22nd May 2020

I seem to have settled into a habit of late night scrolling on Pinterest, usually just before I pop my phone onto airplane and head to bed, but first I’ll tap open Pinterest for a quick browse – you know, five minutes, not a moment longer – and half an hour later I’m still there because I’ve happened across a timber-clad house and that’s led me to lots of other timber-clad houses, and then I’m sucked into a Pinterest vortex of timber cabins. Which is what happened here, when I came across Villa Rauhanniemi, the beautiful vacation home of Joanna Laajisto, the creative talent behind the Finnish architecture practice Studio Joanna Laajisto. Before going any further, can we take a second to appreciate this combo of herringbone brick floor and timber panelling below? Gorgeous.

Located near the Karjalohja lake in the south of Finland, this house is connected to nature both in its relationship with the land it rests on and the natural world that surrounds it. The latter is drawn inside thanks to the full-height glazing, and in the palette of natural materials used throughout, from the external cladding to the pared back use of timber detailing internally. This palette means that the colour comes from the changing landscape as those giant windows frame the views through the trees to the lake. The interior is minimal, but not cold. There’s nothing clinical or hard about these spaces. Rather, the house offers a warm and calm, tactile haven; a retreat from the world where you could be connected to the shifting seasons and changing light.

This, right here, would be my dream home. It’s this connection with nature that I long for at home, and hope to experience one day.

See more on Studio Joanna Laajisto.

Photography by @mikkoryhanen via Studio Joanna Laajisto.