The compact home of the Saho family in Kalasatama has everything the family needs. The best thing about their home is the location and the view from the balcony.
A small fishing boat is gliding on the sea, trees on the shore are swishing in the wind and you can hear a seagull cry. Tiina Saho is sitting on the balcony of her Lumo home, drinking coffee and admiring the view in front of her. And there’s a lot to admire: Saho’s home is located in the neighbourhood of Kalasatama in Helsinki, right next to the Isoisänsilta Bridge leading to Mustikkamaa Recreational Park. On the balcony, it’s hard to imagine that the closest metro station is only a few minutes’ walk away, and that Helsinki city centre lies only a kilometre away using a straight line distance.
The three-person Saho family has lived close to Kalasatama for years. They ended up in their current Lumo home through the Lumo webstore.
“In a few years, we will move to an apartment of our own right in the adjacent Sompasaari. While we wait for its completion, we’re living right here, almost next door,” explains Tiina Saho.
Before moving in, Saho was familiar with Lumo homes as her brother had lived in a Lumo home for some years.
“I knew in advance that Lumo homes are of high quality and tidy, and that the application process is easy. I had a search alert on the webstore, and one summer day, my phone beeped. The notification said that they’re offering us a Lumo home. I booked it immediately. The layout seemed so functional that I thought I couldn’t go wrong,” laughs Saho.
It would have been possible to see the apartment, but the Saho family decided to trust their intuition.
“All the basic information was so well available on the website that I knew immediately what the apartment was like. The layout indicated, for instance, that the bedroom had a sliding door. That was a big pro because I knew that sliding doors save space.”
Suitable size, perfect location
Saho’s intuition was proved right. The two-room apartment completed in 2015 has 48 square metres but thanks to the layout and large balcony, practically all of the space is used functionally. At first glance, the home seems twice the size of its square metres.
“For us, this is a perfect temporary home. The bedroom is big enough for all of us to sleep in, and it didn’t take long before the balcony became everyone’s favourite spot,” she says.
The most important reason for selecting a Lumo home was the location. The Saho family wanted to stay in the area primarily because of their daughter’s school is in the area.
“Our whole life is here. Even though we adults work elsewhere in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, our daughter’s school and hobbies are within a walking distance. It would be foolish to move far away and then return again in a few years. And now we can go and see how the construction of the new home is progressing,” laughs Saho.
Home ready in a week
The Saho family has lived in their current home for only a week but it’s hard to believe at first glance. Moving boxes are nowhere to be seen, and even decoration lights have found their place on the ceiling of the glazed balcony.
“I got rid of a lot of things before we moved so it was easy to find a place for all our things here. I like to decorate and make great finds on the internet. However, I don’t get attached to things, so it’s easy for me to let something go if it is no longer needed,” says Saho.
Something is still missing from the new home.
“Dining table chairs are still on their way. I sold the previous ones and decided to buy new ones that fit here only after we moved in.
For now, the lack of chairs hasn’t been too annoying. There’s room on the sofa, and on warm autumn evenings, it’s also nice to sit out on the balcony.”
Saho’s decorating skills have come in handy because their previous home had almost double the square metres of the current home.
“I must admit that before we moved in I wondered how we were going to fit everything in here. But there is so much storage space that we could have brought even more stuff.”
Saho’s husband Alieu Saho agrees.
“I was a little concerned because the only things I knew about this apartment were the location and the fact that it’s a lot smaller than our previous place. It was a great relief on the moving day to notice that everything fits in and has its place,” he laughs.
The greatest change in the new home affects the family’s 10-year-old daughter Sona. The whole family sleeps in the same room, so she doesn’t have a room of her own anymore.
“It hasn’t bothered me at all yet. There’s plenty of space and I could bring all the things I loved the most. The bedroom has a wide windowsill that can fit all kinds of things,” Sona says.
The daughter’s favourite place in the apartment is the cozy balcony corner with a sofa.
“It’s a little like having a room of my own. I like spending time there with my friends. And when our new home is completed, I know I will have my own room waiting for me there.”
Even though the Saho family’s previous home was located only a few hundred metres away, the new home street has impressed the entire family.
“It has been exciting to see the diversity of people living here. This is a very international and tolerant neighbourhood, and people feel more relaxed, too. The pace around our old building was a lot more hectic, and you didn’t really run into any neighbours outside. I think there are a lot of children in both places,” commends Tiina Saho.
She also likes the shared premises of the new building. The house has a club room with a sea view as well as a laundry room and two drying rooms.
“The basement also has large bike storages. That was also a pleasant surprise since we don’t have a car but we cycle a lot. Often, it’s not considered in the construction phase that many people in these kinds of locations cycle instead of driving, and there is too little space for bicycles,” says Saho.
There is also room for storage in the building. Currently, the Saho family’s storage is almost full, but the idea is to take only a few lighting fixtures with them to the new home.
“We usually send everything we don’t need to charities in Africa. The things in the storage are only waiting for a container to be full so it can be shipped. Then we will also have more storage space there,” adds Saho.
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