Colourful Synergy

For years, artist and designer Samy David – known as Samy D – wouldn’t even have one of his designs at home. Didn’t want to come across as arrogant, he says, I was on some ego trip. But as the years passed by, the jewel-like the aesthetic of his sculptures and ceramic creations started leaking into his life and apartment.

After living in Jaffa and having his own boutique shop in Neve Tzedek, where he sold his eponymous ceramic dishes, D and his writer partner Yohai felt like a fresh start. Moved to this new studio space in south Tel Aviv, says D, the energy was amazing. When we were looking for a new apartment we didn’t initially think about this area, but then the loft above the studio became available for rent and we just went with it.

We came here, the apartment was entirely open space. D re-planned the space to allow some privacy (two rooms) and turned the tiny kitchen into something more appropriate for its cooking – and entertaining – loving tenants.

Apart from the new space plan, the design was done more freestyle, as befitting an artist. Knew there was going to be a lot of colour, but not exactly which colours or where each would go. The artist-come-designer had a certain yellow, which he first saw in a book, in his mind for years. He thought he found the right match and indeed used it to paint the wall that connects the entrance to the bedroom and dining room, but later found out the effect wasn’t the one he was lusting for. Another regret is the green hue the couple used for the living room ceiling and the pipe on the same room s wall, but D doesn’t feel like design regrets are a bad thing. For the designer, whom experimented with colour and interiors since his childhood, design is more about evolution. Taking those decor disasters in stride is part of the everyday for an artist whose become more and more interested in returning to interior design, years after he studied it in university. The paint scheme wasn’t the only thing recycled here. Though boasting a luxurious look and feel, the loft is filled with sentimental – and many times repurposed – furniture and different items.

It seems like flexibility is a must when designing an imperfect home, which happens to be a rented loft in an aging building, without a humongous budget.

Didn’t set a fixed budget for this project. Frankly, I never thought we would spend so much – and not only money – on a rental. But budgetary restrictions aren’t all bad. We don t have the budget for a project, we wait.

It allows for some welcome time to re-think, re-value and plan ahead.

For a designer well known in Israel and abroad, Samy D is awfully un-pretentious. The highlight of designing their loft, he says, was the freedom of experimenting with colour and the sheer fun of practicing one of the greatest loves – design – together with his partner. Can spend all the money in the world on an architect, designer and so on, but what it worth if you can tell who lives there? Says Samy. Favourite houses are those where the owner personality shines. The next step for the colourful loft? Started designing the bedroom recently, but then I decided we simply had to have some sort of greenery in the building and I installed a koi fish pool and planted some grass. In the building joint yard, right in the middle of the formerly-grey, industrial area, hints of grass are already raising their green little heads and hinting at a new life.

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