Before leaving Europe, I jumped on a train to visit my good friend Mara who was at the time living in Canterbury, England. This woman will someday win an Oscar for directing or acting, or something spectacular like that. She is patient and full of amazing stories worthy of sun sets with a glass of wine and a bonfire. In her last week studying for her final paper, she took a couple of days to relax and show me this wonderful and historical town. I read "The Canterbury Tales" during my English studies in school. I loved the stories because although they were written by Geoffrey Chaucer, the stories were accounts of what people talked about during their pilgrimage from their small towns to this amazing Canterbury Cathedral. Some stories were religious in nature, and some were very sexy. I recommend the book.
As my Peruvian feet walked through the town, I wondered who had chosen to rest on this building, or by this creek during their pilgrimage.
Aside from it's impressive historical sights, Canterbury had an amazing quality that I truly wanted to cherish and bring back home with me. Canterbury was full of greenery: trees, bushes, canals seemed to embrace the homes, movie theaters, and also the University of Kent. During our brunch at "Tiny Tim's" a bee came into the restaurant and people kept eating because frankly - the bee had every right to be part of the atmosphere. The endearing appreciation of nature was something I truly appreciated from visiting this town.
We took a boat tour on one of the canals and came across a nest within two bricks, a tree that grazed our faces, and various types of birds and bugs. One of my favorite parts was going under the fairy bridge. Apparently, the tree by this bridge releases small white flakes during the tree's mating season and the locals tell the children that fairies are dancing outside. What a beautiful tradition!
We also stumbled upon children dressed up as knights and lords during our visit to the Canterbury Cathedral. We saw a twisted tree that was at least 500 years old - and on and on it went. Nature, magical stories, and of course our visit to the very fun and educational The Canterbury Tales Museum.
Thank you Mara, for showing me that tall grey vertical structures can look warmer and welcoming with a beautiful garden beside it.
Time to think about plants!
As I entered into May, I moved onto my next destination - Paris, France. It is a city I love for all it's literary history; especially because my favorite Peruvian writer, Cesar Vallejo, is buried there. Thankfully, I have a friends out there who were willing to let me crash in their living space. They were both dance students living next to Montmartre Cemetery, which was pretty amazing in itself. This trip was a source for me to practice documentary style filmmaking, and to visit some museums and get inspired by the art for the house. The video was a fun small project, which I am still working on. It is now a gift to be given to the dancers, for their graciousness during my stay.
I was really touched by their openness and willingness to share their already creative living space. I was also inspired by their daily routines. Work, school, late night cooking and chats with family and friends, and the endless flights of stairs to their apartment were all rituals taken to complete a full cycle of the day. Their schedules shifted from chores to fun, and they balanced their lives with a lot of laughter.
This trip made me value the creative use of space, the use of colors and combinations of different styles shown by both Robyn and Kewe's different backgrounds. This trip also made me reflect upon my relationship Movement, and how changing a chair from one part of the room to another part of the room, for example - changed the FEEL of the SPACE. Below are some stills from the video I was able to capture of two dancers in their Paris studio apartment. I am eternally grateful to them for letting me be part of a very small part of their journey abroad.
Along with the idea of Movement, I took away the idea of RELATIONSHIPS in this trip too. The relationship of Kewe and Robyn living together. And how the relationship grew from micro to macro as you stepped out into the streets. Hues of warm and cool colors mixing together to reflect the romantic relationship you feel when walking through Paris. It's inevitable; hot and cold things will happen. You either fall in love with the architecture, the food, or you feel coldness towards them. It's a hard city to understand sometimes. It took me two trips to appreciate it.
Below, see some of my lonely walks through the town: museums visits, the streets, La Seine, the flea markets and at the Krump Battle! I had a blast being surrounded by wonderful generous women, Paris, and of course - DANCE! I also got to see my beautiful friend Camila, who is also a dancer. I hang out with a lot of dancers :).
Thanks for the lemon water tip Robyn! I have a lemon tree at home, and it's now part of my morning routine. You and Kewe are incredibly inspiring.
Quick insert on our living situation. Amos and I are slowly moving into this house and it's starting to feel like a home. In each room, we've started to make small spaces that are personal and ours, though no major decorative things have happened yet because construction is upon us.
However, the place is starting to feel cozy. Since it's a billion degrees out in Los Angeles, we've taken upon ourselves to take afternoon strolls to just get out of the non-airconditioned abode. Today we stumbled upon a shelter and a pet store. Someday I'll be responsible enough to own a pet again, but I move around a lot with travel/work. Maybe the house will change the necessity for a lot of moving about. Amos was humoring me as we admired the little creatures. There was one beagle in particular who wouldn't keep his eyes off Amos.
If we ever decide on a pet, it would be because we have thought about it a long time. We would want to: give it a home, dedicate time for training, walking, feeding, and (of course) spoiling. If ever a little creature enters our world (far far into the future) it would be because we are feeling more stable. First we want to make the house pet friendly. Alas, construction is dangerous. Still, isn't this pup precious?
