Interior Design Interview: Shira Abel from Israel

by interior designer

in General

I’ve decided to add a new feature to Home Interior Design Themes and that is an interview section with fellow Interior Designers or Interior Decor bloggers. It’s always fascinating to read what other designers and decor enthusiasts have to say about their work and their favorite styles. Therefore I hope my guests here will present readers with multitudes of inspiration for their own home designs and perhaps, future careers.

shira-abel-interior-design-israelMy first interviewee is Shira Abel from Israel. I’ve known Shira for a good many months after finding her Interior Decor blog, Tchochkes, on my daily perusals around the world wide web. Once you’ve read through the questions and answers below, I strongly recommend visiting her fascinating blog where you can read about her likes, dislikes and more about who she is.

1. Can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself and where you come from?

I’m a mom, marketer and design fiend. I grew up in Huntington Beach, California and moved to Israel.

2. You live in Israel after making aliyah in 1998. How does the design scene in Israel compare to the United States?

It’s smaller, of course, and you can get more individual pieces. However, the styles are more limited, as materials are expensive here and we lack the wealth of woodworkers and other skilled trades-people that the US has. The biggest problem for design in Israel is the serious lack of originality and brain-drain. Many of our best designers leave.

3. You are the owner of the Interior Design blog Tchochkes (meaning “small things that need to be dusted” in Yiddish). Why did you start it and where do you want it to go?

There are so many reasons why I started Tchochkes… I was starting my Executive MBA at Kellogg (the Tel Aviv Recanati campus) and I wasn’t able to do my hands on projects as I was used to. Plus I had thought about starting a design blog when Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge started, but I didn’t because I was in the middle of meeting my husband, getting married and having my children. I also didn’t really believe that anyone would be interested in an English design blog in Israel.

Then I started my MBA and discussed it with a few classmates who encouraged me. I’m so glad I did it – it’s so good for the soul.

4. Who is your favorite Israeli designer?

That’s a tough one. I can’t choose just one – and I would have to decide if I wanted to focus on inside Israel or out. I’m simply going to plead the 5th on this one.

5. Who has inspired you the most during your life? You can pick more than one person or group, inside or outside of the design field. Tell us why.

Actually it was an architect I worked with when I first got out of university. I worked as an admin in an architecture firm and Barbara was an architect there. She was able to have a real balance in her life between work and family and she worked out regularly as well. I was young and very impressed on how she was able to balance it all.

6. What was the last room you redecorated and what did you do?

Oy. My home is so neglected right now. Nothing happened in the two years I was studying. What I will tell you is about my plans for redecorating. We added on 2 rooms a few years ago (a play room and a guest/laundry room). Both need serious help. The playroom needs shelves, reorganizing and fun kids elements and the guest room needs a proper bed, cleaning out the clutter (we’ve been using it as a dump space – opps) and some nice tchochkes.

7. Describe your dream home.

Northern California not too far north of San Francisco overlooking the water

8. Name three Interior Design related blogs you enjoy visiting and tell us why my readers should bookmark them.

Design Sponge –DS has consistently great content with interesting designers and great visiting bloggers. Plus she has a biz ladies column weekly where excellent advice is given by an expert. Plus I wrote the city guide to Tel Aviv…

Desire to Inspire – It just is. The absolute best eyecandy for interior design addicts online, period.

Can I put my own? 😉

Apartment Therapy – The mighty AT. It’s the mother of all interior design blogs and has even featured one of my posts before (so of course I love them). I have been reading it from the beginning and am in awe of what Maxwell built. Such fantastic helpful design information in one place – it’s divine.

9. What cause do you feel passionately about and why?

I feel passionate about most things. It’s my nature.

10. Where else on the web can you be found?

http://www.abel-communications.com/blog
http://www.linkedin.com/in/shiraabel
http://www.facebook.com/shiraabel
shiraabel@googlewave.com (yes, I’m on Wave)
http://blip.fm/shiraabel
http://www.flickr.com/tchochkes

Many thanks for the interview Shira.

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