amy azzaritoInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: vesa & riikka sammalisto

by Amy Azzarito

Illustrator Vesa Sammalisto lives with his wife and their 9-month-old daughter in Helsinki, Finland. When it came time to buy their first home three years ago, finding a apartment in original condition with wood floors, high ceilings and thick walls proved a pretty difficult task. Most apartments on the market had been subject to botched renovations, so when they found something that met their criteria, they snapped it up, even though the space required a pretty extensive renovation to restore it to its original glory (with a modern twist). I love the painted white floors. Thanks, Vesa & Riikka! — Amy A.

Image above: The desk chair is from a set of chairs by Ilmari Tapiovaara that we found several years ago from a local vintage store. We got the whole set of four mint-condition chairs and a dining table for a very good price. Immediately after we came out of the store, a man in a 1950s Volvo Amazon tried desperately to buy them from us.

Image above: I love the light feeling of our dining table. We spent many years coveting the Eames DSW chairs before we finally got them. They mix well with Tapiovaara’s Fanett chairs.

CLICK HERE for more of Vesa & Riikka’s Helsinki home!

Image above: The silkscreen print is by Sanna Annukka, whose work I admire. The table we found at a local vintage store, and we immediately fell in love with its juxtaposition of different materials, plastic, glass and brass. The old beer bottle crate was rescued from the garbage. I was cycling past a construction site and saw the workers throwing all the old stuff away. Luckily, I was on time to save this beautiful item and gave it another life as magazine storage.

Image above: We like to collect old glass items — bottles, vases, jars, etc. The wooden shelf and old key are from Riikka’s grandparents’ ranch.

Image above: The lamp is by Eero Aarnio, one of the most famous Finnish designers of all time. On the Vitra table by Eames are two sympathetic figures from Kid Robot, Finnish glassware from Iittala and a series of old photos from 1930s New York that I got from my dad. I took the photo of the “love” statue on one of our trips to NY and made a silkscreen print out of it, as I felt it would fit nicely in our home with its lovely message. We’ve visited NY several times, as Riikka has several relatives living in the city.

Suggested For You


Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.