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Our Recycled Home

Our studio apartment opens its doors in Kamppi, Helsinki. The city center is just a few minutes walk away and the seaside is just around the corner. We wanted a home in the center in order to make moving around with public transport easier as neither of us have a car, and Peter lives some of his time in Turku.

Our house has many stories as it was built in 1985. The small apartment has apparently previously been part of a larger home. Now the 25 square meter apartment is a nice studio apartment with a loft bed. Large windows open opposite the entrance, bringing a lot of space and light. The large white surfaces bring also a bright atmosphere.

We wanted to build a home that is easy to move, store and transfer with the public transport. We also hoped for a home which can be easily changed around according to the liking, thanks to the easy puzzle like furniture.
We did not want to buy a new decor, we made furniture ourselves, renewed some old things, visited flea markets & found stuff from the dumpsters.

We built a foundation for the decoration of what was ready. Our home and interior design has built up gradually over three years. We enjoyed the journey and now the final result. In many cases, home decor is picked as ready made packages from decoration magazines and the decor is bought as new from the major retail chains. These homes will be missing the story & the soul, and they often don’t tell a lot about the owners.

The swing that is hanging can be easily put away if needed to, but usually we just let in hang, because it’s a fun seat for our guest. We are both also photographers, so if needed, from the ceiling you can pull down a studio background paper.

We got Peter’s mother old foam mattresses for the sofa. They have been in use for almost probably 30 years. We cut in half the mattresses and overlaid them with denim fabrics found from an old abandoned house. We coloured them black and got them sewed in recycling center. The sofa frame is built from two truck stagings, one sawed shorter for the dimensions of the mattress to fit.

Under the sofa and also under the table, there are tires, which makes it easy to change the decor to your preference, even if it would change every week. If there come guest for sleepover, the two sofa pieces can be combined with a built in locking system, which turn the sofa into a guest bed. The oak table and it’s legs are from Peter’s old work place. They are connected from two reclamation tables, which were going to be thrown in the dumbster. The legs and head are therefore from different tables, both of which are oak, so you don’t really notice it. It was waiting for the right place for several years and now it was being sawn to fit the dimensions of the apartment. Rattan chair is found from the apartments courtyard in the waste from when the housing company cleaned up the attic. It had apparently been due to pick up by the trash company, because of loosened braids that have been corrected now with a rope.

The old mirror panel, which works also as a chalkboard, was also found from our apartment complex dumpster. Mirror has a small crack in it, but it does not bother us. It got a new background color from black chalkboard which we painted on it.

From the dumpster we found also two stools, a working magnetboard, painted black wooden pieces, black carpet, functional separation grid, fruit basket, rattan laundry basket, olive tree and picture frames whose posters have been ordered  from a friend’s company Magia Graphics. Also a big painted black suitcase found in the apartment complex trash can. It is now part of the interior, giving more storage space in a small apartment. A friend’s company had additional small wood boxes for free, which we put on top of each other under the clothing rack to get more storage below. In the addition to the luggage, the black paintwork were also applied to the metal grid, metal trolley / shelf, previously green-colored light strip and the kitchens metal baskets.

That’s what we could not find in the dumpsters, we acquired a large extent from flea markets and recycling facebook groups. Some of which were the carnival light strip, metal baskets, cutlery, cookware, textiles. Many are scared of the idea of using dining textiles or the dining instruments which are found from the flea market , especially if they are from a dumpster, but yes even the finest restaurants have had their cutlery in many mouths, and yes even  the five-star hotel linens are used and washed several times. Sofa and armchair cushion covers are probably the only ones in our apartment that are new textiles are made by Saarinen and Saana and Olli’s natural materials, simple Finnish design.

As we are vegan and interested in raw food kitchen, our kitchen may be different from the usual. There is only one cooking plates and there is no oven at all. Microwave is taken is taken to the storage and is no longer visible in our home. Food in our home is completed largely without heating, with a blender and a food processor. We just ordered also Sedona dehydrator, in which the food is dried but not heated to more than 42 degrees, so the food is not destroyed by heating and the nutrients are stored, when it is done at a low temperature.

Our small toile is full of old-looking bottles. Cosmetics and daily hygiene products bottles also can be beautiful. Dark purple and brown glass bottles are aesthetic and preserves better than plastic packaging. Our friends Company Real Beauty and Limepop are definitely my favorite cosmetics. Both companies products are either an individual ingredients or a combination of just a few simple ingredients. The same applies to cleaning, laundry and detergents. We do not want to eat toxic residues on the plate or expose our skin to toxins even in textiles. We want to know what we eat or what we put on our skin. We have both worked also at an Ecostore called Ekokauppa Ekolo, so health and caring for the environment has been our job and also both a way of life and an important part of our everyday life.

Photos: Peter Linden Photography
Decor: Peter & Ragnar
Decoration: Minna Linden (Keramiikka Matami)

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