A Ukranian Designer Brought an 'Old Soul' to This Small but Perfectly Formed Apartment in Kyiv — Take the Tour

Promising interior designer Yana Molodykh added a vintage vibe and a much better flow to this Kyiv apartment designed for a young professional woman

(Image credit: Yulia Yakubyshyna and Viktoria Volosevich)

Despite its recent construction date, this charming Ukrainian home filled with vintage and custom-made furniture and objects has an old soul.

In Kyiv, Ukraine, the area of Pechersk is characterized by the presence of Stalinka houses (built during Stalin’s regime) and modern homes in prestigious residential complexes.

While located in this interesting part of the city, this apartment, however, didn’t really stand out. But along came Yana Molodykh. The homeowner, Dasha — a young woman who works in finance — discovered Yana on Instagram and immediately fell in love with her aesthetic.

Apartment hallway painted dark red with large oval mirror on central wall

In the entrance adorned with walls and doors in bright colours by Little Greene, a House Doctor stool combines with a custom mirror while a Ferm Living pendant and wall sconces by Aromas del Campo provide the perfect illumination.

(Image credit: Yulia Yakubshyna and Viktoria Volosevich)

'The fact that Dasha chose me among many other designers and without following someone’s recommendation convinced me to take this fun yet challenging project (due to a limited budget combined with lockdown restrictions),' remembers the interior designer who is at the helm of her studio Yana Molodykh Interiors. 'She really liked my style and saw my value, and it’s an absolute delight to work with a client who completely trusts you.'

Light and airy dining room

In the dining room, the 1960s Antonin Suman chairs by Mier Topolcany factory (in Czech Republic) surround a Buro 150 table. The homeowner bought the hanging lamp in Stockholm and the floor lamp is by Warm Nordic. Several artworks by Lisa Zhdanova, Viktoria Volosevich and fashion photographer Artur Verkhovetskyi adorn this space.

(Image credit: Yulia Yakubyshyna and Viktoria Volosevich)

Finding the flow

Spread over 800 square feet, the apartment, which comprises a living room, kitchen, one bedroom and two bathrooms, lacked openness. Molodykh strived to create a smooth flow between the different spaces, something she achieved by combining the loggia and the living room into a beautiful lounge area.

Decorating an apartment that was only 5 years old has its own challenges, the space didn’t have much character, so one of the other challenges consisted of infusing some personality and spirit to fit the homeowner’s brief and taste. “Dasha liked the enfilade layout, which pre-revolutionary houses have, and the swing doors, and she was fond of the retro mood, which is typical for European interiors, when you inherit apartments with old furniture”, Molodykh explains.

Green daybed with a hanging pendant light above

In this Kyiv apartment, several pieces are by Scandinavian brands such as the pendant and mirror by Ferm Living in the powder room.

(Image credit: Yulia Yakubyshyna and Viktoria Volosevich)

Visions of vintage

The bedroom as seen through the doorway

In the bedroom, the vintage crystal chandelier from Czech Republic was the first purchase made for the apartment. The custom made bed is covered with a bedspread by HAY and cushions with a Devohome fabric. The wall light is by House Doctor, the screen is vintage and the photography is by Mina Sorvino.

(Image credit: Yulia Yakubshyna and Viktoria Volosevich)

The concept naturally took shape in Yana’s mind. The interior designer decided to create the feeling of an old house filled with objects that Dasha would have inherited from her grandmother when she was young. Vintage items were purchased online and at flea markets; some objects were restored and others were made to order, always with an aesthetic from a bygone era in mind. 'Throughout the project, things happened very easily between Dasha and me,' Yana says. 'For example, I texted her what to buy and she immediately grabbed that stuff. We were real retro treasures hunters!'

Cultural combinations

Seating area with boucle chairs and wooden table

In the living room, a Sophie Décor sofa with a Dedar fabric and House Doctor cushions combines with vintage chairs upholstered with a Dedar bouclé fabric. The Koza coffee table for Pansky and the daybed were both custom made by Buro 150 while the vase and the pendant are by HAY. The Suerte Textile curtains, vintage clock, Mantis floor lamp by DCW edition and Muuto rug complement the warm atmosphere.

(Image credit: Yulia Yakubshyna and Viktoria Volosevich)

With its classic atmosphere, the apartment features a look that could be found in Paris or in Copenhagen, thanks to the classic parquet, cornices, high skirting boards, marble, granite on the tabletops and some furniture, lighting fixtures and accessories by Scandinavian brands such as HAY and Muuto.

At the same time, it also reflects the local culture through several details such as artworks by contemporary Ukrainian artists (including a painting by Darina Mikityuk in the living room and a graphic piece by Liza Zhdanova in the dining room). In the main living room, chairs covered in Dedar bouclé woollen fabric combine with the Koza coffee table made by Buro 150 for Pansky, among other pieces. The bedroom features the first purchase for the apartment: a vintage Czechoslovak crystal chandelier. “This is how we came up with the idea of making a frieze and a rosette in this room”, says Molodykh.

Bronze and dark wood custom kitchen

In the custom made kitchen, the interior designer used Ukrainian granite for the countertop. She likes the combination between the cooper and the deep green tone of the stone.

(Image credit: Yulia Yakubshyna and Viktoria Volosevich)

Although this home has a mostly light palette and airy feeling, it also provides a “wow” moment with the theatrical entryway painted in vivid colors (by Little Greene) where a Ferm Living pendant, Aromas del Campo wall light fixtures, a custom-made mirror and a House Doctor stool create the perfect atmosphere.

Both surprising and harmonious, this project mixes and matches different influences from several periods and countries in an audacious way.

'When Dasha’s friends first discovered her apartment, they told her that it reminded them of a Soviet intellectual’s home,' confesses Yana. 'It was the best compliment ever.'

A French trilingual editor, content creator, and interior stylist living in Southern California. A compulsive reader of design, architecture, and lifestyle magazines, and an avid traveler, Karine lives and breathes interiors and is inspired by designers Nika Zupanc, Charles and Ray Eames, and Marcel Wanders; architects Luis Barragán and Frank Gehry; artists Gerhard Richter, Beatriz Milhazes, and Anish Kapoor. For the past 12 years, Karine has been contributing to international design, architecture, and fashion publications including Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, Vogue Living, Design Anthology and MilK Decoration, among many others.