White walls, birch wood furniture and lots of IKEA accessories is the overall picture that comes to our minds when someone talks about a Finnish home. But, today I would like to share one of the most recently completed interior design project by a friend and colleague of mine, Italian designer Maurizio Giovannoni. In my interview with Maurizio, he recalls his first meeting with his client Juhana Torkki which took place in the beautiful city of Rio de Janerio in Brazil popular for it’s beautiful beaches, palm trees and caipirinhas. Giovannoni was hired to design Torkki’s 65 sq meters apartment in the city of Turku in Southern Finland. The biggest challenge for Giovannoni was to create a concept which would balance his preference of the Mediterranean color pallet with the ‘All White‘ Scandinavian style homes.
During the renovation phase, the installation team had to get rid of the extra walls and doors that was an obstruction to the flow of energy, passage for light and moreover the magnificent view of the historical sites of Turku. The biggest challenge for Maurizio was to keep in mind the winter darkness and create a space which would allow sufficient daylight into the interiors. Also, it was an exciting challenge to create a living room that was not only relaxing, but also colorful and inspirational to do creative work.
The overall concept is somewhat like a ‘Fusion style’ blending the two cultures – the Mediterranean and Finnish! The floor is covered with parquet of white ash, the shelves are in signature IKEA color – Birch while the kitchen table is also birch but coated with a darker stain. Wood is an omnipresent element in this Finnish home, but the highlight of the space is the nature themed wallpaper from Conceptuwall behind the sofa which was purchased from the furniture brand Sope. The furniture is a mix of the two cultures and also of the past & present: the grandmother’s armchair designed by young Finnish designer Kuisma Hurtig is a piece of Finnish vintage from the sixties as so is the red floor lamp. The curved white floor lamp is by Italian Lighting brand Foscarini and the suspended lamps named Olimpia come from the brand Ideal Lux. This beautiful design by my friend and colleague Maurizio reminds me of the line by Robert L Peters, “Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.” !!
Photography by Mikko Ala-Peijari