Laura and Antti: “Feels like we’ve come home”
Laura and Antti Pöyskö have a peaceful feeling. The Pöyskö family have just moved in to their recently finished log home located by the sea in Oulu, in northern Finland. "This turned out to be even better than we dreamed of!" Antti says. Antti’s wife Laura nods in agreement.
Antti walks to the spacious joint living/dining room that overlooks the shore. He adds a couple of logs in the fireplace. Laura sets a plate with a Sacher cake on the black Dekton table top.
Both Antti and Laura are entrepreneurs with hectic daily schedules. The life of the family with seven children is full of hustle and bustle otherwise as well. That is why the couple wanted a home that radiates calm and tranquillity. A genuine Kontio SmartLog™ home, built of non-settling logs, was the perfect solution for achieving this.
– Logs are a material that makes you feel peaceful. Wood is excellent at dampening background noise and eliminating echoing, Laura says.
The staircase to the second floor is coated with micro cement. The walls throughout the home have a fresh, light pine colour. When designing the interior of the home, the vision was to create a harmonious and calming ambience with colours. The selected tones had to be natural: The Pöyskös wanted to accentuate the abundant natural pine surfaces with black, in the same way knots are darker in pine. The surfaces were treated to keep pine from yellowing and to maintain the natural light tone of the wood.
– All wood surfaces indoors have been treated with Tremax, which is a lye-based surface treatment agent that prevents the natural yellowing process of pine and bleaches wood, Antti says.
Many opt for building a log home in order to ensure a better indoor air quality. Although the Pöyskö family did not have any issues with indoor air quality in their former home, breathing is exceptionally easy in their new log home.
– The air quality in this home is good. You’ll notice it when you come home from business trips, for example, Antti says.
The heating system that the Pöyskös chose for their home is geothermal heat. In the summer, geothermal cooling keeps the home nice and cool. The building has a regular mechanical ventilation.
Thanks to the subdued dark tones of the exterior, the building blends in with the landscape, giving the Pöyskö family a sense of being part of the tranquillity of nature. The couple came up with the idea of building a log home by the sea when they bought the plot with a summer cabin a few years ago.
– We were sitting on the steps of the cabin and pictured an open view to the sea and a house by the shore. A log home was our preferred choice at the outset, since it blends in with the surroundings nicely. Log construction is also timeless and ecological, Laura says.
Both Laura and Antti like wood as material – wood and plywood were used in abundance in their former home as well. In addition, Laura’s father as a sawmill entrepreneur, so the daughter learned to enjoy wood ever since she was little.
– I remember how the scent of freshly sawn wood would hang around my dad when he came home from work. The same scent is there in our new home as well, Laura says.
Antti grew up in the urban area of Oulu, but his love for wood also stems from his childhood.
– My father loves forestry work and is a great friend of trees. Maybe some of his philosophy has rubbed off on me as well.
Even though the Pöyskö home is surrounded by nature, the distance to the centre of the city of Oulu is only slightly over 10 kilometres. Laura and Antti consider themselves to be urban dwellers. In their opinion, a log house is a perfect home for a city resident. The home's interior decoration, lighting and colours create a modern ambience.
– Non-settling SmartLog™ offers a vast variety of design options. It is modern and looks good, Antti says.
Laura has always liked the work of Finnish top designers in furnishings and thinks they complement a log home very well.
– In a way, a log home is in the DNA of Finns. This type of a house is modern and stands the test of time.
When we purchased the plot three years ago, log construction was becoming increasingly popular in Finland. The couple had only one question: What kind of a home can be built from log? Minor transformations are a natural characteristic of wood, but the Pöyskös were concerned about potential settling.
– The possibility to use non-settling SmartLog™ was the final deal breaker for us, Antti says.
The Pöyskös already had the impression that Kontio was a reliable manufacturer. A visit to the Kontio factory in Pudasjärvi with Ecoste Oy’s representative reassured the couple of the quality.
