Decorating with Emma
We had the pleasure to interview the lovely Emma from Finland. She has inspired us with her great interior design/decorating and will give us all some tips below!
Name: Emma Berghem
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Profession: Visual Merchandiser, soon-to-be graduated Graphic Designer
How would you describe your interior design?
I love a bright, crisp, modern look with clean shapes and a glossy finish. But, I also have this thing for old-fashioned objects - I really adore the decorative 18th-century Rococo style. At the same time, I gladly throw in some ethnic vibes to the combo as well, i.e. in patterns and ceramics. So, therefore, my interior design is a combination of old and new furniture on a fresh white background with ethnic elements to add personality, texture and depth. All in a very subtle colour scheme to maintain harmony.
What makes a style typically Nordic?
I think what makes a style typically Nordic is an appreciation of good craftsmanship, nature and natural materials, which is illuminated by the fact that in Finland almost all of the country's area is covered by forests. Also the lack of sunshine during winter feeds a desire to decorate with soft colours. I prefer white as a base colour on floors, walls and ceiling, because it reflects light so well. I also choose to bring nature closer, though living in the city, by adding elements from nature like branches in a vase, antlers on walls and Icelandic sheepskin on chairs.
Do you have any tips on how to make a small space feel more spacious?
I’d say, go all white on floors and walls! White always makes a space feel bigger. And if you’re lucky to have high ceilings, try not to “break” the height with semi-high furniture, emphasize it or make an illusion by choosing really low, floor level furniture. Also, choose one main focal point in the room, both a sofa and a dinner table can’t be centerpieces, they’ll compete for attention and create disharmony. Instead, highlight one and build a harmonious ensemble around it. If you have one room that needs to serve both as living room, office and dining room (like we do), bring it all together with a clear and defined colour scheme.
How would you describe your own home?
We live in a rented apartment, which limits the possibilities to renovate and make major changes. I love our wooden floors, if I’d own the place I’d paint them white. My dream is to have my own house, an old one with character and soul, one I’d get to decorate big, because there is the space to do so.
What makes a great living room?
I love cushions, sheepskin and fluffy rugs, I just can’t get enough! So, a perfect living room for me is a comfy, spacious one with a large sofa (like Diesel & Moroso’s Nebula) to cuddle up in with a cup of tea or a nice interior design magazine.
Can you recommend any Nordic brands/designers?
I like design classics found in the works of Eero Saarinen, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton - true favorites of mine. At the moment I’m tempted by the delicate shapes of Saarinen’s Round table and Panton’s Panthella lamp. Iittala’s collaboration with Japanese Issey Miyake and Carina Seth Andersson’s design for Marimekko are ceramics and glasswork I salivate for this spring. Otherwise, Danish brands like Madam Stoltz, Tine K, Housedoctor and Vanilla Fly are constant sources of inspiration.
What's your favorite local spot?
In Helsinki you can find really interesting small design shops along Fredrikinkatu and its surroundings. I like Peroba and Pino for their Nordic concepts. I go to Nougat for ethnic inspiration and Destiny Store to satisfy my decorative side and feed my hunger for oddities. I also have to say I love the Stockmann department store in the center of Helsinki.