Rina Lovko and her orange. Sadolin: Careful, painted!

/ Interior /

«Careful, painted!"- it's aboutєkt, created in partnership with the Sadolin brand, which is part of the AkzoNobel concern and is the world's leading manufacturer of the highest quality paint. Each hero of our proєwho chooses one color. But we are talking not so much about the color itself, but about life experience: memories and emotions that shape the author's vision, handwriting і professional approach of an architect й designer.

For Rina Lovko, every project is like a relationship. And is there any point in spending time on a meaningless relationship that will not give you anything and will not teach you anything? The word "meaning" was the most frequent in the entire interview. The global meaning for Rina is to create. To create spaces where people will be happy, will make projects that will leave a mark.


Pippi Longstocking

My favorite color is red. More precisely, shades that are on the spectrum between red and orange. I have loved terracotta since I was a child, when I didn't know what it was called. I first heard the phrase "the red earth of Tara" in the movie Gone with the Wind. I asked my mother if there is red earth. And then we discovered that one of the hills next to our dacha on the Stugny River is just such a reddish shade. We often climbed this mountain, played there. In the watercolors that I painted as an artist, the natural terracotta color was one of the most frequent.

As a child, when I could not sleep, I imagined what repairs could be done in the room

From the age of five, I decided that I would be an interior designer. I remember when I went to bed and couldn't sleep, imagining what repairs could be done in the room. At the age of 11, I made such a repair: my mother and I went to the wallpaper market, I chose yellow-orange wallpaper. The windows of my room faced south. It was the smallest and best room in our apartment in Kyiv on Poznyaki, where all the other windows faced north.

As a teenager, I tore off that yellow wallpaper and painted the walls a warm white. When I got to "seconds", I didn't buy clothes there, but curtains, bedspreads and pillows. Excellent things, much more interesting and of better quality than in stores.

Blue Terracotta project. Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

I have a penchant for permutations from my mother, she always liked to change, rearrange, and decorate everything. Dad also had artistic talents - I saw his drawings in the army album. Although in our large family, and in general in the environment, no one had creative professions.

Mom worked as an accountant in a state construction company. As contractors, they built the "Ukrainian House" shopping center, the "Ukraine" palace, and reconstructed the Kyiv funicular. I came to work at my mother's in the building on Vokzalnaya, where there were many interesting things: some kind of equipment, glass blocks, computers.


A fly in amber

Enrolling in interior design at KNUBA was completely my decision. My parents didn't particularly care, I was independent. Later, I realized that I had to choose architecture, because we did not actually have a design education. Learning turned out to be boring, sometimes even funny. There were few practical teachers, in the fourth year we painted easter eggs.

Studio of Rina Lovko. Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

It was easy to study, and I found time for some side jobs. For example, to go for a few days to work as a waitress at the opening of the "Donbas Arena" or to paint a few paintings to order. For a moment, doubts began to creep in, whether I had chosen that path. Then I decided to try on something completely different.

My friend worked in finance and sales, and I also wanted to try myself in the white-collar world. In stretched oversized clothes, I was there as a white crow. We sold futures for grain — concluded contracts for the future harvest. I felt strange, because there was no visible result and meaning in this work. The council that visited there tried this way and made sure that selling air is not for me. Then I felt that it was mine to create and create.

Studio of Rina Lovko. Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

Brick walls

In my fifth year, I got my first property — an apartment of acquaintances in Kyiv on the street. Reitarska, where I was asked to do interior design. I remember how I rode a minibus to Poznyaki with 10 dollars in my bag. It was the first time that such an amount fell into my hands, and it seemed to me that everyone around understood it. At that time, I thought that for ten thousand you can make any interior: not only repairs, but also everything in general. And then it turned out that the repair of an apartment in an old fund means dismantling, often replacing floors or stitching walls. All this is quite expensive.

I like thick brick walls, high ceilings, the atmosphere of a completely different density of the room

I work with both private and public projects. Recently, it has been interesting to create interiors specifically in the old stock, although there are practically no authentic rooms left in normal condition today. I like the thick brick walls, the high ceilings, the atmosphere of some other density of the room.

Wine bar "Balthazar" (Kyiv). Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

There are solutions in new houses that seem silly to me. For example, stained glass windows in the floor, which still have to be hung. What if the air conditioner breaks down or the electricity goes out? This whole wonderful expensive apartment will become unlivable. It is strange when the basic connection with nature is broken, values ​​are distorted.

Our studio is located in an old building on the first floor. There is no air conditioning in it, it is simply not needed: there is greenery in front of the windows and thick brick walls. Now, when the heat outside is above 30 degrees, we close the windows and turn on the fan. This is enough to be comfortable.

