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Ainola as a Home

1915 . Ainolan puutarhassa Sibelius ja Aino sekä tyttäret Heidi, Margareta ja Katarina.
Picture: Photo collection of the Finnish National Board of Antiques, CC BY 4.0

When Lars Sonck started designing Ainola, Jean Sibelius had two wishes: he wanted a view to the lake from his study and a green fireplace. His wishes were granted. The family moved into the house in autumn 1904. The downstairs included Jean’s study, dining room, two bedrooms and a kitchen as well as a room for the maids. 

Upstairs was finished later in 1911. The parents’ bedroom and Jean’s study were moved upstairs, thus the daughters got both of the bedrooms downstairs. At the same time the downstairs study was transformed into a drawing room and a wide doorway was created between the drawing room and the dining room. 

When the youngest daughter, Heidi, got married and moved away in the 1930s, the downstairs was rearranged once more. Heidi’s husband, architect Aulis Blomstedt designed one of the daughters’ rooms into a cosy library. The other room was turned into a bedroom and a study for the aged composer who no longer wished to climb up the stairs.

Behind the kitchen there was a room for the two long term maid’s that worked in Ainola. Aino Kari worked as a housemaid and a nanny, and Helmi Vainikainen as the cook. There was also a room in the stone foundation of the house where the caretaker, Heikki Sormunen, lived. 

Picture: Helmi Vainikainen, Aino Sibelius and Aino Kari