Jun 13, 2015

Updating atrium railings

We used to have pretty ugly railing and panels at the atrium terrace. As you may guess, they are not the original ones, but have been replaced some years ago.    

Outdated composite

Up until now, the railing colour was an ugly greyish green, and the composite panels were even an uglier, translucent color.

Not our favourite colors

Sometimes initiating a seemingly simple project can be a bit time consuming for various reasons, but finally everything was set with the contractor. Before the installation of the new panels, the railing was sanded and painted by the tenants.

Pekka sanding the railing
Ready to be painted

Work in process

A seemingly small update, but the painted rail looks so much better already. Fingers crossed the new panels will arrive soon!

Freshly painted

And guess who was watching? The "streamlined" sausage who recently lost one of his testicles and needed to wear an annoying collar after the operation for a week. On day six, however, we found out that despite of the protective collar the lengthy shape of a dachshund actually enables a rather good reach the restricted area. Fortunately, even having been disobedient for doctor's orders, he seems to be now completely recovered.  

If they only knew this is not preventing anything!

May 31, 2015

How we buy Vintage Design

One of the topics we are asked to write about is how and where we buy vintage design pieces. To answer this question we'd like to share some of our thoughts and favourite links regarding this topic - so hopefully you find the following helpful and perhaps even inspiring!

The "how" part - the way we most often approach it - has already been discussed in one of the early posts called "The HPD Model" (Hunt, Detect, Purchase) in 2012. Briefly reviewed, the process goes like this:
  • HUNT: various sources are screened via internet. Some items can be found quite easily, but in the more difficult cases it can be useful to browse sources from a country where a given item was originally designed and manufactured. The goal is to find a few options to choose from.
  • DETECT: options are locked and communication with a seller begins. Endless number of emails are usually required to dig out more details, as well as to negotiate the price. The goal is to select the item which has the price / value ratio. Remember, there is almost always room for negotiation!
  • PURCHASE: The price has now been already agreed (or won, if it is an auction), so next it is  crucial to organize transport. This can sometimes be quite tricky, and if you are not careful also quite expensive. 
But perhaps the most interesting piece of knowledge to get effectively started with HUNT is the  "where". In the abundance of online resources, where do you go to? We can of course only answer from our part, so below is a short list of our key sources we continuously follow, both actual physical auctions and internet favourites.
  • Auction House Helander (Helsinki, Finland). One of our favourites taking place on a monthly basis. We have made some really good finds here with a good price. They have a very good internet listings one can review before the auction. The items can also be viewed on site beforehand. 
  • Hagelstam & Co (Helsinki, Finland). Interesting as well, prices tend to rise a bit higher vs. Helander. 
  • Bukowskis Market. Has showrooms both in Finland and Sweden. One of their greatest benefits is an effective, reliable and affordable delivery network between the showrooms, which is especially handy when purchasing bigger items. The online site is also very easy to use. 
  • Huuto.net (in Finnish). Mostly private Finnish sellers. Occasional great finds, but caution in all interactions is needed as there is no formal administration.  
  • Tradera (in Swedish). Very similar to Huuto.net, mostly private Swedish sellers. 
  • eBays in various countries (e.g. US, Germany).
  • Lauritz. Auction houses in Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Germany, possibility to bid online. Extensive selection.
  • Bruun Rasmussen (Denmark). Possible to bid online. Extensive selection. 
  • RetroStart. Very useful vintage design portal with links to different design stores across all Europe.
  • Design Addict. Good source of information with an active discussion forum.
  • Deconet. Both private sellers and dealers.
So there is a lot to choose from and keeping track of everything to find what you are looking for can be a bit time consuming. Therefore, you really need to enjoy the process (like Pekka does) to find the time to do the necessary research, develop a good understanding on pricing, to be able to identify a real deal from a fake and to recognise when to trust a seller and when it is better to walk away. And nearly always, when something sounds too good too be true it almost certainly is.

Finally - we always remind ourselves that one should not be too disappointed to miss a good deal or lose an auction. There will always be something new and often better around the corner - just be patient!

May 26, 2015

Mr. & Mrs.

So we both answered "I do" last weekend. 

Mr. & Mrs. Olive Green

Apr 28, 2015

Plus one

The news has already reached many of you, but as we couldn't be more excited let's post it also here. So this was how things looked like before April 18th...


...and this where we are after. Everyone is well, happy and ready to face the future. Even Urho is not minding the newcomer. Simply put, life couldn't be better.


Apr 8, 2015

Spring time tasks

A definite sign of Spring is when Pekka takes a round with our ever growing selection of house plants replacing old soil and if necessary, moving those outgrown their pots to bigger ones. This year he of course had a very eager assistant with a special interest on filling the pots with new soil.

