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At 70, They Left Everything Behind and Moved to the Capital. The Married Couple of Pensioners Showed Their New Apartment

Both well into their 70s, they took a big risk and completely changed their lives. The elderly couple moved to the capital, quickly settled in, and now live just a two-minute walk away from their children and grandchildren.

“Our son lives in the house opposite, and our daughter is just around the corner. You know, it’s wonderful to suddenly hear ‘Grandma!’ in the local store. And the opportunity to drop by for a cup of coffee with the kids whenever we want is priceless,” says 79-year-old Kyllikki.

Not long ago, she and her husband (83 years old) lived in a small town called Joensuu in eastern Finland and saw their grandchildren once a month, if not less. But now Kyllikki and Asko (that’s what the elderly couple is called) live in one of the central districts of Helsinki.

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© Krista Keltanen

They had to adjust not only to a new city but also to new conditions. If they used to have their own house with a large plot of land, now they have a 113-square-meter apartment for the two of them in a six-story building dating back to the 1920s.

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© Krista Keltanen

Meet Asko and Kyllikki. They are lively and active despite their advanced age. The couple tries to walk for 2-3 hours every day.

In their hometown of Joensuu, the couple lived for almost 60 years – since they got married. They left with heavy hearts but without any doubts. The desire to live close to their children, see them every day, and enjoy raising their grandchildren outweighed their attachment to the familiar routine.

In 2020, Asko and Kyllikki moved to Helsinki. At first, they lived in a rental apartment. But in 2022, they moved to their new home – a spacious apartment in the same neighborhood where their children live.

Their niece helped them with renovations and furnishing. Most of their belongings were brought from Joensuu.

Let’s see how this elderly Finnish couple lives.

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© Krista Keltanen

The kitchen is combined with the dining room. The kitchen cabinets and other kitchen furniture are new. But the dining set (table and chairs) is vintage – the couple bought it many years ago for their home in provincial Joensuu.

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© Krista Keltanen

The chest of drawers in the hall (adapted for storing glassware) belonged to Kyllikki’s parents many years ago. She took it from her parents’ house after getting married. The mirror and the wall lamp were bought at a flea market.

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© Krista Keltanen

This is how the living room looks. The sofas and armchairs were also brought from their previous home.

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© Krista Keltanen

The armchairs and the coffee table by Ben af Schulten date back to 1967. You can still find them at auctions and classifieds websites.

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© Krista Keltanen

The dark wooden floors look very aristocratic in such an old building. Double doors (which are a hundred years old and have never been replaced since the house was built), high ceilings, a rocking chair…

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© Krista Keltanen

The knitted blanket reminds one of patchwork quilts. By the way, it’s also a flea market find.

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© Krista Keltanen

Children and grandchildren often come to visit Asko and Kyllikki. Several times a week, they all gather in the living room – drink tea, talk, watch movies.

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© Krista Keltanen

Many items look so organic in this apartment that it seems like they’ve always been here. It’s hard to believe that they were once part of the interior of a private house in a small town.

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© Krista Keltanen

Vintage details.

At the time of purchase, the apartment looked very different. The renovation was quite tired-looking. The niece helped to zone the space, deal with electricity, plumbing, and floors. And the cozy atmosphere here was created by the elderly owners themselves.

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© Krista Keltanen

Kyllikki in her new kitchen.

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© Krista Keltanen

The only wish the couple had for their new apartment (besides the location) was a large kitchen and living room. They were used to having a lot of space in their own home.

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© Krista Keltanen

They made a small bench by the window with extra storage space (Kyllikki loves to cook and constantly bakes buns and pastries for her grandchildren).

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© Krista Keltanen

The table and chairs date back to the 19th century. The author of the painting on the wall is an artist from St. Petersburg, Russia.

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© Krista Keltanen

From the kitchen, you can immediately get to the bedroom (originally, these rooms had the opposite purpose, but after the renovation, the bedroom and kitchen were swapped).

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© Krista Keltanen

The bathroom was completely redesigned. At the request of the pensioners, the bathtub was removed, and a shower was installed.

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© Krista Keltanen

Plumbing and tiles are from Laatapisti.

“Yes, we were very nervous about the move. It was difficult to leave the house where we lived for so many years. And packing all our things was even harder. But we gathered our strength and successfully moved. Thanks for the help to our children! The new home turned out to be much better than we could have imagined,” says Kyllikki.

Qualified interior designer and article author specializing in home and residential interiors since 2021. My favorite topics include Scandinavian design, reviews of English cottages, as well as simple and light ideas for apartment decoration.

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