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Monday, 11 August 2014

OTHER PEOPLE'S HOMES


Show me how you live and I tell you who you are - this sentence may hold true for many. I believe it is the core motivation to watch TV shows were people, celebrities or not, show their homes and thus offer an insight into their soul. There are regional differences though. Whereas in northern countries, people put a lot of effort into beautifying their homes - IKEA started out in Sweden after all, in the Southern parts I never experienced this desire to make your nest reflect your personality to such extents. Many of my friends in Italy and Croatia happily lived with an unattractive mish mash of cheap and crappy furniture with the occasional antique piece thrown in, mainly because it was too bulky to be removed from the apartment and has become part of the place ever since the distant relative of the landlord moved in at least two generations ago.
Back in college I always enjoyed looking for a new shared. Apartment, even though this tiring process of interviews in numerous WGs was annoying, you got to meet people in their very private habitat. In one of my early jobs, I assisted with the installation of an art piece, where two artists from japan conducted interviews with people living in the tenements along the street leading to the Kunsthalle. They then printed excerpts onto neon pink styrofoam pane and we installed them in the windows. During this time I got to spend a lot of time in stranger's apartments and felt an excitement anthropologist may feel when discovering some native tribe in the Amazonas.

When we moved to Houston, the first thing to do was to find a place to stay and make it a temporary home. My inner habitat anthropologist rejoiced and soon I found myself immersed in real estate websites. Unlike in Croatia, where the rental market is tiny and the little that is available comes with above described clutter of furniture, in the states apartments are rented out bare, and most of the apartments had been already emptied. But one ad made me swoon: a families' incredibly stylish home was up for rent and the photos had been taken while they were still living in it. I drooled over it for a while and secretly hoped these people would not move and we could become friends forever and tell our grandchildren the story of how we met through a real estate ad. I sincerely considered contacting the real estate agent, but then abstained from that thought. 
 The Patio full of green.... 
Fur and indian blankets, natural fabrics and designer furniture, but all very comfortable and individual...
A sewing room. Oh how I miss that!

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