Iina Lehtimäki opens the door even before the doorbell begins to ring. After that, the attention is stolen by Vili the dog, running around everyone’s legs and barking with enthusiasm, unable to decide which way to go. Once the guests are indoors, Vili catches a tennis ball and challenges us to play.
The 21-year-old vblogger Iina lives in Hervanta, Tampere, with her boyfriend Teemu Levänen and Vili, at the distance of about twenty minutes’ bus ride from the city centre. The two-room apartment on the third floor of the apartment building completed in 2012 is light-coloured and fresh: the colours used in the decor are white, grey, pink and gold. The sunlight is flooding in through large windows.
The couple’s first own home is a Lumo home
The search for an apartment began last summer, when it was confirmed that Lehtimäki got a study place at the University of Tampere.
“I had been thinking about moving to either Tampere or Jyväskylä even before I knew about the study place. We were looking for a suitable Lumo home and checking them out, for example, on the internet, and we had some other contacts as well. We found this place at the end of June,” says Iina.
The 49.5-square-metre apartment has an open-plan kitchen and living room, a bedroom, a sauna, a spacious bathroom and a glazed balcony. The home can be seen in the background of many of the video blogs Iina has made for Youtube under the pseudonym Iinaps.
The couple moved to Tampere, where Iina’s studies took them from Kouvola at the beginning of August, on their own and with the assistance of friends using a rental van. For both Iina and Teemu, the two-room apartment is their first own apartment after their childhood homes.
Furniture for the new home from stores and parents
The only furniture Iina and Teemu had beforehand for their apartment was a bed and a set of shelves. Teemu’s mother gave the curtains, table and chairs for the kitchen, as well as the TV stand. The curtains for the living room and bedroom the couple found in the cabinets of Iina’s mother. Everything else they acquired themselves.
According to Iina, as far as the colour scheme of the decor is concerned, she has not yet quite figured out a theme for it.
“We have some light pink and pinkish colours here. Around the work desk, we have some gold but, on the other hand, the kitchen is grey, so I don’t really know which style is the dominant one.”
The wall behind the desk was painted cream in November. The couple painted the wall themselves, the paints and equipment being provided by Lumo. The gold-framed pictures on the wall and the golden lamp on the desk are in harmony with the warm-hued background.
The open-plan living room and kitchen is separated by a white worktop that was not part of the original fittings.
“It's a cabinet we bought and assembled ourselves. It acts as an extra table top and gives additional space. I cannot reach very high, so that’s another reason why I prefer low cabinets,” says Iina.
There was also another ulterior motive for acquiring it: for the food videos, it was good to have a worktop that can be filmed from the direction of the living room.
YouTube videos and workouts
On Iina’s popular YouTube channel, the apartment can be seen as it is in everyday life situations. The subjects of vlogs arise from Iina’s own life, experiences and the wishes of subscribers.
“I don't style my home for the videos, but I do a little bit of cleaning up,” Iina admits.
At Iina’s home, the shooting of YouTube videos is visible mainly in the fact that there are two black tripods for shooting lights on the as yet unfurnished balcony, and there is a small camera on the kitchen worktop.
In addition to studies, work and video shoots, the matter that sets the pace for everyday life at home is doing sports. Iina’s hobby is sprinting, and she has 4 to 5 running practices a week. Teemu, who used to play football, jogs and goes to the gym. Home workouts are done on the rug between the kitchen and the living room. From behind Vili’s toy box, next to the TV, Iina and Teemu grab a gym mat, a rubber band or a foam roller.
“They take you quite far. I do my core exercises at home in addition to joint exercises. Sometimes we also go jogging together. An unpaved walking route, continuing all the way to the Suolijärvi lake, goes just past our house.”
“In autumn, I went to the ski slope that you can see from the windows to do some hill workout, and that is also a good place for throwing sticks for Vili.”
Vili likes the new home as well
Pets are always welcome in Lumo homes, and so is Vili. The five-year-old mixed breed dog Vili guards the apartment when the master and mistress are at work or at school. He got used to the sounds of an apartment building already in the family home in Kouvola, and here they are muffled by good sound insulation. Once, when she left home, Iina left her GoPro camera filming Vili’s activities for a day.
“I wanted to make sure that he does not bark here. But all he did was sleep on the sofa, with something awakening him every now and then. In Kouvola, another dog excited Vili to bark as well.”
Now, being the only dog in the house, Vili is allowed to go everywhere in the apartment. Every now and then, he jumps next to the person sitting on the sofa or bed, staring at him or her with his warm brown eyes.
“He sleeps with us, and has his own pillow. He’s been used to that since he was a small puppy,” Iina reveals.
After having lived eight months in their new home, Iina and Teemu have become familiar with Hervanta and Tampere. Near them, they have the Duo shopping centre with its services, and the bus to the city centre leaves right from the front of their house: you can see the bus stop from the window.
“I like watching traffic pass by; we could see the highway from our home in Kouvola as well. We have settled in well,” says Iina.
Living in their own apartment has gone without any major mishaps. Housework is done by the one who first takes the up the chore. Iina says that she is often the one who does the laundry and makes food but cannot quite keep up the same standards as her mother.
“My mother used to do the laundry very often, and I sometimes notice that we have accumulated quite a pile of dirty laundry. The most challenging thing are the meals and how to get them scheduled right. I eat at school, but I cook another meal in the evening at home. That's why I’ve been really busy.”
Taking it easy on days off
Teemu returns from his work at the gym in the afternoon, grabs a bite from the fridge, sits down to eat in the kitchen, and seems to be satisfied with his home.
“This is great as our first own home. A year ago, I couldn’t have expected anything like this. We also have plenty of room, so, we’re not confined into a single room only.”
He also praises the good sound insulation of the building that ensures peace and quiet even when someone is making noise around them.
“Even if the neighbours are having a party, we don’t hear a thing.”
On their evenings off, the couple sits on the sofa, watches Posse, Putous or films on Netflix, and orders take-out food.
“Friends come over if we happen to arrange a housewarming or a birthday party, but otherwise we don’t get that many visitors. They are also all students leading busy lives,” says Iina.