All posts filed under: Creative homes

Love of colours

I arrive at Carin’s home straight from Asia. Stepping through the front door into a room full of vivid colours, bold patterns, face masks and artefacts, I immediately feel that I’m in Africa. Her home is a small Victorian townhouse in Green Point. The house has a discreet grey façade, but isvibrant with colours inside. A living room on the ground floor opens up all the way to the rafters, with a kitchen to one side. Two bedrooms, a bathroom and an enclosed courtyard swathed in greenery are also on this floor. Tucked away under the eaves is her bedroom that also has a small workspace and a second bathroom. Carin is a freelancer, often working from home with photo and copyright research for publishers. Her background as a textile designer shows up in the strong colours and prominent patterns found in her home. She is also educated in art and painting and plans to return to it one day. The paints and brushes are ready and waiting. But it’s in interior decoration where she …

A Peaceful Haven

I’m in the home of Nicolás Cunto in Buenos Aires. He is an architect and he also owns a business, where he sells bags and accessories of his own design. As an independent architect, he carefully chooses the projects he engages in using two criteria. Projects that he likes, or projects that involve people that he likes. He undertakes about two a year, mainly because his business takes up most of the working hours. “Working as an architect I like to work with people who have a dream. And then I can dream with them,” he says. His home is in Palermo Viejo, a more quiet and residential area than the livelier Palermo SoHo or Hollywood. It’s less developed, as the building regulations stipulate low-rise buildings of no more than twelve meters height. The architectural style of his house is called PH, Propiedad horizontal, a variation of the Casa Choritzo, typical for Buenos Aires, where the majority of the building plots are long and narrow. The individual units and rooms in these buildings are lined …

Wabi sabi in Brooklyn

East Williamsburg in Brooklyn is an area that’s becoming more residential as factories and warehouses move out. This is where Elissa Ehlin lives, and she shares her home with her husband Jay Leritz, Cougar their son, and their cat Pretty Perfect. The low-rise buildings around their home are covered in imaginative graffiti by internationally renowned street artists, and theirs is no different. They have lived here for eight years and have transformed what previously was an auto repair workshop in an industrial building into a very personal home. The extensive construction work that this has required, they did themselves with the help of friends. Elissa is an enamelist by profession like her husband, and they have one of their two studios in the same building. This atmospheric home has exposed wood beams, brick walls and metal beams, wooden floors, rustic plank stairs and a serene colour scheme. It’s set up on two levels with an open plan living room and kitchen on one floor. A mid-century conical fireplace is in one corner of the room. …

Industrial living

I’m in what was once an old warehouse in an industrial park in the northern district of Yangpu, a good distance from central Shanghai. This is the home of Jonas, his wife Nina and their daughter Anna. It is also here that Jonas has his showroom and workshop, Nina has her photo studio and where both of them have their office. It’s obvious that creativity is central in this home. The industrial building in itself and the showroom that takes up most of the ground floor reinforces the feeling of it being more of a workplace than a home. But outside the entrance a collection of potted plants creates a homely feel in an otherwise industrial environment. The names Jonas + Nina + Anna painted on the huge rusty metal door, which is their front door, indicates that this is a home too. Entering their home I’m initially struck by the vastness of the space and then by the huge variety of objects placed around the large room, all of them made by Jonas. Directly …

The Muralist’s Home

Paulina Parlange Pizarro is French/Mexican, a biologist by profession and a business owner in textiles. Her company works with indigenous women in Mexico and supports them in designing, marketing and exporting their creations, according to fair trade rules. She has lived in Mexico City all her life, but has travelled around Mexico since she was very young, and believes that her interest in textiles and in theproduction of artwork for utilitarian uses started at an early age through these travels. Paulina lives in the former home of Juan O’Gorman, the Irish/Mexican artist and architect, famous for his murals and mosaics. His most well known work is the UNAM University Library of Mexico City, and the Bank of Mexico. The façade of the Library is covered in mosaics of natural stones with motifs of the Mexican people’s history. Very different are the houses he designed for his friends, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, just two streets away. These buildings, from 1933, are in a functionalist style people called brutalist-functionalism at the time. They were the very first of …

Consciously minimal

Emily Johnston, an artist and photographer has her home in East Village, Manhattan. Her apartment is stylishly furnished throughout in muted shades and has a calm and harmonious ambience. “What I really liked about this apartment when I saw it for the first time, was that it had a space I could use as an office, and that the living room had doors and is separate. As I work from home it’s really important to find ways to make a separation between work and relaxation. I determined that the living room was a place I wouldn’t work in, but would be where I could relax, read and think. I like the layout of this place too. You can be in the kitchen and another person can be in the living room and you feel like you are in a completely different space, which is a nice feature for such a small apartment.” She has been living in her 450 square feet* apartment for about four years. Before discovering this apartment she visited nearly a hundred other …

An Accommodating Home

“I’m passionate about my family,” Doreen tells me. “We are very lucky in that we really like each other and have something to say to one another. Every single member of the family has something to offer in the creative field. It may be different but it’s always interesting”. Doreen and her family live in an old, historic house, a former rectory in a leafy, quiet part of Gardens. That is, she shares it with Meyer her huband, their youngest daughter Olivia, who is still at university, and Jinja the dog. Their son Uno lives in Johannesburg, and another daughter, Jade, has recently moved out, but still lives in Cape Town. There is no doubt that this is a very tight-knit family, and a very creative and talented family too. It’s a beautiful, large house standing in a lush garden, with the majestic Table Mountain as a stunning backdrop. From the front door, a long, narrow corridor runs down the middle, with many rooms leading off it. A vast kitchen, a dining room, a couple …