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A stylist’s Helsinki apartment makes a big statement

Interior stylist Susanna Vento’s minimal yet playful touch transformed this small apartment in Finland

white kitchen, Finland, open plan kitchen

The open-plan kitchen was designed by Susanna and built by local Finnish carpenters to her specifications. A long cupboard features double depth drawers for extra storage.


White painted floors, walls and ceilings with graphic pops of black and natural wood accents complete the scene in stylist and interior designer Susanna Vento’s Helsinki, Finland apartment.
At just 61 square metres and comprising of three rooms – one main bedroom, three-year-old daughter Varpu’s bedroom and an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, this small apartment required Susanna and husband Jussi Vento to think outside the square when it came to design, styling and use of space.

black dining table, odd chairs, black calendar, black and white

The long dining room table from Ikea has been spray-lacquered in a high-gloss black. The mismatched dining chairs were picked up from various places and add a quirky vibe to the room. The calendar was found online and below it a Charles Eames table holds a stack of magazines.

The three rooms are interconnected via double doors that open up to let light flow freely through the spaces or remain closed when needed to let the individual rooms function on their own. It’s a practical solution that is also entirely necessary.

white-framed tv, art wall

A white-framed TV blends into the wall surrounded by family photos, art and other pieces collected by Susanna.


There’s no sofa to lounge on in the living room, instead there’s a large kitchen table around which the family and their friends like to gather. There’s also no TV on the living room wall; it’s positioned in the main bedroom where it blends into the wall surrounded by art and other keepsakes. The living room itself is an open-plan kitchen and dining area too. The kitchen runs along one wall of the dining area with custom-made units housing only the absolute necessities such as an oven, a dishwasher and a long extendable cupboard for tableware. The showstopping white fridge has been placed on its own in the centre and everything in the space has been kept the same white tone as the floors, walls and ceiling making it a more integrated area.

Smeg fridge wardrobe

An old Smeg fridge has been transformed into a wardrobe for Varpu’s clothes. The lightshade is by Normann Copenhagen.


Elsewhere in the apartment, sleek white combines with punchy graphic elements. Susanna doesn’t suffer from colour phobia, instead she uses colour to offset the clean lines of the rooms beautifully.

In daughter Varpu’s room a wall of wallpaper featuring black pine trees faces the rest of the apartment, adding a frame effect around the doorway.

Pine tree wallpaper, Fine Little Day frames

Pine tree wallpaper by Gran from Fine Little Day frames the doorway facing the living room in Varpu’s room. The rooms are interconnected but can be closed off.


Rather than hang art on the walls, in the open-plan space artwork leans against them. Only a single black calendar has made it onto the wall creating a high impact contrast to the very white surfaces.
Nothing has been left to chance in this interior, which is clear to see – yet there’s no clearly defined interior design philosophy being followed either. Items displayed in the home have obvious meaning and personality and have been edited and arranged according to Susanna’s stylist’s eye.

white bedroom, pop colour

The main bedroom continues the white theme on the floors, walls and ceilings, leaving the softer elements of the interior to do the talking.


There’s room for play in this home too, whether it be the blue-painted tips of chair legs to match the rug they sit on – or the simple, yet quirky addition of a black and white calendar hung in an entirely white kitchen with two black pieces of tape.

White office, pop colour, trestle table

An office space takes up one corner of the room and features a trestle table from Ikea.


Style secrets

  • White paint has been used extensively on the walls, ceiling and even the floors, making this apartment feel considerably larger than it is and creating a sense of cohesion throughout.
  • Savvy storage solutions are everywhere – from white-painted boxes in the hallway, built-in cupboards in Varpu’s room and double-depth kitchen drawers to funky wall shelves. Varpu’s wardrobe is a repurposed white fridge.
  • The white walls are offset with graphic black prints in the form of wallpaper, posters and cool patterned floor rugs.


hallway, water pipe clothes rack, white boxes

The hallway doubles as a wardrobe with a single water pipe suspended from the ceiling. White-painted boxes store gloves, hats and scarves.


Words and styling by: Lykke Foged
Photography by: Morten Holtum/Living Inside

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