The view from the balcony of Károly Saittio and Noora Pulkka’s two-room apartment is not of the most usual kind. Behind the balcony glazing grows a pine forest. Behind the forest and on its side, the view opens up to the sea as well as a beach with a seaside sauna and a swimming pier. Every now and then you can see a ship passing by on the sea.
Saittio and Pulkka moved from Kallio into the two-room apartment with 47 square metres on Ramsinranta in November 2017.
“After having lived several years in the hustle and bustle of Kallio, the natural surroundings and closeness to nature made a great impression on us,” says Pulkka.
They needed to move, when their previous rental apartment in Kallio was sold after they had lived there for a year. The search for a new apartment and the timing of the move were easy thanks to the Lumo webstore, where the different options could be easily browsed. It was also a positive thing that no security deposit was needed; it sufficed that the couple’s credit information was in order.
“We used the security deposit we got back from our old apartment for a trip to Bali. We moved into our new home in November and spent the month of January in Bali,” Károly and Noora recount.
In a Lumo home, you can listen to Spotify via ceiling speakers
In summer, Károly and Noora’s home seems to be filled with nature and its own serenity. The atmosphere of greenness, reminiscent of a summer cottage, is slightly different in winter.
“It was really dark here in winter, as the apartment was not illuminated by any city lights. In the evenings, there was only a little light shining in from the beach,” Noora explains.
From Palmsenpolku, it takes 5 to 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop, and there is a walking trail to the Vuosaari metro station along the beach. Noora works in Helsinki city centre and Károly in Jumbo, Vantaa. They go to work by public transport or by their own car.
One of the attractions of the new home can be seen above the kitchen cabinets, near the ceiling. Károly, who earlier was an active musician himself as well, took a liking to the sound system integrated into the wall. That was the decisive factor for choosing an apartment in staircase C on Palmsenpolku, because the apartments in other staircases do not have the system. The system is turned on using a button on the living room wall, and it uses a Bluetooth connection via a mobile phone. The sound comes out of two discreet white speakers mounted near the ceiling in the kitchen.
The system is in heavy use – the music most often played in the apartment is Finnish rap, reggae, hip hop and Finnish rock via Spotify.
“My favourites include Rauli Badding Somerjoki and Leevi and the Leavings,” says Károly.
Noora mentions that she also listens to audiobooks via the speakers using the BookBeat app, the latest one being the biography of Maria Veitola.
“That was good. Before that I listened to the book ‘Idiootit ympärilläni’.”
Vinyls and Aki Kaurismäki
The integrated white speakers in the kitchen are not the only speakers found in the apartment. In the living room there is another set, this one black and acquired by the residents. They are used for listening to vinyl records. On the shelf, there is a collection of vinyl albums saved from the estate of Noora's late father, supplemented with the newer albums in the adjacent box.
“The music on my father's albums is mainly country, blues and Donna Summer classics," Noora says, showing us some albums.
On the other side of the shelf, there is a row of Aki Kaurismäki films and other DVDs. The couple’s interest in travel is also visible in the apartment, in the form of books about Thailand and Bali, a globe, a map of Bangkok city centre on the bedroom wall and pictures with tropical themes above the sofa.
Noora and Károly point out that they particularly like warm countries and Asia, but they also favour tourism close to home.
“Usually, we travel once a year, as the financial situation allows. In Bali and Thailand, we spent a month, but we have also made weekend trips to Tallinn and Sweden.”
No curtains in front of the home landscape
The couple has a colourful home, where they have collected things that have a special, personal meaning. Recycling is important to them. For example, wooden wine boxes serve as bedside tables and storage boxes, and they have some sets of shelves given by relatives. The bed, coffee tables and a small dinner table have been bought as new.
There are no curtains in the apartment, because the couple has not yet found suitable ones and also because the view from the window is so magnificent. Excessive light is kept out by the blinds on the windows.
The move into the newly completed house in November went very smoothly, and it was done gradually one small step at a time.
“We brought all the small stuff with our own car in several batches. We used a van for bringing stuff only once, with a bunch of friends helping us.”
“There was no chaos, when we could bring everything gradually. We got our things unpacked on the very first weekend here,” Noora and Károly explain.
Going fishing from the backyard
In Ramsinranta, there is no fear that the forest view would one day be blocked by buildings. On the other side of the cove visible through the window, there is the Kallahdenharju Nature Reserve.
“The forest surrounding the house is also a natural area to be preserved, where construction is not allowed,” Károly informs us.
He keeps his fishing gear in the basement of the building and occasionally goes fishing on the pier. In winter, you could go walking on sea ice right from the nearest shore, and you could see people ice fishing.
The seaside sauna is shared by all adjacent houses. It can be rented for your own use against a small fee. The housing company also has its own sauna and a laundry room in two of the staircases. To top off the luxury conditions, there is a tennis court nearby.
“Sometimes, we can hear not only ship horns, but also the sounds of a hydroplane. It probably belongs to someone living in one of the villas on the other side of the bay,” guesses Károly.
Integrated sound system
- The CETgroup’s sound system solutions have been piloted in the nine apartments of staircase C on Palmsenpolku, Helsinki, since last autumn. The system will also be installed in all the apartments in the Lumo building on Iso Roobertinkatu, where the renovation will be completed at the turn of the year.
- In the sound system, a connection is established between your phone, tablet or computer and a Bluetooth-Audio receiver embedded in the wall. The sound is heard through a set of speakers integrated into the ceiling or wall.
- The system can also be installed in more rooms than one in such a manner that you can listen to multiple audio sources concurrently.
- The sound system is easiest to install during the construction or renovation of a building, and for this reason, the system is being piloted in new and renovated Lumo homes.
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