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).
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.
See more of this Estonian home after the jump!
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.
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.
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
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?
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!
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.
Image above: A very humble bling-bling shelf.
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.
Image above: My collection of traditional belts.
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!
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”.
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.
Image above: Of course my wardrobe is crammed with colorful knitwear!
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Image above: A metal box that was used to contain film rolls.