The month of May 2015 provided the chance to travel and see and experience how different parts of the world live, eat and decorate! The travel was made possible thanks to family and friends who let me couch surf and stay with them during this fun, creative and work related engagement. Tonight, as it is past midnight - and I am buzzing on root beer caffeine and some late night cheese pizza regrets, I will share with you some images from Istanbul, Turkey. Lucky for me, I have a cousin who lives there, and who I have been dying to visit since she left Perú. Now, married and raising a family in Turkey, she and I were able to reunite.
These are some of the images that inspired me to think about CONTRAST. What I was able to appreciate from this part of the country during my short time there, is their willingness to embrace the new while still honoring the old. I also love how some structures were overtaken by nature, and the community accommodated to it. It's quite beautiful! Whether it's a branch growing through the grand bazaar shop, to a wind and rain distressed window sill. The place was blooming with color and fragrances from the flowers and the sea.
Below you will see images of creatures in space, people in and about a mosque, and a varied architecture from the European and Asian side of Istanbul. I mostly focused in a town called Ortaköy (parks, communities, and politicians making speeches for example), though some of the images are from Kiz Kulesi as well, during a late night stroll with my cousin. I hope the colors encourage your senses to create your own palette for your home spaces. I am excited to combine some of these colors and themes in my own living space.
A couple of the images you may note involve food. This is because Amos and I are lovers of food. One thing I brought back with me from their amazing Turkish breakfast - which has everything in the food pyramid! (Do people still use the pyramid?) Cheese, honey, olives, tea/caffeine, baguette, egg scramble, cucumber and tomato slices, yogurt, fruit -- ugh! It's all amazing.
I plan to return to Istanbul in about a year to see my cousin again. Next time I am bringing home some vibrant Turkish lamps.
I just got back from visiting my grandmother in Lima. She has been under the weather. During my time there, my brother and I explored the city, my grandmother's house in Vipol, and we also took a small trip to Cuzco. The images below are some of the stylistic/aesthetic highlights of the trip. They are moments I was able to capture a bit of visual magic to tease the brain and inspire the heart. Whether it's the minimalist restaurant in Miraflores, the bright colored walls in my grandmother's bedroom, or the sharp contrast between all of the natural elements in Cuzco - this trip inspired ideas for CASA AMOS ROSA. I brought back with me a table cover from Chinchero, a jade frog from Aguas Calientes (for prosperity), books in Spanish for our library, and a small painting from La Plaza de Armas in Cuzco for the kitchen.
Throughout the trip, I found myself looking out the window of moving vehicles, getting lost in thought. Whether I was looking at people or at a landscape, in the end, I always smiled.
Below, are some highlights that were inspiring to me about the trip. I hope they inspire something in you: for your travels, for your home, or for your adventurous spirit who wishes to visit old friends/family. Art and beauty, it's everywhere!
This is an awesome innovative green tip we stumbled upon recently. It's the inspiring story of Terezinha Silva and how she is helping her community in São Paulo, Brazil. Here is an innovative idea of how to safely reuse rain water for the use of "gardens, cleaning, (and) flushing your toilet." This may or may not make the garden plan, but seeing how the drought is affecting a lot of us here in California - it doesn't seem like a bad plan.
To read the full article, click here.
Every now and then, we catch a visual force of nature online that inspires elements of the house. This video, in particular, touches upon two themes/projects the home will have: a LIBRARY and an ARTIST WORKSHOP. The colors and design of the video are also inspirational elements. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
To see the full article and site where this video was found, click here.
One of the first things we did after finding out that we would be getting a fixer-upper home, was have a couple of beers and cheer. We celebrated for about two minutes and then it "sinked" in. Okay, we have a home...now what?
A couple of Blue Moons and cocktails later we drew up chicken scratch blue-prints on bar napkins with a list of our priorities. What do we want to focus on first?
Thankfully, Amos is a real estate broker and has taken architecture courses. Additionally, my father has been a licensed contractor in the Los Angeles area since the mid-80s, and I am familiar with the world of construction and its terminology. The two of us put their heads together and voilà!
It came down to the basics:
This is because one of our priorities during this process is conservation, being water-wise, re-using/recycling material already in the house, and being efficient. Meantime, we're about 3 months away from being able to even take pictures of the property, properly measure it, and do a walk thru with Luis, our licensed contractor/my dad. We are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
Looking forward to sharing more of the pre-production with you!
Hello! This is Rosa of "Casa Amos Rosa." Amos and I are moving into a new home in June 2015 and we're super excited and kind of nervous about the whole process. Who are we? Just a couple of goofballs trying to grow up together. Oh, and along for the ride will be my sister Jacko, who will also be living with us and sharing the experience through photography. One of our contractors will be non other than my father; who is going to help us make the house smoking hot. Well, actually we're going for a cozy colorful feel. We'll also be soliciting help from friends in the Los Angeles area (who have gone through this process before), and we will also be attempting "Do It Yourself" tasks (God help us). Join us for the ride!
As of today, this is what we have to work with:
1. 2 bedorooms
2. 1 office
4. Living room
5. Dining Room
7. Laundry Room
8. Back yard space
Let's see what comes of it.