Nana and Pat are inspiring artists living with their two sons, Aïto and Oïva, in a beautiful century-old house in Switzerland. Avid collectors and art lovers, curious about everything from design, illustration and photography to snowboard culture, they needed a big house to shelter their huge collection of treasures. After meeting 15 years ago, seasoned travelers Nana, who is Finnish, and Pat, who is Dutch, fell in love and decided to settle down in a world of their own.
The idea was to create an inspiring ever-changing home built with lots of ideas and little cash. It was important for them to prioritize great quality of life, an inspiring work environment, and conscious living.
The family house is a stylish home carefully curated with vintage finds, especially post-war design and furniture. You will find an unusual collection of Scandinavian, Italian, and Swiss design mixed with childhood memories, exotic items, and personal artwork illuminated by an ever-present splash of bold colors.
It was easy to furnish the two-story house. Pat, after working for years as a senior photographer and photo editor for OnBoard Magazine Europe, decided to turn his long-standing passion for wandering thrift stores into a full-time activity and opened his first showroom, Cargo Culte. He is also extremely proud of his recently released double LP album, Homme.
Nana studied design and fashion, and now dedicates her time to illustration. Her blog and her poetic little alter ego, Nanainen, attracted the attention of an important publisher in Finland and her first book is to be released soon.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mid-century modern furniture with Scandinavian influence (Nana’s Finnish heritage is well represented in the house).
Inspiration: Natural and raw elements, childhood memories, organic forms, beautiful light, details in design, vintage finds of all sorts, music, and books.
Favorite Element: The good energy of the house, the space, and high ceilings.
Biggest Challenge: A few months ago, the city was planning to destroy the house to build commercial spaces. We got very involved politically to try to save our home and garden and also raise the issue of lack of affordable housing in city centers and of green spaces even in small towns. The good news is that we won the elections and the houses are saved.
What Friends Say: That we are lucky to have such a nice big house with a garden.
Biggest Embarrassment: Sometimes the house gets out of control and very messy, with piles of new pieces of furniture coming in, books, records everywhere.
Proudest DIY: Our sons.:) The entire house is a DIY project, the majority of the house is furnished and decorated with items we found in the street, received as presents, exchanged, etc…The idea of transforming and recycling is a powerful generator of new ideas and also very respectful of the environment.
Biggest Indulgence: Nana’s cherished vintage yellow Jopo bike shipped especially from Finland and Pat's huge collection of around 6,000 LPs.
Best Advice: Dare to create the life you envision, listen to your heart, find inspiration around you. Follow your guts.
Dream Sources: Pat's shop Cargo Culte, the street, dumpsters, flea markets, thrift stores, Salvation Army, and sometimes, Ferm Living, Muji, and Marimekko.
- Giant turquoise rug: found in an old house
- Lounge chair: Le Corbusier
- Sofa: original Studio Couch by Ercol, found in the street and stripped of its original paint for a more natural look.
- Table: Danish crafmanship
- Buffet: Knoll from the '50s
- Pendant lamp: Fog Morup
- Fireplace: original, with driftwood found by the lake
- Club chair: imitation leather from the '50s, found in the street
- Shelf: by String
- Postcard stand: vintage from the '40s
- Portrait of Pat and Nana
- Metal artwork: Czech
- Black Diamond chair: by Harry Bertoia, 1952
- Artwork on the wall: by Nana
- Dining table: found in front of the headquarters of a big corporate company, heading for the garbage bin, and rescued by Pat at the last minute
- Black chairs: first edition of Ant Chair by Arne Jacobsen 1952, given to Pat from a old lady
- Vintage turntable: by Thorens
- Vintage loudspeakers: by Georges Cabasse
- Pendant lamp: Fog Morup, found at the flea market
- Vintage leather pommel horse: found in the street
- Black vintage rocking chair: Danish inspiration
- On Nana’s altar: favorite objects like the Inuit statue, artwork from her dad, and a drawing found in an old publisher‘s house.
- Storage units: Ikea
- Curtains: Ferm Living
- Desk: Ikea, inspired by Alvar Aalto
- Details on desk and lamp: vintage from the '70s
- Wood worktable: made by Pat
- Artwork on postcard stand: by Nana
- Rubber stamps and other artwork: by Nana
- Boby storage trolley: by Joe Colombo
- Wooden chairs: vintage
- Wooden storage unit: Ikea
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