “Throat”, made by an Estonian designer Margus Triibmann/ Keha3.  I like the simple industrial feel of his designs.

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Image above: The metal-thread shelf is also a vintage find. It took me a while to figure out what to use it for. But it works perfectly for my collection of glasses.

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Image above: New and old. The chair was in the apartment when I bought it. They had left a lot of trash. One man’s trash… I wanted something bright in the bathroom, so I went for yellow “joint”.

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Image above: A metal box that was used to contain film rolls.

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  1. Sarah says:

    How exciting to see an Estonian home featured! This place is so gorgeous, and located in one of my favorite cities to boot.

  2. Katie says:

    What a cool and unique space! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sarah says:

    My husband and I often debate about all white homes being boring and sterile. I think this is the perfect example of a home that negates his theory! I love all of the brightly colored textiles in this space, very artfully done!

  4. Amber Gress says:

    I want to live there! Gorgeous!

  5. Haley says:

    It’s just so good. That grout! REFRESHING!!!

  6. Amy B says:

    Oh my! J’adore! Especially all the unique storage ideas.

  7. Hanna says:

    It’s so great to see a fellow Estonian’s home featured. I love the feel of the place, and I love her designs, too!

  8. E says:

    One of my favorites! I love the light fixtures, kitchen sink, and the entire bathroom. So fun.

  9. Jen says:

    So warm and vibrant! Fun to see an Estonian home.

  10. Anna says:

    So unique, personal and gorgeous! Most amazing bathroom ever.

  11. fancy says:

    another great combination of a simple backdrop made beautiful with colors + collections. Very authentic. Love it!!

  12. allison foster says:

    Wonderful shoes in the last shot! I have been looking for ones like it in Canada. Where did you get them?

  13. gina says:

    a truly happy place….obsessed w/ the big gray trunk…the metal sweater cabinet….the gold & green pepper mill….the wooden chair in the kitchen and that burst of yellow at the end!!!

  14. gina says:

    ps….i never put my clothes/shoes/accessories in a closet…people think I am crazy ….finally someone who gets it!!!

  15. jo says:

    awesome. the yellow grout – genius.

  16. Rebecca M says:

    This is such a happy-feeling space, I love it! I also love the yellow grout in the bathroom. It’s fantastic.

  17. Sara says:

    Beautiful! I would love to live in here!

  18. mims says:

    I LOVE this apartment. So personal and quirky. Great collections. But may I suggest storing your glass collection with the rim up? I think it is a safer way to go, rims tend to be thinner and the glass base heavier, so things are more stable right side up. YOu don;t want to break any accidentally if it could be prevented.

  19. Kate B says:

    Liina, your designs are really beautiful! I’m impressed with the scale of your knitted wool sofa cover and sleeping bag. The patterns are lovely and they look so finely done. Are they hand-knit or made on a loom? Would you be able to recommend a resource for learning how to make such captivating projects?

  20. Anu says:

    Lovely to see an Estonian home featured here! Greetings from Estonia!

  21. Venice says:

    Love this place, especially the wiring, it looks great

  22. Judy scott says:

    fabulous ~ love the card index and wire shelving!

  23. Celine H says:

    Love the mail sorting cabinet & the industrial stool. Found a similar thing here:

  24. emmme says:

    Seeing pattern play and colors (even on such a white backdrop) was so refreshing! Love the textiles and traditional Estonian patterns. It would be great to see more ethnic design, like a Ghanaian home on DS!

  25. Piret says:

    Greetings from yet another Estonian. Love the apartment, though I recently spotted it on one of our real estate web sites, marked as sold. Would have bought it myself, had I discovered it sooner;)

    And somone asked about the shoes – these are traditional Estonian shoes called pastlad (for Google search reference).

  26. Christina says:

    where would someone be able to purchase the glass cabinet?


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