ISSUE 35  |  Luxe Minimalism

A Caviar Bar in Finland with a Wintry Palette

September 02, 2015 11:00 AM

BY Margot Guralnick

Joanna Laajisto refrained from the usual caviar-bar bling in her design for Finlandia Caviar, an 11-seat restaurant and shop in a historic building overlooking the Helsinki harbor. Instead, her approach is a fresh take on Scandinavian understatement, in shades that she says she lifted directly from the Finnish winter landscape. 

Photography via Joanna Laajisto Creative Studio.

Above: Using paints from Finnish brand Tikkurila, Laajisto hewed to a palette of subdued grays, creams, and hints of marine blue. The caviar prints lining the 148-square-foot space were commissioned from designer Eeva-Maria Piiparinen.

Above: The furnishings are the work of local artists and manufacturers, including Woodnotes, which makes the waxed oak Siro+ chairs. The tables have quartz tops. Intrigued? Read about engineered quartz counters in our Remodeling 101 post.

Above: The bar offers views of the Helsinki harbor and is right across from the city’s open-air public market and revived Old Market Hall (home to another Laajisto design). The blue stools are Eero Aarnio’s Rocket Stool from Artek. The ceramic pendant lights are the work of young Helsinki designer Iina Vuorivirta.

Above: The tile floor came with the space, which was formerly occupied by a tiny clothing shop. “We always try to keep some original elements in the design to retain the history and right atmosphere,” says Laajisto.

Above: Our favorite detail: Menus are presented on custom clipboards with leather loops that hang from pegs. In addition to caviar, oysters are on offer, along with a well-chosen list of vodkas and Champagnes.

Situated in a grand stone building, Finlandia Caviar Shop & Restaurant is at 20 Eteläranta, in the center of the action on the Port of Helsinki. 

Next stop? Take a look at Story Restaurant, Laajisto’s design a stone’s throw away in the revived Old Market Hall, Vanha Kauppahalli.