If we're going to take minimalist design notes from anybody, it is Avanto Architects. The Helsinki-based architectural design firm pays homage to Scandinavian style through their inventive structures and exquisitely minimalist design.
Among their worldwide renowned projects is, Villa Lumi – Lumi meaning snow – in Nummela, Southern Finland. Avanto designed Villa Lumi for a family who was looking for an ultra-modern home that oozes high-class design away from the humming of the nearby road, and we're taking style notes from every square foot of this effortlessly cool haven.
1. Use large windows to emphasize natural light
Thanks to the nation's famously dark winters, Finnish designers are experts at emphasizing light in the most effective ways possible, and Villa Lumi is certainly no exception. The home uses large window panes and no window dressings to ensure the home is illuminated as efficiently as possible. While all homes may are not designed in the same way as Villa Lumi, we can still the architect's technique with any kind of window, as Helsinki based Interior Designer Helena Karihtala (opens in new tab) shares:
'Due to long winters, the use of natural light is considered to be important, and we usually prefer large windows. Keeping the windows bare or using light curtains helps make the space feel open and full of natural light. The walls are also almost always a shade of white, making most of natural light.'
2. Separate rooms using furniture
While Villa Lumi exhibits a seamless open plan living, the home is partitioned by large furnishings which zone each space and give different areas a separate atmosphere. Most notably, Avanto Architects (opens in new tab) chose to separate the lounge and large dining area with the fireplace – thus creating separating rooms, despite the cool and airy open-plan atmosphere.
See: Explore a luxe Scandi villa apartment in Lidingö - an island just off Stockholm
3. Inject color through house plants and furniture
Perhaps the most stylish element of Villa Lumi is its chic white decor, which exuberates quintessentially fresh nordic style. Instead of injecting color across the walls, Villa Lumi infuses pops of color through its rainbow-kissed cushions, glassware, and large house plants, to name but a few vibrant accessories dotted around the home.
4. Use chic noise-canceling techniques
Follow Villa Lumi's effective blend of style and practicality through its ingenious use of wood, which absorbs the buzz from the nearby road. The house is surrounded by a terrace and an organic maze of trees, which helps lessen traffic noise and keep the interior space serene. The terrace is also a great place to unwind when the sun shines above this vibrant Finnish neighborhood, it is not only good-looking, but it is also multi-functional too.
See: Five interior design lessons from Finland – the happiest country in the world
5. Create monochromatic contrasts
While the white interiors are the most prominent part of the property, its stark contrasts are equally as striking. Beyond colored furnishings, look for large pieces of decor that cause a dramatic black and white palette that oozes style and signature Scandinavian sophistication.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA.
Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.
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