Love. That was the most significant reason why Laura Poutanen, living in Turku at the time, started looking for a new home in Tampere.
“For a year, my boyfriend and I travelled between Turku and Tampere before we decided that I move to his city,” Poutanen says.
As an entrepreneur in the graphic sector, she works from home and her assignments are not tied to a certain location. That made the decision to move easier but, on the other hand, set some requirements for the new home.
“I do a lot of product photo shoots, in which I use natural light. Before this, finding the perfect location could take a lot of time – now the perfect spot is always there as it is my home,” says Poutanen, delighted.
Light and green plants
When Laura Poutanen was online looking for a new home in Tampere, the former Aaltonen shoe factory soon caught her attention. The building was unique and the apartment photos on the Lumo webstore looked fresh and stylish.
“I filled in the application online and I was contacted the next day. When I came to see my future home, it was still under full renovation. However, already at the threshold, I was enchanted by the large windows, taking up almost one entire wall, and the four-metre-high room,” says Poutanen.
Now the windowsill of the nearly 4-metre-wide windows is home to lemon and eucalyptus tree saplings. A cutting from a pelargonium, received from her boyfriend’s mother, is growing roots in a glass of water. Different green plants bring a dash of colour to the minimalistic black-and-white interior. Poutanen is planning to get more plants as for her, they are one of the cornerstones of cosiness.
“Some of the cabinets are still empty as there is so much storage space. The cabinets are higher than normally and sort of have extra shelves, which I can only reach with a kitchen ladder.”
Poutanen tells us that her current home is 50 per cent bigger than her previous home, even though both are single-room apartments. The 60-square-metre single-room apartment has plenty of space for the new spacious couch and a large dining table that also serves as a desk for work.
“It is a great relief that I can now write and shoot photos at home and no longer need to wonder where to find a good location for a photo shoot or a peaceful spot for working.”
Brunches with friends
For Poutanen, the most important object at her home is the tabletop on wheels, built by her boyfriend. It was built using wood from a birch that had been felled on the plot owned by the wife of Poutanen’s brother.
The heart of Poutanen’s home is the kitchen. She says that healthy food and comprehensive well-being are important for her.
“Many of my customers are companies operating in this field and in Turku, I held porridge courses in a café. It would be great to find a place for courses in Tampere, too,” says Poutanen.
At the moment, Poutanen’s cooking brings joy to her boyfriend and friends.
“This is the first of my homes that has room for a big dining table. It is lovely to ask friends over for a brunch and sit at the table for a long time, enjoying delicious food.”
Porridge gets the day off to a good start
The owner of PuuroVisuals starts each day by eating porridge. On the day of the interview, her morning porridge was made with oat milk, mango, rolled oats and peanut butter. In the summer, she can get fresh strawberries or raspberries for the porridge by walking the short distance to the Tammelantori square.
“I live in the centre of the city but close to nature, which has been a positive surprise,” says Poutanen.
She praises the excellent sports and jogging opportunities in the nearby Kauppi area. The numerous lakes, ponds, rivers and rapids have also been a source of delight for a person who grew up by the sea. Poutanen’s summer plans include at least a trip to the Viikinsaari island with the ship leaving from the Laukontori square.
One atmospheric spot can be found in the inner courtyard of Poutanen’s home building, where a garden swing and a grilling shelter, among other things, are available for the residents’ use.
“As I work alone, it’s great to have easy access to the hustle and bustle of the city streets, if I want to. On the other hand, I also value peace and quiet and the fact that I can take my laptop to the inner courtyard and work outdoors.”
Happiness is your own home
Porridge is a recurring topic when talking with Poutanen. It is one of her favourite dishes but also an integral part of the name of her company, PuuroVisuals (literally, PorridgeVisuals). Why?
“As a child, I was endowed with the nickname ‘puurolautanen’ (a plate of porridge), perhaps due to my last name that sounds a bit like ‘puuro’. My friends have called me ‘Porridge’ since childhood,” says Poutanen, with a little laugh.
The self-taught graphic expert established a company, PuuroVisuals, two years ago. At that time, her main job was at a café in Turku but then negotiations to potentially reduce personnel were suddenly started at the café. Alongside her work at the café, Poutanen had designed company logos, for instance, so she decided to see how far her wings would carry her.
“Becoming an entrepreneur was exciting and frightening but in hindsight, everything happened for a reason and now I feel I’m working in exactly the right field.”
Poutanen feels otherwise happy, too. She has a lovely boyfriend, settling in in the new hometown has gone smoothly, she has found new friends in Tampere and despite the coronavirus crisis, there has been work.
“A comfortable home plays a key role in my well-being. When I sit on my couch at home I often feel very grateful about how wonderful my life is.”