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Interiorssneak peeks

Sneak Peek: Naomi Ben Shahar

by Amy Azzarito


Naomi Ben Shahar, her husband, Alan, and 6-year-daughter, Lola,  have called this apartment in New York City’s Chelsea home for just about two years. Like many working mothers, Naomi wears many hats – she’s a curator, a photo editor, an artist and a blogger (She writes about her life and experience in NYC in Hebrew.). So it was important that her home feel like a calm respite from the world. In making decorating decisions, Naomi was guided by the apartment, which is housed in a turn of the 20th century industrial printing factory. Not only did she wanted to embrace the openness and high ceilings found in the apartment, but she also wanted natural light to play a staring role – bleaching the hardwood floors to reflect even more natural light. The home is just one block from the High Line – a perfect place to spend warm weather days. Thanks, Naomi, Alan and Lola! And a big thank you to Sivan Askayo for the lovely photos.

Image above: We keep the bedroom very spare. It is mostly white but not only white. We love the linens of LA- based Matteo, where the quilt is from. There is a drawing of me by my daughter, and the Tolomeo Mega Floor lamp.


Image above: I got the piano from my great aunt Fritzi. She and my uncle Walter (in the standing picture on the right) used to have wild parties in their UWS apartment in the ’30s, and often played this piano. The gallery wall surrounding it has art that I love, got from friends, and bought over the years: my great grandmother who immigrated to the US from Lithuania in the 19th century is in the oval photo, a historical picture of my daughter’s school from 1913, sand dunes in Namibia, an old b/w abstracted photo That I’ve found in a flea market, and a still from a video art piece I shot at the WTC on Sept. 4th, 2001, titled “Floating Inside Out (WTC)”


See more of Naomi’s Chelsea apartment after the jump!


Image above: The kitchen is definitely the center of everything in our home. I love to cook, it’s one of my favorite activities to do at home. The stools are from Horne, the rug on the right was the first rug that my parents bought together at the lovely flea market in Jaffa. I brought it from Israel. In the back is my mini collection of wooden cutting boards.


Image above: I’ve admired Dorothee Becker’s Uten.Silo Wall Organizer since I was a kid: a yellow one was hanging in the ’70s at my friend’s house growing up. We store in it the first Nikromat camera I got from my father, the cork of the champagne we drank right after my daughter was born, cards and photos from friends, paint brushes, and other knick knacks.


Image above: This is our favorite wall. It’s a magnetic blackboard wall where we sometimes write and draw all over with chalk, use as an inspiration board, and hang my daughter’s art.


Image above: I love bookshelves. My books travel with me everywhere! These shelves were the first thing I wanted for this apartment. They are Dieter Rams’ 606 Universal Shelving System, from Vitsoe, designed in 1960. I love them for their subtle, flexible modular design. The folk painting of a woman giving birth was sent to me by a friend from Mexico City. On the wall is a picture of an egg white from a series I secretly nicknamed “Jackson Pollock in the Skillet”. It is the first art work I’ve ever exhibited, at Feature, Inc. gallery when it was still in Soho. On the floor is a cardboard house made by my daughter. She loves to recycle things and make toys.


Image above: An improvised office space on top of our dining table. The beautiful photo on the wall is a tribute to Martha Graham from the 1940s by the photographer Barbara Morgan. On the floor is our beloved silver beanbag from France. In the back is a vintage Norman Cherner Pretzel chair. I’ve spotted a pair at a store way back in the early ’90s, and fell in love with their organic, sensual curves. I invested all my savings at the time in them… My accountant thought I was crazy!


Image above: The Hebrew alphabet is so mystical. This poster was designed by Tsilli Pines. The first letter of the alphabet (Alef), the middle (mem), and the last (taf) are lightly shaded to mark the beginning, midpoint, and ending of every story, and they spell the word emet (truth).


Image above: Lola’s bedroom. The loft was built by the wonderful artist who owned this space before us. It functions as a play room for now. The bed was custom made, it has curved rounded legs that were inspired by Moroccan beds. The quilt is from India, and the rug designed by Madeline Weinrib.


Image above: We went to visit the wolf conservation center in North Salem, NY and prior to our visit we did a wolf-themed week. We read friendly wolf stories, learned about saving wolves from extinction, listened to Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf, and played with this Schleich wolf family.

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