Marimekko’s president and CEO Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko has lived in the same residential area in Helsinki for 15 years and four and a half years ago, she moved into a new home with her husband and dog, Topi. “I love this old part of Helsinki,” says the Finnish-born Alahuhta-Kasko. “It features beautiful architecture from the turn of the 20th century, the sea is close by and there are a lot of nice restaurants.”
The businesswoman used a natural color palette and earthy furniture in the home but added in the brand’s signature bold prints and colors “to bring some joy to daily life.” Like Marimekko, Alahuhta-Kasko believes in functional and timeless design with bright hues and happy prints. “Especially in Finland, where we have very long and dark winters, using color in home décor makes a big difference,” she explains.
The renovation of the home itself wasn’t a top-to-bottom project but, it was important to the couple to keep the original essence of the space and to decorate it themselves. What was crucial was getting the mix right—and not having it look like a Marimekko showroom. “I love Finnish design, such as Artek and Nikari, and love to combine them with items from brands such as Vitra or other modern Italian designers,” Alahuhta-Kasko says. “I appreciate Finnish handicraft and woodwork tradition and I love to explore antique stores in Helsinki—one of my favorites is Fasaani.” And the Fins believe in an egalitarian design philosophy. “A beautiful everyday life should be something everyone can have.”
Alahuhta-Kasko loves the open plan living room. “I love curling up on the sofa with my husband and our dog, Topi, to unwind after a long day.” Throw pillows and cushions in the brand’s prints enliven the beige sofa.
Marimekko’s signature flower print table cloth adds a pop to a neutral dining room. Natural light floods the minimalist space (at least in the summertime when there can be daylight for 18 hours) which, is used often for entertaining friends and family.
The artwork in the master bedroom was gifted to the couple by designer Jukka Rintala for their wedding.
“We have an open concept kitchen connected to the living room, and we love to cook and entertain there,” says Alahuhta-Kasko.
Patterned bed linens and pillows enliven the whitewashed master bedroom.