Pia Orr: An Exclusive Interview With The Finnterior Designer Founder

The day has finally come to show you the exclusive interview we had with Pia Orr – the founder and editor of Finnterior Designer Blog! That’s right, last month we had the opportunity to meet and talk with Pia at Decorex and we discussed interesting subjects about the interior design world and the blogger’s amazing work and career.

We are really excited to share with you this lovely interview and present Pia Orr in a more personal way. Keep reading to reveal all the details!

Image Source: Finnterior Designer Blog

If you have been following our work for the last few months, you must have heard of Pia Orr. We were already following the Finnterior Designer before and we couldn’t be more excited to have a partnership with it – it is an honor, no doubt!

Pia is the founder and editor of the interior design and lifestyle blog “Finnterior Designer” – a blog where she shares her passion for interiors, home decoration and other lifestyle topics. The blogging journey started in 2014 when the editor and her husband bought a fixer-upper in a suburb of South East London and decided to share the renovation process (ups and downs included!).

Currently, Pia Orr is focused on renovating her new house (which includes our Edward Sofa!)  and her decorating style can be described as a mix of traditional and modern design with a strong emphasis on natural materials, sustainability, and investing in quality that will last a lifetime. But we are going to talk more about this topic in the interview!

“It all kind of started by accident. It wasn’t planned. I bought my first house with my husband over 10 years ago. I started documenting our renovation journey and blogging about it and has evolved since and that’s how I’ve ended up working in the industry.”

Image Source: Finnterior Designer Blog

Domkapa: What attracted you to interior design/what inspired you to start an interior design blog?

Pia Orr: It all kind of started by accident. It wasn’t planned. I bought my first house with my husband over 10 years ago. I started documenting our renovation journey and blogging about it and evolved since and that’s how I’ve ended up working in the industry. I have always been interested in interior design, I just didn’t think I would follow that career path – I used to do something totally different – so it all just happened by accident, I guess. An happy accident! (…) If you are going to be starting a blog in anything, you need to really love what you do and do it for the right reasons and if you feel passionate about the topic then it won’t feel like work.

Domkapa: What do you love the most in the interior design world?

Pia Orr: What I love most is how interiors make you feel. When you design a room for yourself or for somebody based on their personality and their needs, it’s really tailor-made for them and how the design makes that person feel happy and comfortable and at home. I think when you really put a lot of thought into it and you really love a room, then every time you enter that room it just makes you so happy!

Domkapa: I think it’s really nice for everyone when they see your social media and they see that you love your home and you love to show it and you are proud of your work. You are showing the people who are interested in your work that you are trustworthy.

Pia Orr: Yes, I think the thing is I show the good and the bad. Every now and then I make mistakes and I share those too and the whole idea behind that is to help people who are struggling with similar topics or avoid them from making those mistakes. It’s all about sharing knowledge really.

Domkapa: What’s your favourite design style? And what do you value in a piece?

Pia Orr: I love contemporary furniture but since having moved to an older property, a hundred-plus years, I find myself mixing old and new and that is probably my favourite thing right now. We have quite a few period features in the house, like really old beams and Engel Nook fireplaces, which is a very British thing, and I love incorporating modern furniture within that space. It feels really eclectic and a little bit different. It is constantly evolving so there isn’t one style that I would say I follow but it changes as I mature as well. It’s ever-evolving!

What I value in a piece has changed a lot in the 10 years, in the sense that I try to think a lot more far ahead. Everything that I buy I need to last a long time because it is, otherwise, wasteful to buy things only for the short term. (…) Also, I really appreciate when things are handmade and have that kind of a special background that you know where it’s been made and it’s not mass produced necessarily. But, also, sustainable products are definitely something that I look at as well as upcycling. I like to upcycle furniture if I can because it just makes sense to do that. But longevity is probably the main thing. And design as well. If the design doesn’t work for me then it’s not going to work. (…) I think, because I’m from Finland, the Nordic attitude to everything is that even if you have to wait a little bit longer you will buy the better quality product. I find the Nordic design quite expensive if you buy originals but it is to a lifetime and to be inherited, so it is better for the planet in many ways. Hopefully, brands will also provide after-service, so if you do need to refresh things, they can provide that, which makes sense when you’re spending that kind of money.

Image Source: Finnterior Designer Blog

Domkapa: What made you think that Domkapa was a brand you would like to work with and what do you like the most about it?

