Comfortable living - Pohjois-Pohjanmaan museo - Oulun kaupunki

Comfortable living Comfortable living

During the 20th century, home decoration gradually reached all layers of the Finnish society in step with increasing standard of living and the building of the welfare state. After the First World War, the middle class had – like never before – prosperity it could spend on comfortable living. For much of the working class, home decoration became commonplace during the years of economic growth that followed the Second World War. Numerous new housing projects also accelerated consumption.

During the post-war reconstruction period considerable attention was given to home architecture and home decoration. Despite the material shortages, working towards a sense of a better future after the dark war years was the order of the day. Demand for both furniture and everyday objects were high.

The limited product selection of the reconstruction years became more diverse as production methods developed in the 1960s and the 1970s. Especially furniture trade grew substantially, and first furniture warehouses appeared in the outskirts of city centres. Increased availability of passenger cars and spare time made shopping trips from the countryside to provincial centres possible. Homes were now to be practical, informal and reflect the personalities of the inhabitants. Children and teenagers were given rooms and furniture of their own. Bright colours and new materials, such as plastic, were used liberally.

Over the past three decades Finns have become more and more interested in home decoration. The amount of media content focusing on it has multiplied, and home decoration is increasingly regarded as self-expression and a mirror of the personalities of the inhabitants. Although home decoration is still highly regarded, the amount of money spent on it has slowly decreased. Less expensive materials and recycled products are often preferred.