Behind the Blog: Charlie's Design Diary


Not long ago, I was looking to the internet for some design inspiration and I stumbled across this amazing blog.. It was beautiful; rich in culture, interior design, architecture, fashion and art, all from Helsinki, Finland. I found exactly what I needed. It was Charlie’s Design Diary that inspired me to start a blog of my own, and I am forever grateful for the gift she has given me..
Since then, I have wondered, who is Charlie and why has she devoted her life to my reading enjoyment? I had the opportunity to get to know her. As I suspected, she is absolutely wonderful and continues to be a source of strength and inspiration.
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How did a NYC girl end up in Helsinki Finland?
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In 1994, I was living in Seattle and working for a Finnish company. Early that year I was offered a position in Helsinki, it was just too good to turn down in May of 1994 I made Finland my home.
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What inspired you to create Charlie’s Design Diary?
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I have always been a bit obsessed with design so finding a niche was not difficult. Claudia from The Paris Apartment and Felicity from the late All Things Bright and Beautiful were a great source of inspiration. I started corresponding with them early 2008, and was surprised to learn that they did not know of any Finnish design blogs written in English. With their encouragement I launched Charlie’s Design Diary.
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Summer Cottage in Porvoo
Private photos .
What takes up your time when you aren’t blogging?
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During the week when I am away from the computer, I am in meetings and catching up on all the little things that need to be done for the blog. For fun, I love meeting up with friends and visiting the museums, art galleries and the latest cafes or restaurants and I also love to window shop.
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How do you define your personal style?
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I would describe my personal style as classic, contemporary, chic. Coco Chanel meets Ralph Lauren with a dash of Balmain to keep it fun. I love the classics and have things in my wardrobe from the 80’s. That’s the beauty of classic pieces, they aren’t defined by trends you make it what you want by adding your own personal touch.
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What item in your closet can you not live without?
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Wow, that is a hard one but I’d say my black knee high Jimmy Choo boots and my Burberry Trench. You can wear anything with those two items and you will look put together.
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Elina Brotherus
©All photos property of Elina Brotherus.
What is your favorite room in your home and why?
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My favorite room in the house is the family room because that’s the room we all gather in. I love being able to sit in the family room and talk to someone in the kitchen. Especially when the kids come and visit it’s where we spend most of our time.
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Who are your style/design icons?
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My style icons are Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Inès de la Fressange. My design icons are Alvar Aalto, Vicente Wolfe, Eero Arnio,and Frank Gehry.
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How do you define happiness?
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My happiest moments tend to be a very simple affair, gathering the family under one roof for a few days and knowing that everyone is well. Or sitting around the table with my husband and the children all present enjoying great food, great wine, chatting and laughing about mundane things. That is pure bliss for me. Especially now that they are grown and a couple living in other countries I cherish those moments the most.
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Your three most memorable posts of recent & why?.
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Photos ©All photos property of Itella
Laura Laine
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When I first met Laura, we hit it off right away. She is an amazing young woman and I love her work. The commission and release of these stamps are such an amazing accomplishment for someone so young and I am extremely proud of her. When I received permission to post them I was on cloud nine..
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I have been a huge fan of Mr. Ratia’s work for many years. In the last year we have collaborated on a few things and I‘ve learned so much from him. Last fall he asked me to help him go through the thousands of images he had for an upcoming book. We worked together for several days and I just remember being in an awe of this man and his keen eye for the slightest detail. The way he edited the photos for the book really inspired me and led me to start looking at CDD in a completely different way. When I first started blogging the advice I received was the more pictures the better but after working with Mr. Ratia I realized that perhaps that is not always the case. Keep the best and let go of the rest.
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©All photos property of Miina Savolainen and The Loveliest Girl In The World
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The Empowering photography program founded by photographer Miina Savolainen.started out as an art project for her Master’s Thesis. However once she had completed the work with the ten girls had who had grown up in a children’s home, Ms. Savolainen was unable to walk away. Miina Savolainen’s dedication to these ten girls and the Empowering Photography program, that came later, is admirable. The girls and their stories touched me deeply.
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Finlandia Hall in Helsinki is the leading congress, event and entertainment venue in Finland. Created by one of Charlies' Favorite architects, Alvar Aalto. You can find out more here at, Finlandia Hall

11 comments:

  1. Thank-you. Anyone with the name "Charlie" is alright with me.
    What a pretty blog she has and so many goodies...to inspire.
    pve

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  2. fun interview...now i'll go visit her blog :)
    thanks for visiting and for your sweet comments...so glad to have found your fun blog
    michelle

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  3. Vitania, I am blushing...this is such a wonderful post. It is such an honor and I am flattered! Thank you so much for your kind words and for being such an inspiration to me.

    (I managed to get online, having a great time with the clan! Hugs)

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  4. Fab interview!
    Love the Laura Laine illustrations too!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  5. Oh great interview. I also love finding out about new blogs. Thanks so much. Now off to check out Charlie's blog!

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  6. Thanks Charlie
    The honour is mine. Have a wonderul time!

    Carrie - I knew you would love Laura Laine's illusttrations..

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  7. What a lovely interview. I'm a huge fan of Charlie's Design Diary - and I love that you interviewed her here. She has an amazing sense of style, and her photos are always remarkable. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  8. Wonderful post! Thanks for a great interview.
    XX
    V

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  9. Me likey allot!! I'm on the way now, to add her to my blogroll.

    Best,
    Michelle

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  10. Charlie and her blog are one of my favorites and it's always great to get to know our favorite bloggers better. Thanks for such a thoughtful interview!

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  11. I really enjoy Charlie's blog and have been a great fan of hers since I started. It's nice to know more about her she always seems very private in the newspaper interviews I've read here. Great interview!

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Would love to hear from you !

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