Wednesday, January 22, 2014

finnish apartment room layouts

Before we even firmly decided to move to Finland, I had decided that I was only going to shop at thrift stores and I was going to patiently bide my time and make-do with nothing until I found the right something for my new home. But now that we're here, I've changed my mind.

I don't know if any of you have ever gone from having a lot of stuff (some would say too much) to absolutely nothing, but it's hard. Every time you reach for something and it's not there, is really frustrating. It gets to the point where you've had enough of not having what you need and seeing stacks and bags of your things on the floor (that you're constantly having to rummage through like a pack rat).

So yes, we found a thrift store close to us, but it was a major let down. I was so hoping to find more old vintage-y Finnish-style things and even more helpful kitchen items -- like a cheese grater -- rather than just cast off IKEA kitchen stuff and really (really) worn and disgusting IKEA furniture. Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that if my only option is to buy junk IKEA things at the thrift stores, I might as well buy nice new IKEA things that I actually like.

Something to note is that this apartment came semi-furnished. The unfortunate part is that I'm definitely not using any of the decorations or rugs because of their colour. Almost everything is either brown, red, or orange. So despite the fact that it would be easier and cheaper to just work around these things, to me, these particular shades of red and orange are really the worst when put together.

What I am keeping includes: 

2 TROGSTA lamps, (maybe) 2 NOLMYRA chairs in black, 2 LINNMON/ADILS tables, 2 vintage or thrift club-style chairs in grey with pastel green, purple, and blue flecks (these were a major bonus since they were covered with orange blankets, I had no idea there was amazing fabric underneath until we moved in), 2 ADDE chairs in white; (maybe) 1 LACK tv unit in white, and (maybe) 2 LACK tables in black.

{living room/office}

living room

I was experimenting with more colourful pieces from IKEA and ended up with something I really truly love. It was kind of an unexpected colour palette, but I really like how bright and happy it is.

It all started with the {1} NITTORP in blue. I wanted a tv stand that wasn't particle board and I figured, "what the hell? Go with colour for once!"; And when I started considering fabric instead of premade curtain panels, {2} Malin Cirkel fabric was kind of a no-brainer. I love the ikat pattern; A quick test run of the {3} STOCKHOLM rug in yellow and the living room is all set. This picture has changed about a thousand times since I started working on it, but I think I'm finally pleased with it!

The living room is big enough to include our office space which isn't pictured because it'll just be one of the LINNMON tables plus the grey chairs as mentioned above.

{master bedroom}


In comparison to the living room, the bedroom will be a little more understated. It's better to have a more calming atmosphere where you sleep and I really wanted to be sure to get black-out curtains since this room is surrounded by street lamps.

Everything started with the bed and the bedding. I really want the {1} BEITSTAD headboard but I'm not sure about it cuz it would have to be free-standing due to the bed style. We've already got the Anno bedding from Kodin 1. I'm going european with my bedding options and using a flat bottom sheet with a duvet cover only. Like everyone, I love the {2} R├ůSKOG kitchen trolly (green or grey?), and I thought it might be useful as a bedside table. It provides a lot of storage (and keeps tubes of chapstick from rolling away), though, if we can, we might use the {3} RAST dressers as side tables instead. They're so versatile that way. Should I paint them (like one of the amazing RAST makeovers out there), or leave them plain with interesting knobs? The wood isn't as yellow as I thought it was going to be, so the natural look has really grown on me these past few weeks (and maybe it's the country wearing on me, but natural wood looks surprisingly good with grey).

{baby room/dressing room}

baby room

I figure this final room is a good way to announce that I'm pregnant. I didn't really want to mention anything about it on the blog because I absolutely hate it when blogs turn mommy. But don't worry, I'm just about done cooking this turkey (2 months to go) so you're not going to have to endure any of that. This is my main reason for wanting to get things done around here as soon as possible. I'm way too exhausted, uncomfortable, and grumpy to walk my way around Helsinki trying to find things (I won't lie to you like I now think a lot of people do. Pregnancy is awful and I don't particularly want to do it again). Anyway, there shouldn't be much (if any) baby stuff showing up around here, I just loved the colour outcome in this room and had to share it with you.

This is also our dressing room because it's the only room with a closet system. It's the smaller room and it's dark and kind of depressing with only one sliver of a window and no view, so we both figure that dark is better for a newborn and (let's get serious here) what do they need a big bright, heavily windowed room for?

I found one curtain panel at the thrift store in this {1} FINLAYSON pattern (only existing in pillow form online) from Kodin 1. It was pretty much meant to be since the colours were 100% what I've been thinking about this whole time. I spotted the {2} Bellini rocking chair at Kodin 1 on sale, so I jumped at the chance to get it (it's now sold out). It looks very similar to this tutorial (which I loved and became obsessed with) and the price actually ended up being cheaper than if I did the tutorial myself (given the fact that I no longer have any tools or supplies or space or bendability anymore). And because of the lines and graphic patterns in the fabric (it's hard to tell from the photo), I really had to add black and white which is where the {3} VIRRING rug (which I wish came in a larger room size) and black and white furniture comes in.

The rooms don't look too IKEA-y, do they?

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