A huge bonus of the studio is the front garden. I endlessly plant something there: periwinkle, fern, peonies, jasmine, thuja, barberry, decorative strawberries. If I'm sewing at work and need to rest, I put the phone down and go out to work in the front garden for an hour or two. This time is enough to distract and reboot. When I'm in the studio on the weekend, I can spend half a day in kindergarten. Especially in spring.

Wine bar "Balthazar" (Kyiv). Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

Turmeric and saffron

When all my friends were spending money on clothes and bars, buying their first cars and apartments, I was spending it all on trips. I believe that travel is the only way for a designer to develop. Sitting at the computer, you cannot make a good interior, it will be someone else's copy. Now trips have decreased, but we are finding opportunities. Last year we went to Lviv, and I came back absolutely inspired, because there is a different, European architecture. Recently, I have been choosing places where I can go with my little daughter. The sea and nature are what she is more interested in now.

Looking at the mountains, you understand how powerful our planet is, you have a simpler attitude towards yourself and the importance of your own work

Travels have influenced each of my projects. Not specific images and colors, but realizations that came to me during trips. I think about work all the time, and my brain is on wherever I go. The Blue Terracotta interior took place after returning from India.

The Himalayas are a must-see for a designer or any other person. The trip there divided my world into "before" and "after". No architecture compares to this. A person cannot build a house 8 kilometers high. And nature can. Looking at the mountains, you understand how powerful our planet is. After this realization, you begin to treat yourself and the importance of your work more easily.

Project "Larry's Room". Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Oleksiy Yanchenkov. Style: Nastya Lisna

Yellow + red

In my projects, I combine orange with green, blue, and olive shades. All natural colors harmonize well with each other, if you can withstand the tonality. For example, you add gray pigment to one color or dilute it with white. Therefore, the other color should be kept in the same tone, add gray or white to it.

Along with deep and dark terracotta, you should not use another equally dark color, it is better to choose something in contrast and make it a background. And if the orange is diluted and light, then you can place both light and dark shades next to it. It's hard to say what it doesn't go with.

Sometimes I feel that I am cramped in monochrome. Color gives more freedom for creativity

Now we have moved away from color and create monochrome interiors. I am interested in changing, trying new materials, finding new solutions. Although sometimes I feel that I am cramped in monochrome. But there are moments: a complex game with textures, a selection of materials and combinations. For example, you want to make everything in beige. And then it turns out that one beige fabric is one shade, and another fabric is another. These shades do not combine, and you need 30 elements in the interior, and that all of them combine in halftones. Working with color is easier — there is more freedom for creativity.

Academic interiors made "according to the textbook" - with contrast, halftone, accent, dominant - are correct, but incredibly boring. I work outside these rules.

Project "Larry's Room". Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Oleksiy Yanchenkov. Style: Nastya Lisna

Pumpkin cookies

I always photograph my projects before occupancy, this is one of the conditions we discuss with the client. I create a refined interior - a shell into which a person brings his life: books, figurines, a cat with its paw. Then individuality will appear in the interior. I can't create that personality for a person, but I can create a shell for them. A space in which everything is selected and thought out.

Blue Terracotta project. Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

I used to be jealous of projects. She cherished them as her own children, and would like to live in each of them. It was difficult to come to terms with the fact that the client would add something of his own.

Everything changed when she opened the studio. Now I do not work alone, and each of our interiors is not only a reflection of me. My colleague Daryna is an individual person with her own character, which she transmits in our projects. We influence each other. And here there are two ways - either oppress the employees and promote only their vision, or let them manifest themselves, if of course it suits my taste.

Blue Terracotta project. Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

Copper pipes

I once set a goal for my projects to be published in several editions in a year. Then I forgot about this goal, and when the first posts came out, it was "wow". Now I'm used to this, and even at the moment when I see my own project on the cover of a magazine, I don't have any special emotions. Although there are important publications. For example, on such an authoritative resource as ArchDaily. You prove to yourself that your work is worth something.

For me, success in work means development and the possibility of new realization

I am a rather modest person and do not seek to be recognized by face, do not develop a personal brand. I want to be known for my projects. It is nice when they are highly appreciated by colleagues, people whom I respect. This can be expressed both in victories in the competition, the jury of which is practicing designers and architects, and in words spoken personally.

For me, success in work means development and the possibility of new realization. It is interesting to create a new object with unusual tasks. Recently, we did a clinic, and before that, a Dicentra flower shop.

Studio of Rina Lovko. Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

Studio of Rina Lovko. Design: Rina Lovko. Photo: Yevhen Avramenko

Now is such a period that the most valuable thing for me is time. I devote all my free time to my child. But there is an inner need to do more and live with a good heart. I think that some socially important matters and social projects will be the next stage for me. For this, you need to set up a system so that I can share my time. Because I want to globally change the situation in the country.


/The material is published on pages #33 of volume PRAGMATIKA.MEDIA/