Patricia Gelman’s 150-year-old beachside home is equal parts living area, studio, classroom and community gallery. The Paris-born artist uses her spacious lease to refinish and showcase flea market pieces from all over the Earth, instruct her golden- and silver-leaf techniques, and host biannual exhibits featuring other local artists. This mixture of imagination, education, community and travel gives her interior a complex but accessible fashion.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Patricia Gelman and her puppies Robine and Persefal
Location: Ajami, Jaffa, Israel
Size: 300 square meters (about 3,230 square feet); 1 bedroom, 2 baths, plus 2 studios and a gallery
That’s interesting: Local picture makers and fashion photographers have utilized her house for shoots.
The house centers around this living area and a courtyard. Her dad played with this baby grand; it’s the only piece Gelman comes from her youth in Paris. The floor tiles are original to the home. Mementos from her travels and flea market finds constitute much of the decor.
Gelman recently discovered that the home had been a synagogue, and in various times it had been inhabited by craftsmen. “I feel like it was intended to be a studio,” she states.
A sitting room close to the front entry features an Asian screen and chairs refinished with a fabric which Gelman printed. The art above the buffet is just one of her original pieces and is printed on acrylic with feathers supporting it.
She had a favorite card enlarged to poster size. The seats, with legs, are from a flea market. The bookshelf was created by A local artisan.
Gelman’s bedroom off the primary living room contains a bathroom that opens to the central courtyard.
She restored the original door, re-creating its original appearance, and refinished the flea-market corner shelving unit with silver foliage. A print of a painting by French artist Gustave Caillebotte hangs above the bed.
She converted two other bedrooms into art studios which double as classrooms. A third bedroom serves as a gallery for her newest pieces.
A living area window displays a view of nearby Jaffa Beach, where Gelman often walks her puppies.
One of her paintings hangs over a flea-market seat. She painted the acrylic wool in dual layers for added texture, a current technique she’s been experimenting with.
This refinished buffet in the living area is just another of her art projects.
The open door results in Gelman’s gallery, where she hosts exhibits twice per year. A current event featured a painter, stage designer, photographer and a lecturer on philosophy and art. She is also hosted iron-sculpture artist Udi Dayan, son of the former defense and foreign minister Moshe Dayan, and photographer Gilli Schwartz.
Eclectic furnishings in the gallery include a modern painted acrylic seat, a seat from the 15th century, a golden Baroque-style table and other pieces from Austria.
Sunlight pours through the courtyard and in the gorgeous original arched windows with trefoil-like details. As a result of her gentle climate, Gelman often keeps the doors and windows open.
Gelman uses this outdoor sink to wash her paintbrushes.
She loves courtyard dining in a vintage desk the previous owners left behind.
The door contributes to the primary living area.
“I never believed I’d live in this gorgeous location,” says Gelman, photographed in the entry to her property.
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