If the last name sounds familiar, it should. It’s my maiden name.
Michael is my much older brother and lives on the street behind me with his wife, Nava, and three kids. He designed and built this house and Nava painted it – literally.
This is from their front door – that’s Pebbles, the second-best dog in the world (the first being my Banna). The floor is cement. Nava painted the pattern and then they added several layers of lacquer with hardener over it to seal the pattern from damage. As you can see, they love color. There isn’t a single white wall in the house. Not even a white ceiling.
Nava’s art is everywhere – on canvases on the walls, directly on the walls, the floor, the ceiling and even the furniture. Above is sleeping Aviv (my nephew.)
The table top is painted as well – but it’s covered by the tablecloth. The decorative bricks on the back wall seperate the kitchen from the dining room and the shelves on the floor is actually the top cabinet from a mid century modern breakfront that was in our parents home growing up. The table is also from our parents.
That’s painted. Painted!
I love this – Talya, Sivan and Aviv (my neices and nephew) as saints. I especially love how Sivan just looks annoyed. If you knew them you would know just how accurate these portraits are.
The silver chair that looks kind of like a torture device was designed and made by Aviv. He has a class on chair design in school.
The stairs are painted metal industrial warehouse stairs that have never looked so good as they do in this house. Michael is a contractor who has experience with project management of large industrial projects and designing homes (too many to mention, but mine was one.) For his own house he wanted to experiment with materials and take elements typically used for factories. Biase withstanding – I think the execution is excellent. The block walls add texture without looking manufactured (like when people add a brick facade to a wall that obviously isn’t brick – it may look ok, but it also looks manufactured) and Nava’s addition of color keeps the house warm, inviting and homey.
If the house looks familiar that’s because the nytimes.com featured it about a year and a half ago.
Underneath the stairs hidden away is an office / TV room. That’s my son Aidan, running in and Aviv in the back trying to block the camera.
The boys are zombies in front of the TV, but at least they are surrounded by art. Some of the culture has got to be seeping in somehow.
The office looks like – a real office. I have yet to see an office where it looks all clean and tidy like they show in magazines.
Nava did a portrait of my (or should I say our since this is Michael’s house) dad. We have this fantastic picture of him when he was in the US army and Nava turned it into this. I love this picture.
The kitchen was designed and installed by Michael, painted by Nava. Yes, that is my camera bag and keys…
However, I did realize it and remove it for later shots.
I love this house. Aidan, my oldest, did all of his firsts here as a baby – his first roll-over, crawl, word and steps were all in this house. I think the bright colors encouraged him to move. You can’t help but be energetic here.
The living room. Michael and Nava entertain a lot, so there’s plenty of room to sit. You could call this a sitting room.
Stephen Abel (my other big brother) on a bus in NYC where he now lives.
Michael and Aviv Abel.
This is one of my favorites – a new black and white of painting of an old photo of Moshe and Danny Attas. Moshe is Nava’s brother and is the bar mitzva boy. I especially love the look of pride and concern as Danny (their father) watches Danny during the service.
This niche used to hold the TV, but they took it out since people were just sitting there at parties watching TV. The breakfront (which you can’t really see, sorry about that) is the bottom piece to the shelves in the dining room. Nava painted it. Again, the blocks are used to give light and air to the kitchen while still keeping the two spaces separated.
(FYI, that’s Shelly our new writer on Fridays! She came up for a visit.)
Shira Abel is the CEO and founder of Hunter & Bard, an award-winning public relations and design agency that works with scale-ups and enterprises on building their brand, awareness and thought leadership.
As CEO of Hunter & Bard, Shira oversees a team that manages public relations, marketing, design, and brand development for clients across multiple industries. She develops strategies for organically growing companies through sincere digital engagement and the application of behavioral marketing.
Clients include JELD-WEN, Benchling, Sixth Continent, Totango, Folloze, Radix DLT, Axa Tech, Allianz, and many more. Shira is also a sought after corporate speaker and marketing mentor, and has spoken at events such as Confluence and Content Marketing World, and taught at institutions such as Kellogg School of Management and S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Mumbai.
Read more about Shira’s company Hunter & Bard at https://www.hunterandbard.com