A fireplace with baking space makes our everyday life easier and brings a warm atmosphere into our home in the summer, too

Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, four-time Olympic cross-country skiing medallist, Hollola, FINLAND

My husband and I built the energy-efficient Kivitasku house for our dream home, and we moved there in the summer of 2012. Home is especially important to me because, due to competitions and training camps, I travel about 200 days in a year in total.

The dream home offers intimate surroundings for relaxation

The little time I have after training and camps I love to spend at home in Finland with my husband. We light a fire in the fireplace and gaze at the flames – and read books. Our home is also our summer cottage – we have a sauna and a hot tub in our courtyard that we often use to relax.

We chose a NunnaUuni fireplace with baking space as the fireplace for our home, and it works well together with the technology in the passive house. We use the fireplace a lot – in the winter, it is used to heat our home three, four times a week. Even in the summer, I relax by the fireplace once a week on average. In addition to the wonderful heat it gives out, we also heat the fireplace for the atmosphere – it creates a romantic evening and colours even the deepest of conversations.

The passive house presents special requirements for choosing a fireplace, and the method of releasing heat is one of the most important. I have been happy with my choice of NunnaUuni. The heat from the soapstone fireplace feels pleasant, because the fireplace releases heat at exactly the right output and for a wonderfully long time. Even on the day after heating the fireplace, it radiates its warmth evenly into our house. The fireplace doesn't make our house too hot at any stage, either, which is important for the comfort of living. In addition, the fireplace matches the interior design at our home perfectly.

A stew cooks in the heat of a fireplace with baking space during a run

"A fireplace with baking space makes everyday life easier in the middle of the tough training season"

I absolutely wanted to have a NunnaUuni fireplace with baking space in my home, because we used one at my childhood home very often. My mother uses a fireplace with baking space for cooking all the time and I knew how convenient it is.

I take advantage of the heat from the baking oven when the fireplace is heated, and I use it to stew dishes like oven-baked porridge, turkey, and Karelian hot pot. Food cooked in a baking oven turns out much better than in an electric oven; the taste is somehow more rounded. I can simply leave the pot to stew in the oven while I go for a run, and after training, there's juicy, delicious food ready and waiting for me.

The basic model of our fireplace is the Hestia Solo stove with baking space, which has been slightly widened. White glazing was also added to the basic model. We were able to customise the fireplace and make it exactly what we wanted. The fireplace is also easy to maintain, because the ash box is large enough. Even though we use the fireplace often, we do not need to empty the ashes from the box and take them out very often.

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