The term "Home Essentials" means different things to different people. For me, plants are definitely essentials, as are pretty storage solutions, and lots of space for guests.
For others, it may be family photos or heirlooms.
I thought I'd start a monthly blog series to explore what "home" means to different people, and what they feel is essential in their homes.
To kick off the series, I visited my good friend Avigail Reiner in Tel Aviv where she shares a 76-meter (800 square ft) apartment with her husband and business partner Shlomi Nahamni and their two young children.
Shlomi and Avigail’s studio works with artist and museums as well as commercial brands. They're both lecturers at Shenkar Design College, and Shlomi also makes fine art prints (You can see his work around their house, along with gifts from some well-known artists that are clients who have become friends).
They have been living in this apartment for three years, in a neighborhood called Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv.
What I love about their house is all the little curiosities on display. Each memento has a story to tell and is carefully displayed without being overbearing or cluttered by using a grid-like display concept on shelves and surfaces. Other surfaces are kept completely empty creating a nice balance.This sentimental approach to design is something that I was always drawn to, even before I could name it. Ever since I've known Avigail (we were 14 when we first met) she has found meaning in little pieces of paper or old letters, books, or piles of Seventeen Magazine in her childhood room.
Another thing I love about their house is the smart use of industrial storage units that are functional as well as versatile. The unit in their children's room, for instance, has been used as a daybed, a toddler bed, and now as an art table.
I also love how without knowing who lives here you can get a keen sense of their personalities - intellectual, artful, and sentimental.
The wood credenza belonged to the original owners. The bookshelf was designed by Romy Silber, who also designed the apartment. Shlomi’s prints rest against the wall; a large basket holds newspapers, and one of their many block letters is on display by an old clock.
The small apartment is airy and bright, thanks to the many windows and use of light colors. Knick-knacks are kept on shelves and side tables, which keeps the home from feeling cluttered. In these two cupboards wood animals, ceramic candle holders (a gift from me, this was a limited edition design of mine), and tiny boxes are all displayed in a grid-like manner. Above the shelves is art by Renown Israeli artist Tsibi Geva that was gifted to them as well as and pieces by Moshe Gershon.
More of Shlomis prints hanging on the wall in their entryway
Avigail was kind enough to answer some of my questions:
What’s the first thing you do when you walk into your home?
The first thing I do is put down my keys in a cupboard that we like to call the “Aron Kodesh” (the “Holy Ark” where Torah scrolls are kept in synagogue), put our shoes in a large basket, and turn on the air conditioner because it’s so hot in Tel Aviv!
What does “home” mean to you?
A physical place. A starting point. A place to aspire to, but also to distance yourself from and evolve to new directions.
Tell me a story behind an interesting object?
This Alef (the letter A in the Hebrew alphabet) is a slice of a longer Alef that was printed in 3D and displayed at a typographical exhibit we took part in. We each got to take a piece home with us.
What do you love most about your home? What would you change?
I love how even though it’s a very small apartment there are a lot of public spaces and how much storage space we have. I would have liked an outdoor space or a balcony.
What would you list as your "home essentials" - the things that make your house a home?
For me it would be meaningful objects. My grandmother’s table which we use in our kitchen, the wood credenza that belonged to the original owners of our house, and our bookshelf that holds all our books - our most meaningful collection.
I hope you enjoyed this interview, thank you Avigail for having me!
Drag the white arrows to find out where each piece is from:)
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