Finnish Homes Scandinavian Homes

A Family Shows Their “Grandma’s” Cottage. Time Seems to Have Stopped in This 1881 House

When you step into this small Finnish cottage, it feels like you’re stepping back in time. Flowered wallpaper, an old stove, mid-20th century furniture… And in the kitchen, instead of modern appliances, there’s a samovar and a hand-cranked coffee grinder.

Red house in Ruotsinpyhtää Finlad
© Kaisu Kaplin

The old-fashioned interior is the work of the owners, who love the history of their native land and enjoy visiting flea markets. They lovingly call their little country house “grandma’s cottage”.

The owner of this cottage is 51 years old. He used to work as a history and social studies teacher, and now he’s a member of the city council.

His wife is 46 years old. She is also involved in community and political work (and has even won municipal elections twice). So, they are an interesting family. It’s even more intriguing to take a peek at their cottage…

The cottage is in a place with a hard-to-pronounce name, Ruotsinpyhtää, in Finland. It used to be a separate little village, but since 2010 it’s been part of the town of Loviisa. Nowadays, Ruotsinpyhtää has just under three thousand residents.


Red house in Finland
© Kaisu Kaplin

According to documents, this cottage is at least 127 years old. It’s very tiny, only 49 square meters. There’s also a sauna and a small shed on the property where they store garden tools and supplies.


Finnish family shows their 1881 red house
© Kaisu Kaplin

The couple says they come to the cottage every week and always stay for the weekend. The children (they have two daughters) and their pet dog, Luna, love spending time outdoors.

Originally, the couple looked for a cottage somewhere by the shore of the Gulf of Finland. But the prices were very high: seaside cottages were expensive and in bad condition.

They would have had to pay a large sum for a decent cottage, which the family didn’t have. So, they chose this old house built in 1897, just 20 minutes from the gulf.

The downside is the well water isn’t drinkable. They use it only for hygiene (in the sauna) and for watering plants. Otherwise, according to the couple, the cottage is almost perfect — fresh air, lots of plants, cozy house.


Terrace of the red house in Finland
© Kaisu Kaplin

In the 1990s, an extension was added to the house, increasing its size a bit. The current owners turned this wing into an extra bedroom (from which you can step out onto the terrace visible in the photo).


Old green cupboard with a collection of mugs and plates
© Kaisu Kaplin

The house has a kitchen and two separate rooms. Let’s start the tour with the place where the family gathers the most.

An old green cupboard with a collection of mugs and porcelain plates is probably my favorite detail in this cottage kitchen. The cheerful yellow wallpaper adds simplicity and a rustic feel. It makes you want to brew some strong tea with mint and lemon right away.


Interior details of a Finnish summer house
© Kaisu Kaplin

The kitchen has all the conveniences — you can wash dishes properly, cook a tasty meal, and even bake a pie. By the way, in this photo, you can see interesting kitchen scales, which the hostess collects (along with old coffee tins).


Kitchen in a Finnish summer house
© Kaisu Kaplin

In the corner stands a cupboard almost identical to the previous one.


Pink cupboard
© Kaisu Kaplin

A view of the kitchen from the living room. On the pink cupboard (it looks like an enlarged copy of a child’s toy) is more of the collection of kitchen scales and coffee tins.


Pink cupboard in a Finnish house
© Kaisu Kaplin

This cupboard once belonged to the great-grandmother of the current house owner. It was painted in modern times though.

— During the week, we work a lot. We only come to the cottage on weekends to clear our heads and relax. The internet barely works here, which helps us truly unwind. We never spend time on smartphones or laptops here, — says the hostess.


Stove in a Finnish house
© Kaisu Kaplin

You can even relax at the cottage in winter. The couple comes here year-round — they heat the stove (if it’s cold, they also use a heat pump, air conditioners), and warm up the house.


Children's bedroom in a Finnish country house
© Kaisu Kaplin

The children sleep on old iron beds. Note that these beds are unusual — they have wheels and a special mechanism that allows them to be folded like an accordion.


Bedroom with blue floral wallpaper
© Kaisu Kaplin

For the adult bedroom, they chose wallpaper from Pip Studio.


Hallway in a Finnish house
© Kaisu Kaplin

That’s the end of the tour. This bench chest was bought from an acquaintance who was selling her parents’ house. They store shoes inside it.


Flowers by the red house in Scandinavian style
© Kaisu Kaplin

Finally, I’ll show you some photos taken in the yard. The garden area is very picturesque — lots of trees, plants, flowers, homemade pitchers, and other cozy details.


Traditional Finnish sauna
© Kaisu Kaplin

There’s also a traditional Finnish sauna.


Flowerbeds with large stones
© Kaisu Kaplin

Flowerbeds decorated with stones are one of the features of this cottage.


Flower pots by the red house
© Kaisu Kaplin

It seems like just an old bench with iron pots and old jars, but there’s so much warmth in this country still life!


A birdhouse in Scandinavian style.
© Kaisu Kaplin

See you soon!

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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