Elina and Pasi Lilja’s dream was destroyed by an unexpected tragedy when their beloved summer cottage was burned by a fire. But the couple didn’t give up and their brand new Honka Lintukoto helps them forget the disaster that happened two years ago.
The large windows of Lintukoto open to the surrounding pine forest. Elina Lilja sits in an arm chair and knits. She observes the forest: will the squirrel come to the terrace for the nuts today? Will a deer walk by? Or a fox? Or will the rare Three-toed Woodpecker fly to the near by trees to say hello?
Observing the plays of nature outside the windows of Lintukoto makes the tragedy two years ago seem a distant memory.
Woodpeckers usually thrive in areas burned down by forest fires. In the Lilja’s plot there are some charred trees which attract the woodpecker. The trees are a memory from August 2016.
The Liljas had just built a cabin on their newly acquired forest plot in Nurmijärvi, Finland. The cabin was burned down right before it was finished.
It was arson but the arsonist was never found.
-I have always enjoyed spending time in nature and sought strength from it. After the fire I sat in the forest for two weeks watching clouds and wondering how I’m going to get over this, tells Elina Lilja.
The burned down cottage was left in its damaged state for six months. The Liljas did not receive permission to demolish it before all possible investigations had been done.
A lot of effort had gone into the cabin and losing it was a big hit to the Liljas. However, little by little they started looking forward and planning the future. They would not give up! They would build a new cabin in the same place.
The interior of Lintukoto mixes dark grey, off-white and translucent white. It is important to the Liljas that the colour palette is narrow and calm. Dark grey recurs in couches, kitchen cupboards and the tiles in the bathroom.
Lintukoto is small and cosy
– I really liked the Lintukoto model immediately when I set my eyes on it the first time. I said to Pasi that our new cabin will be Lintukoto, Elina says.
Pasi Lilja dug up pictures of Lintukoto from the internet and that same night the excitement took over him too.
– We will get over the difficulties, we will start making a Lintukoto!
Lintukoto is a small, cosy and natural cabin model. It has got its inspiration from old bird houses – Lintukoto means bird house in Finnish.
Large window walls let in light into the small cottage. Nature seems to be very close when the Liljas are sitting by the fireplace.
The kitchen was designed so that there is room for several people by the counter. A traditional dining table is not needed. During summer the dinner is set outside on the terrace.
We wanted a cabin that has a good view towards the forest as well as enough space in the living room and a large loft for sleeping and resting.
The floorplan was customised according to the Lilja’s wishes by Honka salesperson Mikko Rajamäki. What needed to be taken into account when customizing the floorplan were Pasi’s height which is almost two metres and the fact that the couple wanted a loft that has not only space for sleeping, but also for spending time and relaxing.
The loft creates more space for lounging and sleeping. The small round window lets in a little bit of light also to the loft.
– The whole cabin was tailored according to our wishes still maintaining the essence of the Lintukoto model. We are very happy with the Honka team. Everything went well all the way from the beginning when the salesperson and the designer drove to our plot. They were able to see the position for our new Lintukoto & to get a feel for how it would sit in the surrounding area which helped them design the perfect holiday home for us.
Lintukoto is a haven in the middle of nature
Pasi is cutting an apple. He is making an apple pie which will be put onto the grill in a minute. Yes, Pasi makes almost everything on a gas grill. Lintukoto life also includes having a leisurely sauna and some tidying of the still unfinished grounds. The beach is some 300 metres away for swimming and supping.
The black aspen benches, the sauna stove and the lighting create a soothing atmosphere in the sauna.
In the summer time Pasi Lilja makes all the food on the grill, even lasagna. The covered terrace makes it possible to eat outside long into the Autumn. Pasi has made the furniture on the terrace himself out of the surplus materials from the building of the cabin.
The cabin is a place where the TV, computers and the rush of everyday life are left outside.
Lintukoto’s design is modern and sympathetic. Its features include a compact size window, large windows and a small round window. Honka Lintukoto collection includes 25-30 m2 sauna cabins and 40 m2 cabins with a loft.
The Lilja’s main home is only a few kilometers away from the holiday home.
– I’m an advocate of my local area of tourism & enjoy exploring nearby. A trip to the cabin is like going on holiday to me even if it’s so close I can walk there! I especially dislike flying because it pollutes the Earth.
Pasi works as a store manager in a hypermarket, in the Autumn Elina is starting studies to become a therapist which she is going to do alongside her work as a lecture mentor. They have cats as pets. It’s going to be a hectic Autumn, but luckily they have this haven of peace.
– The cabin is not meant for hard work and being busy, this is not a work camp, but a place for not doing anything, says Elina.
– After the difficult times we are very happy in our birdhouse.
Holiday home from Lintukoto collection, modified solution (2017), Nurmijärvi, Finland
Tenants: Pasi and Elina Lilja
Room area: 42 m², above which is a loft 19,5 m². The ground includes a storagehouse and a canopy 25 m².
Heating: air-source heat pump, electricity, woodburning stove.
Body: MLL 134 Fusion
Architect: Lintukoto collection designed by Honkarakenne, modification by Log house specialist Mikko Rajamäki and Honkarakenne design team.