PLACES Better Bedrooms

Cabin fever for the bedroom

 

How do you translate memories of home into the bones of your bedroom? In the heart of Paris, a Finnish designer has captured the spirit of summer houses from her homeland in a 100-day sleepover installation.

Koti is made up of a cozy jumble of spruce timber cabins, inspired by family-owned summer house clusters that grow along with the generations. Their structure invites daytime visitors and overnighters to experience a simple and communal way of living by creating a shared ‘indoor-outdoor’ space. The cabins, just like in the height of Finnish summer, are used almost exclusively for sleeping. Linda Bergroth, the interior architect and product designer behind the installation, explains, “Finnish summers are so short, so everything happens outdoors. You do your dishes, your cooking, you bathe in the sun and the lake and you only go inside to sleep.”

Below, Linda explains how she created interiors to reflect the “nightless nights” of Finnish summers in the compact spaces. Consider her three key elements – storytelling, materials of comfort and scale – perhaps they will inspire you tell your own bedroom tale.

Every interior tells a story

“Summer houses are really at the core of Finnish identity. Everyone has one; it can be something really humble. What I love is they’re very often something that runs in the family and co-owned by many generations or siblings. Over the years the family gets bigger and everyone builds their own separate cottage and little by little they become like villages. Because summer houses are shared it changes the way that you behave there. Normally if you’re in the city you invite people over – you’re the host, they are the guests – but here the roles change a bit so that everyone is kind of both at the same time. The way of spending time at the summer cottage is not about parties, it’s about carrying water or peeling potatoes together…that’s Finnish quality time.”

“Finnish summers are so short, so everything happens outdoors. You do your dishes, your cooking, you bathe in the sun and the lake and you only go inside to sleep.”

Material comfort

“The starting point was this Finnish building type called ‘aitta’ which is kind of this shack, and extra building that everyone has. The aitta are traditionally very humble. You would have the bed, a candle, the stool, a mirror maybe one hanger for your clothes and that’s it. The walls of the Koti cabins are made like blinds so that you can see when you’re  inside. It’s like a very small chapel, the way the light comes in. Then at night time when you’re inside with the light on it becomes like a kind of lampshade and from outside you see if someone’s sleeping or not. Because it’s about the summer cottage and this lightness of the Finnish ‘nightless’ night in the summer time, I wanted to work with medium or small scale brands that specialise in certain materials like wood, linen or certain lighting. They are all natural products with artisanal or half-artisanal, hand-made manufacturing.”

Psst, to get the look, you can find the full list of Finnish designers Linda collaborated with here.

“The walls of the Koti cabins are made like blinds so that you can see when you’re inside. Then at night time when you’re inside with the light on it becomes like a kind of lampshade.”

Place Yourself

“When I’m thinking of a bedroom, for me it’s important to think of the scale of the body and what you need around you – where you place your glass of water or something. And, because things need to be close to your body I think about the materials, whether they are tactile, how they feel on your skin. You also need to think about how they patinate with time. With wood, it gets messy, over time greasy hands that leave prints. Think of how things relate to the human body.”

“The 'aitta' are traditionally very humble. You would have the bed, a candle, the stool, a mirror maybe one hanger for your clothes and that’s it.”

“Because things need to be close to your body I think about the materials, whether they are tactile, how they feel on your skin. You also need to think about how they patinate with time.”

The Koti project celebrates the centenary of Finnish independence. The installation is one of various projects hosted by Finnish Cultural Institutes throughout Europe that interpret the different meanings of home in 2017. Find out more about Linda’s work here.

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