It’s not just in the streets, cafes and museums where the culture of a place lies. Step behind closed doors, into the home of a local, and here you will find something else. A more intimate and subtle version of the place itself. A space where daily life unfolds, history exists in the walls, stories in the memories of those who live there. With this, we present At Home, a new ongoing series exploring living spaces of all shapes and sizes, from all over the world.
We start in Tel Aviv, in a cosy 1940s Bauhaus apartment, down south in Florentin. Wander up a couple of flights of stairs and you’ll meet Carmelle, a 34-year-old graphic designer who spends her days wining, dining, photographing and watching movies over dessert. “I’m an urban girl, I like going out in the city and tend to visit big cities when I travel.”
“I’m really close to Levinsky market, which I love, and all the main routes. The beach is nearby and so is Jaffa. I like being in the centre of things and still keep my calmness. And I like that I can use my bike and go anywhere I want.”
Florentine was founded by David Abravanel and Solomon Florentine, with the intention that it would be a bourgeois neighbourhood, where industry buildings and trade workshops, 3—4 storeys high, would line the narrow streets. Today, it’s a central and youthful area, where dirty streets are framed by crowded bars and small restaurants. “I’m really close to Levinsky market, which I love, and all the main routes. The beach is nearby and so is Jaffa,” says Carmelle. “I like being in the centre of things and still keep my calmness. And I like that I can ride my bike and go anywhere I want.”
“I love having nature around me; it’s both food and decoration.”
When we asked Carmelle what her favourite part of the apartment is, she said the big window. Take one step inside this east-facing 1.5 bedroom apartment in the AM and you’ll understand what she means. Warm light bathes the produce, plants and literature that bring the space to life. She tells us, “Every Friday I come back from the market with a lot of vegetables, fruit and flowers, and I arrange them on the table in the kitchen, so it feels like an indoor garden. I love having nature around me; it’s both food and decoration.”
With a background soundtrack of neighbours showering or playing the flute, Carmelle floats between her kitchen and couch, cooking, working on her laptop, hanging with friends, listening to music or reading something from her impressive collection of books and magazines. “I love that all my favourite philosophers, writers and poets are near me,” says Carmelle. “Sometimes I take the books with me to bed without even reading them.”
As the sun sets, the end of each day is marked by a change of tones. The sunlight’s warmth is swapped for neon. Carmelle tells us, “Sometimes when I get home at night, there are red lights from the building across from me. It’s pretty mesmerising. I just stare at them.”