– In a valuable project like this, selecting Kontio as the supplier of the non-settling logs was a good decision. The northern Finland company is a reliable supplier with long traditions in log construction. We were also impressed by the excellent technical quality of their product, Antti says.
Architect Antti Heikkilä designed the house but Laura and Antti wanted to contribute as much as possible by discussing their wishes with him.
– We wanted an L-shaped house with an inner court and bedrooms located on the second floor. And lots of windows to all directions, Laura says.
Laura opens the door to the room of their 7-year-old daughter. A serene pine forest opens outside the windows. When it rains, the dark green colour of the forest looks even deeper and is very beautiful.
– It’s like a painting, isn’t it? Laura says, delighted.
Laura continues the grand tour in the bedroom wing. With the added space in the new home, the older children now have rooms of their own. They could hardly wait to move in.
– This house has a lot of features that our old home did not have: a beach, pool, activity room and tennis court. Our four-year-old said that now we can go fishing anytime, Laura says with a chuckle.
The separate sauna and pool section provides the older children privacy for hanging out with friends and enjoying sauna and swimming.
– Until October, we had a routine of putting the younger kids to bed and then I or Antti hitting the pool with the older kids.
The home of a family with seven children should not only radiate tranquillity but also be safe and practical. According to Laura, they asked the architect to design the windows and doors so that their location was practical.
– The rooms that I use the most need to have a direct visibility to the pool and the shore at all times. The doors are designed for quick access to these areas in case of emergencies.
The mudroom and utility room downstairs are a testament to how practicality and aesthetics can go hand in hand: the washer and dryer as well as the drying rack and the baskets for clean clothes are in cabinets behind elegant doors made of softwood plywood.
– When we expect company, we can just close the doors, Laura says.
The construction of the home was completed in one year from the moment the ground was broken. As erecting a log building is quick, the project could have been even faster but the Pöyskös themselves wanted so take occasional breaks in the construction. They needed time to find the exact materials and solutions that they required.
– For example, we wanted a light-toned ceiling material that would not darken over time and would fit the style of the house. Our guiding principle was to do things right the first time, Laura says.
The Pöyskös applied the model of piecework contracting in their construction project. Ecoste Oy, a Kontio distributor, supplied both the logs and most of the other framework materials.
– The Ecoste professionals were also of tremendous assistance with the wide variety of technical details that our home features. You can rest assured that they could also provide you with a reliable turn-key delivery of a Kontio home without issues, Antti says.
The Pöyskö family’s preferences in terms of the interior of the home were wood and warmth. Trends and other people’s opinions were unimportant.
Since everything in the home is designed to reflect the spirit of the family, moving in felt like coming home. The physical setting is perfect for living happily in peaceful surroundings.
– This is a good place for us. It feels as if we’ve always lived here, Laura says.
SmartLog™ offers extensive opportunities for log construction
- Kontio’s SmartLog™ is the most advanced non-settling log on the market. The logs do not settle even when the environmental conditions vary. The non-settling structure is the result of the vertical lamella construction of the logs.
- SmartLog™ offers ease of construction and cost-savings: different kinds of materials can be combined without needing to include clearance for settling. This allows for highly innovative solutions in architecture and building design. SmartLog™ also does not require any adjustment and maintenance measures that traditional log buildings need.
- Minimalistic, modern details without conspicuous boards and adjustment mechanisms are possible since log settling does not need to be considered with SmartLog™.
- The construction of multiple-level solutions is also easier than ever. The solution allows for a free design of roof structures, and large window surfaces and doors can be included in the building design without issues.
- Kontio’s SmartLog™ is the safest choice for constructing a non-settling log building: According to test results by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, its load-bearing ability and water impermeability are excellent.
- Since log settling does not need to be considered with Kontio’s SmartLog™, Kontio's erection services are not necessary for your home or cabin.
- We recommend that you always opt for Kontio’s erection services. Since log settling is not an issue with Kontio’s SmartLog™ solution, you can erect the building with your own construction experts or purchase the erection services from us. The Kontio deliveries include detailed erection instructions.
- Kontio’s SmartLog™ is a protected design.