There are times when you’d prefer all the spaces you’re looking for to be like the spaces you find in your home. Comfortable, made to measure, with shapes that speak to your gaze and full of the functions to suit your habits. Meryl, Andrea and Ann live in such a space: large storage walls which express their aesthetic taste in bespoke compositions and at-their-service functions. «Make yourself at home» – they say when they welcome you into their home. To make you feel at ease, in a space that becomes familiar to you.
The home of Meryl, Andrea and Ann.
For them, their home is the expression of a family. A composition of choices where everyone finds a space of their own. They come in together, eat together, talk and listen. Then they work or study on their own; they look at one another from one space to another between the two floors. That is how Meryl, Andrea and Ann spend their days. Amid the spaces of a home just waiting to be lived in and which expresses their way of being a family to get to know better.
Here they are. Let me introduce them. Meryl and Andrea: my parents. They came into my life just after I was born. I was 3 years old and was in Sri Lanka: I was about to leave my space of origin, but which was somehow to always remain with me. I was entering a more comfortable, warmer and larger space. The strong embrace of Mum. The trustworthy look of Dad.
I am English, ok. But in the kitchen I’m in charge. That’s my most Italian trait. Because if you take to the kitchen in this country, to take to Italy as a whole. So, you learn to choose ingredients, just like you learn to choose the spaces to store them in. The goodness of a result can be seen from the goodness of what produces it. Large storage in the kitchen provides me with a lot of help in the home. In my family, I find the two most important ingredients.
Mine is a one-way job only: I sell cars. But every month, I catch planes that take me all over the world. So when I get home after a long trip, the only path I’m interested in is the one that takes me to my family. Even for an export manager distances become shorter and what is dearest to you comes closer.
It was an Erasmus project that brought me to Italy. I wanted to study the language and steep myself in the country’s culture. Plymouth is a port city in south-west England: ever since I was born, it has taught me to open up to vastness…and not only of the sea. In Bologna, I met Andrea in a restaurant: he spoke to me in English. He explained the dishes on the menu. So it was that, on that evening, a drawer opened. Inside was our life together. A large storage 26 years long.
I love her English way of keeping things tidy. In the spaces where she finds all the freedom to arrange, divide, superimpose, hang up, fold up and separate things. Because, whenever she needs things, she has to have them handy. In that sense, she leaves nothing to chance, nothing out of place. It’s part of the way she has of looking at the world. And which she conveys to her students in the classroom where she teaches them her language.
The best space in life is that which separates your gaze from what you see. It is the space that puts you at the right distance to look at what you love. When I look at him whilst he is working at home, I know he may soon have to leave for a new and long journey. And I know that this means being a long way from one another. Yet what shows through in Andrea is that he is the man of the house. When I was young, in him I saw a home for my feelings. And I still live there.
Given time, in the end things settle down. They find their place in life and their space in the home. In the end, what they design is a family. I know that’s what my parents dreamed of. We have discovered they had the same dream. All they had to do was wait as long as necessary to make it come true. For Mum to imagine me, for dad to become informed. For me to arrive from a small corner of the world.
I am now 17 years old and I study foreign languages in a high school. In words that cross borders I find a part of myself. But music is the environment into which I escape. And when I go out with my friends, I often return home with something. A book, a T-shirt, a sweat shirt: I always find room for them in my bedroom. I hang up, I put down. I switch on and lay down. I free myself of everything, and in all this I am free.
6 eyes, 3 gazes, 1 family.
Going into a house from outside is like entering a tale as a reader. The written page is a door that opens before our eyes. Looking at a home is a brilliant way of living in it. Meryl, Andrea and Ann have narrated with their eyes the small and large moments of their lives. Those which flow free between the spaces that speak of them. And freedom is the most familiar space we have.
Your space to speak to us.
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