Team Four Green Thumbs

In addition to the actions mentioned above, many plants also lost parts of variable sizes to hopefully give them a new, healthier life. As a result we also now have several rooting experiments ongoing (couple of examples shown below). It will be interesting to see which ones will actually take off...

Epipremnum pinnatum under the supervision of three Vodder birds

Ficus elastica in Kasperi vase by Erkkitapio Siiroinen 

Gardenia, a present from Minna's aunt

Dracaena fragrans, the most unique birthday "flower" from friends

Fingers crossed that the Spring would finally be here! Sun light, warm weather and green colors of nature would be most welcomed...

Mar 31, 2015

Déjà vu - painting

So a little while back we decided to start reorganizing one of the rooms upstairs for the baby. Up until now, it has only been in occasional use, mostly for storing and office purposes. Honestly, not much though has been invested in this room...

Can you sense my reluctancy to pose?

But finally, the growing family served as the perfect excuse to take the first step. The string bookshelf and desk moved downstairs, and after a bit of persuasion, Sofi agreed to give up her Muurame drawer units as an exchange to another drawer. We actually quite like the new location of the String shelf - not quite sure if it will be the final destination, but seems to be working quite well for now.

New temp location for the String shelf

Clearly, Pekka has been a bit short on projects lately and was eager to get down and dirty with some very basic renovation. On Saturday night, after all the furniture shuffling, he suddenly proposed we should repaint the walls. And to make a long story short, on Sunday afternoon, the task was completed.

Sofi checking out the equipment

It is funny how time flies. In September 2012, when Minna was in charge of the painting of this particular room, baby Sofi was sitting in a bouncer chair and observing. Now, she loudly and persistently demanded to have a brush on her own to be able to participate. And of course, Pekka could not wish for a better assistant! And when one basically lives in the middle of a continuous renovation, one of the benefits is that all tools are readily available. Just like this time - no need to run out to get brushes our paint, or anything else for that matter - it took only a few minutes to fetch everything from the bunker.

Set - ready!

It was a fun weekend - our idea of "family quality time". And the walls, of course, look so much better. The after pictures will follow, once we get the furniture in place...

Master and apprentice

Mar 2, 2015

Pallo door knobs by Timo Sarpaneva

Our recent stories have been appearing a bit sporadically, and in all fairness, we'd like to tell you why. No, it is not because we'd be in the middle of some laborious renovation project. Quite the contrary, nearly all projects are temporarily on hold, as other things in life seem to require much of our focus at the moment. Together with some business partners, Pekka just started his third company in addition to the two existing ones - perhaps a word or two more about that later. Minna, on the other hand, is finishing things at the office and preparing to switch gears for a while to focus on a very specific personnel development project of the soon-to-be-growing Team Olive Green. Summing it all up - quite exciting!

But we are, and never will be too busy to miss an opportunity to visit local auctions when something interesting strikes our interest. A little while back Pekka spotted some familiar looking door knobs while browsing through items to be auctioned here in Helsinki - fours sets of Pallo door handles (1964) by Timo Sarpaneva for Finnish manufacturer Primo.

Four sets for four doors. A perfect match

Timo Sarpaneva (1926-2006) was one of the most celebrated Finnish designers of all time, and one of those talented individuals whose work established Finland on the global map of design. Today, Sarpaneva's designs can be found both in homes and museums around the world, extending from utility glassware and art glass to textiles and graphics. While working for Iittala glass factory he also created Iittala's "i" logo, which still serves as the symbol of the company. Iittala's selection also includes a cast iron pot designed by Sarpaneva, which has become an internationally recognised design icon.

But back to the Pallo door knobs. Yes, as the set of four was clearly perfect for the four doors downstairs, Pekka just had to have them, end of discussion. And only a few hours later after his first bid, he was already in the bunker greeting the knobs with a warm bubble bath, as he does with most of the incoming old things covered with dirt and dust.

Restoring shine!

Just to be sure they were clean enough, he left the pieces in the warm water for some time.

Underwater view

After the bath the door knobs were rinsed and ready for a closer inspection to determine their current condition.

All washed and good to go

Once again, Pekka's sixth sense did not let us down. Apparently there were a few of the smaller parts missing, but for his DIY personality, this would be nothing to worry about. Those replacement parts can either be made or sourced. Either way, he would not mind at all!

Nearly complete set

So now, the first Pallo door knob has already been installed to the bunker door and it looks and feels fantastic! Incidentally, the door handles were launched the same year when our home was build in 1964. Also, there were exactly four sets for the four doors downstairs (although three of the doors are actually still missing). So call it a luck, or whatever, we may have once again found another match made in MCM heaven!

One down, three to go