Anna Puustjärvi and her family were not supposed to move. Let alone buy a two-storey “fixer upper” that would bring them joy and despair in equal measure. A year later, the musician is in love with every wall.The light in this home is a lively presence, animating the large furniture and colorful artworks as it changes with the time of day and the weather. In the daytime, the dazzling spring sunshine floods in from every direction – from the apartment’s wide windows and from the square skylights in the hallway. As evening draws closer, the afternoon sun finds its way from the courtyard to the dinner table.
But it wasn’t always this way.
“We fell in love with this house and its potential. We had a unique opportunity to get our hands on such a big project, something you don't get a chance at every day," says Anna.
And a big project it was. The kitchen was moved, the bathrooms were completely renovated and all the surfaces were renewed. Not only did the interior require an overhaul, but the courtyard of the semi-detached house had to be dug up because tree roots had penetrated the structure and the site needed new drainage. The year-long renovation project was an emotional journey, which included moments of despair.
"I'm a rather impatient person and in the past my head would have exploded with the endless unfinished work, but as the weeks went by I got used to the green moving boxes and plastic curtains covering the windows. And on top of all the other adjustments, we had a baby. It's been a character-building project all round," Anna laughs.
The renovation gave the home, built in 1969, a new lease of life."It used to have a really dark, gloomy atmosphere. The colors were strong, straight from the 70s; dark mossy green, turquoise, black. The plank ceiling was painted black and the skylights were covered,” says Anna. “We wanted to pay homage to the era, but bring the interior into the present day. Light is really important to me. In this home, it should flow."
Although the house next door rises on an adjacent hillside, in the backyard nearby, trees and sky are visible from every direction. It's soothing, and complements an interior that is a far cry from what it once was.
As a decorator who trusts her own taste and famous intuition, Anna took on the entire interior of the home herself, apart from a few material choices and the kitchen. You can tell that the home reflects the people who live in it – colors and preferences flow from floor to floor, room to room. Colorful finger-joint paneling can be found in the tiles in the pool area as well as on the kitchen island. It’s energetic and diverse, yet all fits together pleasingly, like a jigsaw puzzle.
Anna has also freely combined new finds and old artworks accumulated over a lifetime. "We moved to a dwelling four times bigger, so we didn't get far with 120 square meters of furniture," she laughs. Now there's room for a huge corner sofa and a small living room dedicated to children's play. Small, colorful objects, playful patterns and the impressive Murano ceiling lamps, commissioned by a former tenant, make for a cheerful and coherent ensemble.
Although Anna has decorated the house in her own personal style, quickly and to her own taste, this is a home that appeals to all its occupants.
"It would have been really unfair to my daughter if she hadn't had a say in the decor of our home," says Anna.
For her own room, her daughter chose a pinkish beige shade. It also happened to be her mother's favorite. And final interior design decisions are always made together with her spouse. “Luckily he has the same taste.”
The color scheme of the home is full of muted and natural neutrals – pinks, beiges, grays, greens and blues. And of course Anna's absolute power color. Pink.
“Pink is a difficult color. You have to get the shade just right to look at it. I immediately fell in love with the cool pink wall paint, it's not at all offensive. Pink is anything but a nursery wall color. Even my husband likes pink a lot," she says.
Like the pink boudoir, the color choices for the other rooms were also based on an emotional experience. Anna is in love with every wall in her home.
"The longing for color is always there. It's linked to a longing for certain aesthetics. For me, colors always reflect something, taking you from one mood to another. I think the harmony in this home, which makes it cozy and peaceful, comes from the colors of the walls," Anna explains.
The colors flow harmoniously from one room to the next, without you even noticing. Shades of the same color palette individualize the rooms yet the overall result is balanced. Atmosphere is also created by the interplay of different materials – wood, tile, textiles – and colorful surfaces.
As our visit comes to an end, the bright midday sun has transformed into a gentle afternoon light. It filters in, refracting prisms on the green-gray wall. You can tell that this is a home that relishes the coming of spring.