Feb 15, 2020

We are moving on, and so is the blog!

After some quieter times in both renovating and blogging, we are back and ready to start the new journey, and also eager to start sharing stories about it.

So, you are so warmly welcome to follow the Project Kaislaranta (eng. ”Reedy Shore”), for obvious reasons. At the moment, we are taking the first steps: finalising the designs, moving out from our current home, setting up a rental, figuring out school and daycare - the list goes on and on already.

Such exciting times ahead! We are leaving this blog as it is, but continuing sharing new stories under the old name (Olive Green) but in a new address. So if you'd like to stay tuned, bookmark www.olivegreenblog.com. See you there!

Sep 6, 2019

Time to move on

After almost seven happy years under the roof our home, we have decided to start chasing a new dream. A dream, which has been forming in our minds for quite some time already. We are going to build. 

But for one door to open, another one needs to close. Thus, with heavy hearts, we have started to look for a new owner for our beautiful home. So, if you think of someone who might like to take a peak inside, please do not hesitate to share this post with them!

It was actually quite nostalgic to do a gallery walk on the pictures best describing the unique character of our home. But first, the layout:

Next, some shots from the living room. We just adore the light coming through the big windows. And so does Urho.

How about the kitchen? Over the years we've really enjoyed the set up and the fact that one can so easily step outside to the atrium terrace. It's almost like adding one room - that is, during the summertime of course :-)

There are three bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. This shot is from one of the kids' room.

When we were transforming downstairs, we were questioning it a bit how much time we'd spend there. But in the end, it was quite the contrary. The downstairs TV area turned out to be such a fun place for the entire family to watch TV, hang out after sauna or just spend time.

One of the projects we were perhaps the most proud of was the building of the backyard slate terrace. The same slate from inside continues outside, once again bridging the interior and exterior.

Of course there needs to be a few shots of the "practical spaces". Here is a peak to the laundry room and shower, both also located downstairs.

So, if you or someone you know would be curious to see more, please drop by for a visit. You can also find more information in Oikotie.

Finally, the good news is that we can't wait to start blogging about the new project! Just need to hold on a bit more to finalise everything officially, and then it is full on! If you are curious to hear more in due time, we can guarantee a Grand Designs type of an impossibility, served Finnish style. It will be challenging, crazy, fantastic but most of all, so much fun!!

Dec 24, 2017

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Believe it or not - we are still here! No excuses for a long break from blogging other than life - perhaps that will be one of our New Year's resolutions to make a come back! Anyways, we are still very committed to our favourite Holiday Season tradition - the Christmas Poem. So with the lines below, we wish you the most fantastic Holiday Season and all the best for the New Year!

The Dynamic Trio (photo by Nani Annette and Alice Pittacolo)


The calendar chocolate has somehow gone missing,
we’ve tried to be nice, kept hugging and kissing.
Wished for some legos, a doll house and snow gear,
so anxious to welcome old Santa and reindeer!

Another year over, it’s been pretty crazy,
some upswings and downturns, no time staying lazy.
Daddy’s new office is cool and inspiring,
we can draw on the walls, see grown-ups play-doughing! 

Our home was on TV, since it’s awesome and modern,
got thumbs up from judges, was chosen to top ten.
So many voted, how kind and amazing,
the fourth place was great, journey so worth of racing.

Last summer we adventured to San Francisco,
of course with the grown-ups it was a bit of a disco.
Eames House and beaches we’ll remember forever,
Thank you Julie & Jeff, those were best of times ever!

Sofi’s quite proud of her two missing pearlies,
so brisk, smart and caring, and so very girly.
Loves drawing and swimming, knows numbers and letters,
but don’t try to dress her, she always knows better.

Eino surely expresses some genes of a monkey,
he’s a magnet for owies, yet always quite spunky.
Toy cars and Duplos, his favoured essentials,
pretends to be Batman, has warrior potential.

Mum loves playing tennis, and trains to run faster,
she’s also quite skilled with domestic disaster.
Dad hits the pool when a recharge’s in order,
rids stress and a midriff, and thinks so much broader.

It’s time to be jolly, wind down and take easy,
a glass of some gluhwine might not sound that cheesy. 
Add a slice of that turkey, don’t worry ‘bout dress code,
‘cos nothing is better than Happy Holidays chill-mode!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2018!



