In her home in the neighbourhood of Oulunkylä in Helsinki, Kristiina Kolari doesn’t keep anything old just to be safe or to sigh for the good old days. Simple style keeps her home feeling fresh and full of light.
Kristiina Kolari works in the IT industry and lives in an apartment of 70 square metres in a row house in Oulunkylä. Her adult daughter moved out long ago, and the apartment is solely Kristiina’s realm. She can decorate according to her own taste, and no compromises are necessary.
The kitchen was renovated a few years ago, and the new kitchen inspired her to renovate much of the other interior.
“I like the industrial, almost concrete-like feel that was added to the kitchen. Now, the same colour scheme can be seen throughout the downstairs, the dining area and the living room. This makes the space feel larger than before and more coherent.”
The colours of the two upstairs bedrooms remind Kristiina of the time when her daughter still lived at home.
“I still use some furniture from the 1980s. They are of high quality, timeless and look very contemporary, so I’ve let them be. Otherwise, I’m a very intuitive and impulsive when decorating my home, I buy furniture and textiles on a whim when I see them. That way, my interiors are updated all the time,” says Kolari describing how she decorates her home.
If other people lived by Kolari’s rules, they would fill their corners with too much stuff, but that’s not the case in Kolari’s home.
“I don’t keep inherited furniture or other things for emotional reasons so I’ve given my daughter a lot of them. I carefully study and admire the beautiful congratulation and Christmas cards I get but I don’t keep them,” laughs Kolari.
Cosy but not cluttered
Kristiina Kolari’s home has been decorated to be functional and practical. However, it’s not bare and bleak because Kolari loves patterns and colours. Marimekko’s pillowcases are her favourite, and she has several of them. They cheer up the living room with a light colour scheme and add interesting focal points to the interior.
“I like clear primary colours, such as yellow and green. I’m not a seasonal decorator or follow any traditional rules. I don’t change Christmas or spring curtains or use warm colours to decorate for the autumn. The decor of my home can evolve as I like it to.”
It doesn’t matter when a piece of furniture was made as long as it is of high quality and pleases the eye.
Marimekko tableware is the only thing Kolari collects systematically. They are needed when friends and family visit her.
“Friends are important to me and I like inviting them to my house. I want to eat off of beautiful tableware. And when you know you’re having guests over, it’s a great reason to clean up every corner!”
Kolari is a people person who loves to cook and dine with friends.
“My staple is lasagne, and I cook everything from the pasta sheets to the tomato sauce, that simmers for hours, myself. I loan a side table and additional chairs from my workplace if I need seating for more people.”
Kristiina Kolari is not a homebody, she loves to spend time outside with her friends, cycling along long routes in Helsinki and Espoo. She also travels a lot.
“If I have a chance to meet friends, I always choose it instead of staying at home.”
70 square metres in a row house in Oulunkylä, Helsinki.
No unnecessary stuff is accumulated. Marimekko pillow cases and tableware, among other things, add colour and joy to the functional home.
Did you enjoy this story?
Send us feedback and your ideas for stories!Click here ›