Name: Viivi Arela
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Size: 230 sq ft room in a 805 sq ft apartment
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented
Living and working in a shared rental apartment hasn’t hindered
Viivi's bedroom doubles as her office many days per week while she works on her family-owned fashion label. From the chair at her working table, Viivi has a view through her alcove window onto one of Helsinki’s iconic shopping streets. Known for her skill at capturing lovely vignettes,
Viivi’s apartment sits within a
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I like a simple, clear space that mixes old with new and design with vintage and basic, affordable stuff. There can be lots of small details (I have a weak spot for still lifes!) if the overall atmosphere is not too cluttered.
Inspiration: I look a lot at pictures and hang out on the internet. Pinterest, Instagram and blogs are a huge source of inspiration, as are movies and cinematic interiors. I try to create a plain space that is easy to work and think in, but that offers visual stimulation as well. The apartment is old and not in a flawless condition, which brings it character that I like and inspires in itself.
Favorite Element: The window. It doesn’t bring in as much light in as a typical flat window would, but I love its romantic qualities and the perfect reading nook it creates.
Biggest Challenge: The room is long and narrowish, and I try to be careful not to emphasize its layout too much.
What Friends Say: They are always surprised how big and spacious a room in a shared apartment can be. And jealous of the wooden floor and ceiling height.
Biggest Embarrassment: I’ve lived here for one dark Finnish winter already but still don’t have a proper lighting fixture in the ceiling.
Biggest Indulgence: The Hay bookshelf. I had been eyeing it for quite some time and when I moved here I found it on sale, so it felt like a good time to act.
Best Advice: Do not try to get everything at once. I refuse to buy anything so-so. I’ll rather wait for the perfect items to come along. It’s surprisingly easy to get along without many things.
Dream Sources: I love Hay, Helsinki Second Hand, Artek 2nd cycle, Aero. I’d love to buy more furniture when travelling, but getting it back home feels tricky.
Resources of Note:
Wool rug: Tikau
- Book shelf: Hay
• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.
• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.
• Are you a designer/architect/decorator interested in sharing a residential project with Apartment Therapy readers? Contact the editors through our Professional Submission Form.
Updated daily with fresh tours full of photos for you to pin & enjoy!