On luukuista rosvottu suklaat jo salaa, 
lähes kilttinä oltu, toista muistettu halaa. 
On toiveissa legot, nukkekoti ja trukki, 
missä viipyvät porot, jouluaatto ja pukki? 

On vuosi taas mennyt, mikä melkoinen retki, 
matkaan kurveja mahtuu, sitä mietitääns hetki. 
Isin työpaikka muutti, siel on melkoisen luovaa, 
kaikki seiniin voi piirtää, sekä aikuiset muovaa. 

Jaksot kauneimman kodin vihdoin telkusta tuli, 
meistä tuomarit tykkäs, niiden sydämet suli. 
Kiitos äänien teidän, oli kirimme hurja, 
nelospaikka ei kisassa ollut ollenkaan kurja. 

Viime kesänä lennettiin lomalle Friscoon, 
nähtiin monsteriautot ja pikkuinen lisko. 
Eames House ja biitsit jäi kaikille mieleen, 
oli lennotkin nastaa, mikään mennyt ei pieleen. 

Sofin suusta on hampaita irronnut kaksi, 
reipas mimmi se on, meillä käynyt on flaksi. 
Osaa piirtää ja uida ja melkein jo lukee, 
ja tietty valitsee itse mitä päällensä pukee. 

Lienee Einolla suonissaan apinan verta, 
tulee kolhuja, pipejä harva se kerta. 
Autot ja duplot, potkupyörä ja hakkain, 
supersankarit rokkaa, ehkä Batman on rakkain. 

Äiti tennistä pelaa, sillä matseja riittää, 
juoksulenkeillä ravaa, pää ja lihakset kiittää. 
Isi lelujaan bunkkerin suojassa rassaa, 
ja altaassa viihtyy ettei karttuisi massaa. 

Hei pian on joulu, relaa ystävä silloin, 
jalat pöydälle nosta, nauti glögiä illoin. 
Siivu kinkkua leikkaa, vedä verkkarit jalkaan, 
näin tuleva vuosikin rennosti alkaa!

Iloista Joulua ja Onnea Uudelle Vuodelle 2018! 

Mar 29, 2017

Behind the scenes

Related to the previous post referring to last summer's as labor camp we thought it might be fun to post a few quick and dirty behind the scenes photos (non-styled, non-edited) including some of the key characters (non-styled, non-edited) during the last few, perhaps the most intense weeks.

Pekka, Sofi and Urho witnessing arrival of Tosca slates for the front entrance

The best thing in a big project is that everyone, irrespective of what their skills are (or are not), can make themselves useful. It does not matter if you are a generalist or a more detail oriented person, a perfect task to flatter your strengths can easily be identified.

Pekka's father Kari was responsible for priming and painting the door frames

Pekka's mother Merja finished a huge number of different assignments ranging from child care to painting

If you really are a pro, your skills will not remain unutilized to their fullest potential. In these cases, the bar is set really high and tolerances at minimum. And you need to deliver. It is a family business, and no such thing as truly constructive criticism exists. Needless to say, not very many team members meet the criteria to be included in this high-class worker group.  

Pekka's sister Irmeli preparing a complicated diffuser

And then there are those tasks which are too dirty to assign to a non-resident. Tasks which still need to be done, and they will, because it is yours, and no one else (but an overly committed resident) would take responsibility. Fortunately in a high-performing team the value of this kind of work is also acknowledged and thus completed with class (at least without audible complaints).

Minna washing a big and dusty rock in the bunker

And what do the minors do in the meantime? Let's be honest - at the age of 4 and 1 they were still a bit young to be included in the actual work force. Thus, their key task was to adjust in the constantly changing conditions, by finding a quiet corner or a place to play and avoiding the most intense eye of the renovation storm. And since they are both born in the middle of it, they simply don't know any other way and fit in just perfectly.

Sofi watching her favourite kids' show comfortably in our bed

Eino relaxing at the backyard terrace after being kept out from harm's way in an inflatable pool

So, by trial and error, everyone making the best use of their skills, whatever they may be. Accepting detours as a part of creative and operative process.

Just pick up a hammer and do it!

Mar 27, 2017

Journey's end

A journey which begun in April 2015 has now ended. The Most Beautiful Home of Finland in 2017 has been chosen. In the end, the choice was quite obvious for us Finns, the winner being a beautiful home from Luvia, located right at the shore of Gulf of Bothnia.

