Inspired by the leafy streets and wooden houses of Puu-Käpylä, Joni and Ronja finally found their style. In their 1920s apartment building, intuition and a sense of fun flirt with the classics for a playful, yet practical living space.
A pale blue, stone apartment building skirts the edge of a neighborhood of quaint wooden houses. The kitchen window on the third floor overlooks the green gardens of the detached houses, while the big living room windows look over a large sunny courtyard. Welcoming color and light into their home, Ronja, Joni and their beloved dog Lovis have created their own brand of homely atmosphere in calm Käpylä.
This is a house of colors. From the narrow hallway of the historic building, you can glimpse a large, bright painting hanging on the kitchen wall and a blue-purple carpet on the living room floor. A soft pink topcoat hangs on a rack in the hallway. The spacious two-bedroom apartment reflects the multi-faceted creativity of its occupants – a musician-artist-comedian and a creative entrepreneur – it’s bright and fun, born out of a love of classics and trust in intuition.
For Ronja and Joni, their home extends far beyond their apartment – it's the surrounding nature, the narrow streets and the forest trails they walk with Lovis.
"We quickly found a sense of home here. The atmosphere in both our home and the environment around it always felt like the right fit for us," says Joni.
But it hasn't always been like that: finding their common style and creating a home that feels good has taken time and experimentation.
"Living in a rental apartment limited us finding our own style. It felt like we were guests in our own home," Joni says.
Last summer, the pieces fell into place when the couple moved to the narrow streets of verdant Puu-Käpylä. Now they can put into words what their kind of interior looks and feels like.
"Our style is a combination of classic Finnish design and colorfulness. You need to spice up the familiar with something fun," says Joni.
It's funny how to someone this bright lemon yellow might seem radical but to us it's a pale, even soft, background color that I mentally compare to white.
For this couple, decorating their home meant expressing their personalities. They felt compelled to surround themselves with the visual equivalent of the color and humor that is so integral to their lives.
"Flashy with classics is the thing. And pink, pink is the way to go. We have pink hued lights, for example, if that ambiance is what’s taking your fancy!" Ronja jokes.
While some people find peace in soft neutrals, it’s amid bright colors that Ronja and Joni find their peace. Light and dark tones create a pleasing cohesion, complementing and enriching each other, neither dominating. Yet despite its vivacious color scheme, it’s not a riot – this home is calming and inspiring, but never drab. As the couple explains, home is in the eye of the beholder.
"It's funny how to someone this bright lemon yellow might seem radical but to us it's a pale, even soft, background color that I mentally compare to white,” says Joni. “It never occurred to us to put gray or beige on the walls."
When you play with colors freely, they start to resemble a garden with flowers of myriad hues. They look great together but only if you use them without inhibition.
In fact, it all started with a mutual desire to add pink and yellow to the interior – the couple's favorite colors. And as Ronja and Joni started to give colors a chance, more and more crept across the threshold of their happy home. Soon, other colors, from bright green to orange, were invited to join in the fun.
"When you play with colors freely, they start to resemble a garden with flowers of myriad hues. They look great together but only if you use them without inhibition," says Ronja.
This attitude has been part of somewhat of a color renaissance in their lives. Previously, Ronja had black hair and they both dressed mostly in black. Now her hair is pink. The colors are here to stay and there's no going back!
Hand in glove with color comes a sense of fun. The playfulness comes from the dialogue between colors, textures and a delight in surprise details. Fluffy tufted rugs lead to the sofa, the red mass of a lava lamp bubbles up and down in the corner of the living room, and a disco ball sparkles against the white brick wall of the bedroom. The meters of vinyls that fill the bookshelves have an atmosphere of their own.
With working from home taking on a new importance, a home needs to both inspire and energize, but also invite you to relax and feel comfortable. This holds true, no matter what your job.
"It all starts with practicality. First and foremost, everything has to work. Then you can decorate on top of that," says Joni.
Also, a home should be a place that looks equally like its occupants. When moving into the new place, Joni encouraged Ronja to build her own work space in the corner of the living room. It’s a corner where she can make videos and music, and use pink and glitter to her heart’s content.
"It's important to appreciate the other's mood, style, personality and aesthetic. That energy blossoms because everyone can be themselves here," says Ronja.