The visitors are met at the door by a happy foursome: Arman and Oscar, a pair of Shi Zhus, welcome the guests, and Antti Tuominen-Pyy and Jari Pyy lead them further into their home. The couple’s two-room apartment is flooded with light and warm atmosphere, even though the outdoor temperature is at a record-breaking low.
At first glance, it is difficult to believe that the apartment-building on Puualhonpolku, next to the Kerava train station, is 40 years old. The house, built in the 1970s, was recently fully renovated from floor to ceiling, and the new residents got to move into their homes last summer. That is when Pyy and Tuominen-Pyy also found their new home.
“It was an easy choice to make, because here everything felt right. The location couldn’t be any better, the views are great and even the floorplan functions well, because practically not a single square metre of floor area has been wasted,” Jari Pyy says, when showing the apartment.
However, ‘great’ is not enough to describe the views that open up from the apartment’s windows. From the kitchen window and balcony of the apartment, located on the sixth floor, you have a direct view into the adjacent park, and the bedroom window offers a magnificent view over the Kerava train station and far above the city centre.
“Kerava is an absolutely fantastic place to live. There’s just the right amount of people living here, and the services are nearby. On the other hand, it’s also very easy to get away from here. The fastest train takes you to the Helsinki city centre in 17 minutes, and you can reach the airport in 15 minutes.” In addition, there are excellent opportunities for walking the dogs,” Tuominen-Pyy continues.
Quick access to the world
The couple highly values good connections, because they are avid travellers. Every year, they make at least three trips abroad, and most often the destinations are Thailand and Spain.
The couple’s interest in travelling is also visible in their home, as, since there are souvenirs to admire in every room of the apartment. Every object seems to have a story.
“The house on top of the bedroom shelf is a Thai spirit house, the purpose of which is to remember and appease the spirits of the earth. The travel tickets and stones collected from beaches that are set inside the living room coffee table are memories from past travels,” Tuominen-Pyy explains.
Interior decoration is primarily Antti Tuominen-Pyy’s hobby, for which he seeks inspiration not only from his travels, but also from flea markets, for instance.
“For me, home is a safe haven, so it’s important to me to have a good spirit here and everything in its own place,” Tuominen-Pyy continues.
The kitchen, on the other hand, is Jari's domain.
“Having a functional and modern kitchen at home is very important to us. I do a lot of cooking and here it’s nice to prepare a dinner even for a small gathering of people,” says now-retired Pyy, who used to work as a restaurant manager.
Fourth Lumo home lucky
The apartment next to the train station is not the couple's first Lumo home. The earlier homes were also located in Kerava, although for the last couple of years the couple lived in Hyrylä of Tuusula.
“We moved there because of Antti’s work, but then his work moved back to Kerava. It suited us fine, as we like it here because of the good transport links,” says Jari Pyy.
According to the couple, it has been easy to move from one Lumo home to another.
“This is our fourth Lumo home in 15 years. Moving from one apartment to the next has gone smoothly.”
Both Tuominen-Pyy and Pyy agree that they would not easily change their current home for anything else. With its 58 square metres, the two-room apartment has quite enough space, and the couple does not mind that the apartment does not have its own sauna.
“Earlier, we used to use our sauna mainly as a storage room. Now, the housing company has three saunas for common use, so we have a chance to take a sauna if we so wish.”
The thing that matters the most to the couple at home is peace – and there is plenty of peace here, because, despite the central location, not a sound can be heard from the train station.
“The proximity to the station has only positive effects on our lives. Of course, the fact that the general impression of the house is neat and tidy also contributes to the attractive living environment. We appreciate that everything has been renovated, including all the surfaces.”
The sense of community prevailing in the housing company also improves the comfort of living.
“The house is inhabited by both families with children and pensioners living alone, but we are all getting along very well. This is also a very international house. There are not only Finns living here, but also Estonians, Russians and Indians, for example,” Pyy continues.
Inspired by the sense of community
Both Pyy and Tuominen-Pyy are active in the building's own Lumo team. Jari Pyy is also a team leader.
“It was easy to get involved, because we do a lot of volunteering otherwise as well, and we have enough time on our hands. Furthermore, this is a really good way to get to know your neighbours. We all moved here at the same time in the summer after the renovation was completed, so it has been nice to plan things related to the house together.”
Joint planning has also brought results. Last year, one of the house's club rooms was turned into a sewing and crafting room with programming arranged weekly. The other club room has a kitchen, so it has already hosted a few common housing company parties.
“The Halloween party was a success. We held a housing company's work party during the day, and after that the evening continued with a salad buffet in the club room. Right now, we are planning themed food evenings. It would be nice if we could get together to cook and taste the dishes of different nationalities living in the house,” Pyy reflects.
Since there are many children living in the house, next, the Lumo team is planning to organise childcare assistance.
“We have our own Facebook site for the residents of the building where we reflect upon these issues and take different suggestions into account. The building has 66 apartments. I think we know practically all the residents if we leave out the newest neighbours who have just moved in,” Pyy says with a laugh.
The communal building has brought new friends to the couple, and volunteering in the Lumo team has not felt burdensome – quite the contrary.
“Here, we have met a huge number of amazing new people within a short time. People from teenagers to old ladies have taken part in managing the housing company's common affairs, which is a great thing, since it has also expanded our own perspective on matters and different people. Being part of the Lumo team has definitely given us more than it has taken,” Pyy sums up his experience.