It matters less about what it is, and more that it’s your personal touch, uniquely yours, and that’s what makes it memorable
ears ago, a bearded man came to my parents’ house to show them his traveling gallery. Most of the works were Judaic or of Jerusalem landscapes, and my parents connected with a piece that depicted a Pesach Seder in autumnal tones. I connected with it too, in the form of a Bic pen and wobbly script — my name, quite large in the corner of the celebrated canvas, prior to purchasing. My first piece of art.
Fast-forward to bright-eyed newlyweds, jet-lagged and energized as we landed with our oversized duffle bags in our new Machal apartment… new for us, but not new in origin. As we surveyed the once-white walls and unironic terrazzo floors that first night, as we convinced ourselves that the stickiness of the vinyl couch was an initiatory item, we both knew we’d be finding ourselves at the paint store in Talpiot the next morning, trying to put a fresh spin on the walls of our first apartment.
I can still feel the soreness in my shoulders and back after we spent hours painting the apartment a warm taupe and traveling to IKEA in our tiny Getz, somehow fitting in lamps and beds and even a tree between the passenger and driver’s seats. It became home because it was ours, and each time I straightened the velvet throw pillows on that brown couch next to the brown coffee table, I felt pride in our team effort to make it feel personal.
Not much has changed over the years. The personalization continues to feel like an integral part of what enlivens my home — at one point a rogue autograph on a painting, and now marigold drapes that pull together a green room.
This issue covers personal touches: ways to make our dwellings uniquely ours. Finding your personal process in a way that holds space for introspection, regardless of the medium, is where inspiration truly settles. Maybe that personal touch manifests itself in a showpiece vase, ephemeral; or maybe it’s felt internally, concealed. Maybe it’s a growth-focused challenge, or maybe it’s an unconventional home design.
That is exactly the point, isn’t it? It matters less about what it is, and more that it’s your personal touch, uniquely yours, and that’s what makes it memorable.
Editor, Family Room
“I try to bring to life the color, nuance, poignancy, and joy I feel we are privileged to experience in our culture and religion.” —Shani Levin
COLORS OF JERUSALEM
“My love for color is strongly represented in my bold abstract works. I pull my inspiration from everyday details we tend to overlook.” —Neil Kerman
UNDER THE SKY
“My mission in life and with art is really one and the same: to add beauty and depth to the world. If we can strip life down to its essence, isn’t it all about finding, creating, and giving meaning to every moment?” —Yaeli Vogel
“When something inspires me, the urge to create it in some way overtakes me. I gravitate towards realistic styles with bright colors.” —Mayim
KOTEL PLAZA BRIGHT
“Painting is the way I communicate what’s on my mind and heart. Every piece I create is from a place of deep and varied emotion.” —Tanya Zbili
(Originally featured in Family Room, Issue 009)
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