We proudly finished at fourth place. Being two competitive spirits it would have been great to win, not only the competition but also the hearts of the Finnish people. But looking back, the past year has really shown us something much more valuable by proving true an old piece of wisdom: it is the journey, not the arrival, that really matters.

And what a journey it has been. Last summer was not a vacation, it was a labor camp, which feels like hell but truly makes a great story afterwards. Restricted with budget and time, friends and relatives were called in to help to finish what needed to be done. We were often simply exhausted and occasionally demotivated by all those bumps in the road, which in the end make the story worth telling. But it is amazing what humour, cold beer and a few hours of sleep can do. Next morning, we were again ready to tackle the challenges with a fresh spirit.

As a result, we have all grown wiser and learned to laugh at failure. We have realised the true importance of having a shared vision and clear objectives, and thus achieved so much as a family. We are proud to have started to show Sofi and Eino that anything is achievable. If there is a will, hard work will lead the way.

This home has been our project since 2012. And it will continue to be just that, quite a few more years. Next summer, however, will be a bit different. We don't usually travel very much for obvious reasons - a simple choice between investing savings for example in slate terrace materials vs. flights overseas. But summer 2017 will take us to San Francisco, to see some dear friends, the Eames House (and a bunch of other case study houses), Highway One, MCM antique fairs. Another dream coming true.

Last but not least, thank you. All of you. Thank you so much, for all your support, votes, and positive comments. We tend to walk our path, located a bit aside from mainstream, and it's been just overwhelming have such a crowd following our walk. If you continue to be curious, please stay with us. As the road will go on and on...

(all photos in this post by our fantastic and inspirational friend and photographer, Nani Annette

Mar 15, 2017

Time to vote and win PH80!

Now, it is time. We need your support to win the title of the Most Beautiful Home in Finland! Our home was the only one to receive the perfect score from the judges, so we just might have a chance!

Every vote counts, and we are extremely grateful of every single one we receive. So, if you think we would deserve the title of the Most Beautiful Home in Finland, please cast your vote for finalist #3 (Omalla tyylillä) by midnight at March 19, 2017 here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the view below and fill the points marked on red. 

If we win, we will celebrate by running a great giveaway in Instagram (@olivegreenblog) where you can win PH80 designed by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen, and two of your friends will receive small surprises. So make sure to check out instructions in our Instagram feed how to participate!

Thank you so much already in advance!! 

Feb 27, 2017

Bedroom colors

Let's be optimistic - it will be spring soon! Greyness will be replaced by colors. More light to take decent photos again. Nature will wake up. On that note, our bedroom has been in need of - well, something bright. We'd also need a new bed cover, the current one is simply boring (black), not very good quality and Urho's hair just gets stuck in it. While trying to decide on the cover (AVA room covers seem interesting and practical, experiences anyone?), wonderfully bright bed linen by Lemon Deco work beautifully to add some zest!



The world is full of bed linen, but each one of the Four Seasons pillow / duvet cover combinations is so surprisingly unique it is difficult to decide which ones not to want. For spring time and energy-craving state of mind, however, it is Summer and Autumn which are are screaming colour and thus hitting us home the hardest.



The design and photos of Finnish nature used in the bed linen are the work of Minna's friend Make, the man behind Lemon Deco (and Lemon Gay). Designing bed linen and other textiles is just one of his many talents, and in addition, Make is a great character to hang out with. He actually dropped by for a visit the other day and took all of the photos in this blog post. It was a fun few hours, spiked up with some great gossip, a lot of swearing on some unresolved mysteries of a new camera and deep discussions of dachshund's amazing life. Thank you Make, for the photos and especially for get company!

His Sausageness on Autumn

Being a fan of Urho Make could not miss the opportunity to have His Sausageness posing for a few shots. And as always, Urho collaborated eagerly knowing we would not hold on the treats afterwards.

Make from Lemon Deco

If you are in need of your favourite Lemon Deco season, you can contact Make directly via make.janhunen@kolumbus.fi. He will be delighted to help! 

And by the way, inspired by the colors and energy of Spring and Autumn, we are currently thinking mustard yellow or olive green (!) for the bed cover. Urho can have the old black one to replace one of his worn out sleeping blankets.