I’m incredibly excited about sharing a peek at this wonderful home as it belongs to one of my favourite Instagrammers, Olga Prinku.
Olga was born in Moldova but now lives in the UK. I first came across her feed last year, and I instantly adored the hand-knitted products which she designs and creates – chunky throws, cushions, hats and even Christmas baubles, all made from the softest natural yarn. Her house is just as beautiful: a minimal white space which is filled with clean lines and natural light, but which also makes a cosy and practical family home.
I chatted to Olga to find out more about her style and inspiration…
Please can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
“I’m originally from Moldova, which was still part of the Soviet Union when I was born. I’m trained in graphic design and used to work on layouts for an interior design magazine in Malta, before my little boy came on the scene. After becoming a mother I wanted to find an occupation that I could fit around my son. I’ve always loved crafts, so I decided to make things to sell via my website, prinku.com.”
Where’s home, and how long have you lived there?
“When I was pregnant we decided to move from Malta to the north-east of England, where my husband’s family live. We’d travelled around a lot between getting married and starting a family, and we finally bought our first house when our son was two. It’s a 1960s bungalow which needed completely renovating, so that gave us a clean slate for the interiors. We moved in just over a year ago.”
What work have you carried out to the house?
“The couple who built the house in the 1960s lived in it for their whole lives; we’re only its second owners. We didn’t extend it, though we took down one internal wall and replaced a couple of small windows with a big sliding door. But practically everything else needed doing – rewiring, re-plumbing, insulating, installing a new heating system, replacing windows and floors, the bathroom and kitchen… It was almost a year before we could move in.”
How would you describe your interiors style?
“I’d say it’s Scandinavian-inspired, and I try to make the space feel as light and airy as possible. I like white walls and light wood floors, and even on a dull day the house doesn’t look too dark. In terms of décor, I tend to go for a lot of greys and blacks, with occasional splashes of bright colour. I’m fairly minimalist (which is challenging with a four year-old!), but I’m starting to add some rustic pieces alongside the simple and modern as we gradually buy more furniture for the house.”
What’s your favourite room?
“Probably the kitchen, which is the room we enlarged by taking out an internal wall. We initially wanted an island kitchen but in the end we opted for L-shaped units and a long table, which made space for a sitting area and play space. It also meant the table could face the sliding doors looking onto the garden. We’re at the edge of a village and so we get a lot of rabbits and pheasants passing by.”
And your favourite piece?
“I especially like our kitchen table. We got the metal frame from eBay, painted it black and then fixed it onto a 3m-by-1m length of ash worktop sourced from an online company. I also like the tree-stump coffee table in the living room. We had to get a tree taken down in the garden, and I thought part of the trunk would work as a table if I sanded it down and whitewashed it.”
Have you incorporated any Moldovan or Maltese influences into the house?
“I designed a poster with a big letter M and a Moldovan folk pattern on the side. I also have a traditional rug which I inherited from my aunt in the countryside. It has a bright Moldovan design and sits in the living / kitchen area. I like the contrast it forms with the white walls.”
Finally, where do you source things for your home? Any favourite shops or websites?
“Actually, I get a lot of our stuff from Ikea – it fits the Scandi style, it doesn’t break the budget, and you can sometimes personalise things with a bit of DIY. I also love handmade things and I think Etsy.com is still the best place to find unique pieces. Another favourite of mine is Monoqi – it’s perfect for design-loving folk. And The Future Kept is full of beautiful handmade wares.”
All photography by Olga Prinku