Pia Orr: It was very obvious to me once I saw all the furniture and pieces. It felt like a match made in heaven, to be honest, and I couldn’t believe my luck! First of all, all the furniture is really well made. It’s timeless, which is so important to me. And something that I wasn’t expecting was how comfortable it is. So every single piece is truly functional and made with comfort in mind and that really took me by surprise because the designs are very contemporary. Also, I have to say, as a company and having dealt with talking to the employees, everyone seems really lovely, nice and friendly and it’s just been a pleasure.

Domkapa: Any favorite designs? What were the biggest challenges, especially with Edward Sofa and its different modules?

Pia Orr: I have quite a few favorite pieces, but if I had to name them, I’m going to narrow it down to three. The first one has got to be the Edward Sofa. Just because it is so timeless. It’s a modular unit so you can create any combination and the most important thing is that it’s really comfortable. It is hard to find contemporary sofas these days that are truly comfortable. It’s like sitting on a cloud. So, that is definitely my favourite. And I also love that you can customize it with different fabrics and materials!

Secondly would probably be the Pearl Armchair because it is such a statement chair. It is different, it’s incredibly luxurious. I love the kind of mid-century design that it has going on. The swiveling, everything. It’s the perfect chair and it is really comfortable, just like the sofa.

And my third item will probably be the Amanda Bed. I really love this design because it is quite futuristic, it’s a little bit different. You don’t see that type of bed very often and I love that you can change it as well. It also has these integrated side tables which are really great for space saving. (…)  Also, you have different materials within that design, so you can have fabric and leather and add tons of texture, it is an innovative design for a bed for me so that would probably be the last one.

My biggest challenge with Edward was not to do with Edward, it was more to do with the limited space that I had to deal with in my home. But again, because it’s a modular unit, it wasn’t a problem. I knew I had multiple different widths to choose from to make it fit a relatively small room. But the biggest challenge was, do I go small or do I go really extra large? Because it’s not a big room, but I want it to feel super cozy, we went for the large version. And also because we’re a family, so we want to be able, everyone to sit on it. Also, maybe the shape of the room a little bit, was challenging. But again, just because you can choose so many different widths and armrests and things like that. It wasn’t a problem, but that’s only because it’s a modular sofa. If it was a fixed one, then it wouldn’t have worked.  (…)  It’s not just about design but it’s more about comfort and how you feel in your home, especially now in the winter when you like to be in your living room watching movies. It’s a really nice sofa for that.

Image Source: Finnterior Designer Blog

Domkapa: What are your career goals?

Pia Orr: I don’t have specific career goals. I think my plan is to just continue to do what I’m doing, hopefully. Work with more amazing brands, to continue to work with Domkapa. If you’re passionate about something keep doing it, keep going ahead, then life will just work its way out. Right now, my plan is to try to get to as many trade shows as possible because, although it’s lovely coming into one in the UK, it’s also really important to see international ones because you get exposed to different trends and styles. My short-term goal is to just try to get out there internationally and go to see as many design shows as possible.

Domkapa: What do you think will be the future of interior design?

Pia Orr: I’m hoping that it will be about sustainability and creating products long-term rather than mass-produced items. Also, bespoke furniture and I’m also hoping that people are more open to creating their own designs and maybe not following trends as much. Hopefully, less copying and more individualism. I know everyone is talking about AI in design and I don’t think it will ever replace people because they still want to have a product that’s been designed by a person. There are always feelings behind it, so once you lose that emotional contact, then I just don’t think it’s the same thing. I think perhaps it can be a useful tool, but I don’t see it taking over. (…) And the other thing is, everything is too perfect, you know? I’ve learned to really love imperfection. I think that’s part of living in an old house, you know? You’ve got cracks and things, uneven floors and all that. But I think imperfection can make things really beautiful, quirky and different. And they add character. So if you have just perfect designs, it kind of falls flat. I think it’s not as interesting, nobody wants perfection, you know? I think that’s the thing. At least I don’t, so I try to embrace imperfection as much as I can.

“Wait for a while, really think how you live in that space, what you really want, and then get what you want. That’s my new go-to! It takes longer to decorate but it’s so much more sensible and you’re so much happier with the end result than trying to pull it too fast and too quickly.”

This was the first time we had an in-person interview with one of the professionals that inspire us the most. We would love to know your thoughts about it, so feel free to send us an e-mail at [email protected].

Featured Image: Finnterior Designer


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