Jonna Kivilahti, the author of our beloved Happy Homes series, shares some of her precious tips.
Jonna, how would you like people to experience your books from the Happy Homes series?
I just hope that the books help people see beauty in different kinds of homes, the speciality of small details, and that they get inspired by the interior solutions they find inside.
Over the past two years, we have all learnt how important our homes are and how they can help us be better – how they can inspire us. Which is what your book Creative is all about. What is the best way to let our home support our creativity?
Creative is one of my own favourites in the Happy Homes series. Creative homes are more colourful and personal than ordinary homes. Lots of old furniture and flea-market finds or antiques make them special and different from the ordinary ones.
Also, the use of colourful paint and textiles can add power to any interior.
In Summer Houses, you provide a lot of inspiration from Finnish summer houses. In what way are they unique?
In Finland, we have a lot of nature, maybe more than European countries have in average, and most of our summer houses are situated by a lake or by the sea. Some are old and wooden, and some are modern and new and architecturally interesting, but in every case, it is very common for us to use our summer houses all year long, even in winter.
Your book White Walls is an excellent proof that white walls don’t have to be boring. What is the most efficient way of having a white interior that is also warm, welcoming and lively?
Yes, the idea behind White Walls was just that – to show that homes with white walls don’t have to feel totally white. The use of colorful furniture and textiles makes them personal, and it’s actually easy to create an intimate home even without painting the walls or using wallpapers.
What are some of the most important lessons about interior design you have learnt over your rich career as an interior journalist, designer and stylist?
Possibly that any home can be perfect in its own way. We have done editorials in both tiny and huge houses, anything between 16 m2 and 500 m2, and after all, what makes any home perfect is the owner’s personal style.
Would you say that there is a Finnish way of living?
Finnish style is influenced by Scandinavian way of living quite a lot, but maybe not so much design-wise. We have our own fabulous Finnish design heroes like Alvar Aalto and also many young, rising Finnish designer stars.
Our style is often a mixture of old and new, we also use wood a lot and prefer monochromatic use of colors.