Have you ever wondered how you could use interior paint colours as bravely as an architect or interior designer? Would you like to decorate your house to reflect your personality?

Painting is not actually as hard as one might think. Almost any color can be used anywhere and, there are no strict rules on how people should use paint. Finnish interior designer, experienced house renovator, and well-known social media influencer with 26 000 followers, Meja, thinks that there should never be a specific color to be used in a certain place or room. In turn, she wants to encourage everyone, herself including, to boldly take the painting brush in hand and, especially, to make brave color choices when choosing paints for places. 

What five words would you use to describe yourself?

Brave, eclectic, colorful, precise to detail, and context-oriented. 

Where did it all get started?

My journey started in 2005 when I bought my first flat in Kallio, Helsinki. At that time, my dad was working as a building constructor, and he promised to help me to renovate the apartment. I was the one to do all the planning and he would execute the plans however crazy they were. I became so keen on completing and designing the place that once the project was ready, I had already started thinking about the next one. From this, I realized, that it would be amazing to be able to do this as a business for others, and so it all started. Today, I work under my own business name “Meja Design Oy” to renovate and design old apartments. 
The biggest shared secret among the places that I have “flipped” and renovated is that I do not want them to look like typical Finnish apartments. For this to be done, I tend to use a lot of bold colors and old furniture, while respecting the building’s history. By buying things second-hand, I get to own special pieces of design, for the price of regular new furniture. An approach, I recommend to everyone. By just refreshing a piece of old furniture with, for example, a nice color paint, I get it to look like a brand-new design. In fact, my followers call me the queen of the recycling world.

I often get inspired by just walking outside and I recommend everyone keep their eyes open for new inspiration when traveling and going outdoor. Also, I actively follow various design accounts on Pinterest and Instagram. From there, I get ideas that are not so typical in Finland. 

What are your favorite colors when painting and renovating?

My absolute favorite colors are rose and pink, which becomes apparent when you view my Instagram account @mejadesing. My favorite shade of rose pink are Teknos’ paints called Pusu and Ojdå. However, I do not want to paint everything pink but rather make my color combinations and choices one project at a time. Generally speaking, I prefer all kinds of harmonious shapes and colors in my work, making me feel calm and positive. For this reason, I do not personally enjoy using very bright or retro tones. 

What have been the best tricks and tips learned over the years?

Throughout the years, I have been able to learn a lot of things by just experimenting and doing. Here are some of my key recommendations for house decorators: 

First, I would encourage people to choose the colors for their houses based on what they truly like. It is not worth just thinking about the current trends or worrying about what a possible future apartment buyer might think about the colors on the walls. Try thinking about your favorite flowers – what are their colors?

Secondly, I would recommend using the color samples available at paint stores to test the colors out. Never use a computer screen to select the colors. Also, if you’re pondering between two options, usually, the safer choice is the lighter one. 

Thirdly, when trying out paints on surfaces, do not be afraid to make mistakes –  you can always re-paint if needed, which is something I have done a lot myself. To put it simply, be brave and give it a try.

Lastly, I warmly welcome you to the world of recycling and encourage you all to refurbish your old stuff. I share my DIY furniture projects on my Instagram account @rakkausaarteet - follow me for more inspiration!