Before her new Villa Walala exhibit opened in London, Curbed talked to the muralist and designer about her own creative epiphany Editor's note: This article was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated with photography of the project in situ. In the midst of next month's London Design Festival, the annual celebration of creativity in the English capital, a playground is angling to become a new city centerpiece. Done up in Memphis-inspired prints that harken back the the heyday of the kinetic '80s design movement, the installation, part of partnership with British Land real estate investment company, is being designed to create a sense of nostalgia and fun among the assembled design fans. Known as Villa Walala, the playscape, which opened on Saturday, September 16, appears to turn the mental landscape of designer and muralist Camille Walala, known for her unique blend of color, pattern, and sequence, into a physical reality. The maze-like playground look like a perfect blend of her ideas and inspirations, which she calls Tribal Pop. When Curbed caught up with her during a phone interview on her vacation, she was traveling in Mexico, having toured the colorful homes of Luis Barragan, and was on her way to New York City to see the new exhibit about Memphis founder Ettore Sottsass at the Met Breuer.
A view of Villa Walala, which has taken up residence in London's Exchange Place.
Walala says that her design career wasn't immediately apparent to her. Set to pursue a career in fashion and textiles, the French designer moved to London in her 20s, and after finishing school at the University of Brighton, spent time floating through the city's art and music scene, working in the hospitality industry and figuring out her career path. After establishing a studio in East London in 2009, she turned her unique visual style-an amalgam of Memphis, the op-art of Victor Vasserly, and the graphics of the South African Ndebele tribe-into a series of stores, installations, and urban landscapes across the globe, including attention-getting designs for the London club XOYO as well as the Dream Come True mural for Splice TV. She also done textile work, but as her career, and canvases, grow, she's become more known for larger public displays. That doesn't bother her one bit.
If I'm going to do this the rest of my life, I better enjoy it, she says of her search for an artistic outlet. She was drawn to Memphis designs, and similarly energetic patters, when she was younger. Her father, also a designer, had books on the movement at her house in the South of France, and she remembers being drawn to the sense of optimism it conveyed. I found it to be more playful and less serious, she says. I think that's what I've been trying to reproduce, that idea of design. I love it when people smile, and known that my work inspired them. While she's being asked to cover and create more and more work after establishing herself in East London, Walala find that her gregarious patterns have slightly shifted. It's not as much a change in medium as it is maturity. They're becoming simpler and more direct over time. In many ways, it's about understanding when her kinetic pieces are truly finished. You sometimes hear people say, 'that's easy, I can do that myself,' Walala says. But when I have people help me reproduce my designs, it's really quite specific work. I'm always talked them through the thickness of the lines, the balance, and the colors. It's more about experience. You have to know when to stop.
A Walala installation on Old Street in London
The Villa Walala project has given the designer a new outlet, as well as a new process. Creating work that's even more three-dimensional has required working more with designers and computer graphics programs, to overlay her work on the different shapes and surfaces. This piece, a wild maze of shapes and patterns, reflects what she calls her inner child. Villa Walala, like her bold building designs, shows how she's created a unique place with the worlds of art and placemaking. She sees her work as a form of street art, and believes that the public nature of her projects presents certain responsibilities. If you're going to do something on the street, where people are sharing space the last thing you want to do is make things more miserable, she says. It's great to make people smile. I love that idea of street art, to apply art to buildings to make it accessible to everyone. Villa Walala is up until Sunday, September 24.
biffspandex/iStockA house that's seenminimal movement on the market for months is frustrating.In fact, frustrating mightbe an understatement. For some, ahome that won't sellcan be a desperatesituation-especially ifselling it was a last-ditch effort to avoidforeclosure. That's why, if you have yet to find a buyer, it's important to take a step back and assess exactlywhyyour house isn't selling. So let's dive in anddiscuss some of the mainfactors that hinder house sales and how you can maneuver your way around them so you can offload your home-hopefully sooner than later. Ask your real estate agent these questions If your house has been on the market for months with no offers, the first factor you want to consider is the market. Does the current market favor buyers or sellers? Talk to yourreal estate agentabout the median days on the market in your area for comparable homes. Perhaps things just aren't moving quickly in the current market. Sometimes, real estate is hot, and other times it's not. You can also discuss any showings by your agent or other agents and the feedback given by other agents and potential buyers. Their feedback could help you rethink how you and your agent are marketing the house. Some other questions to ask your agent include: [list] [*]Is your home listed on your local multiple listing service? [*]Has every inquiry turned into a showing appointment? If not, why? [*]How does your listing look compared withthe homes priced similarly? [*]Since the day you listed, what properties have accepted offers, how many days did it take, and what price were they asking? [/list] Reassess yourexpectations While you mightthink your house is a steal of a deal, make sure you're able to objectively look at the situation, saysBeverley Hourlier, a Realtor with Hilltop Chateau in San Diego. The buyer has to perceive the value to be there. If not, no offers. How do you stand upto thecomparablesin the neighborhood? Be honest in your assessment, because vanity or pride could be costing you money, she says Is the price right? Beyond the temperature of the market and your marketing efforts, the most likely factor when it comes to a lack of offers on a home is price. Properties sell when they are priced correctly, saysTracey Martin, a Realtor with Realty World Premier Associates in Salinas, CA. The value of your home is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay for it. If it is too high, you won't get any offers. Marketing makes a big difference, too, saysRobin Lemmons, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker King in Gahanna, OH. If you have had a lot of showings with no offers, it is a pricing issue. If you are having very little activity, it can be a pricing or marketing issue. Is your house being marketed on all the major websites? How is the quality and quantity of the photos? she says. How low can you go? If you determine your home was overpriced out of the gate, then lowering it mighthelp. However, you need to be strategic in terms of just how much you drop the price. You can slashyour price by $50,000, but if it's still above your competition or there are major repairs or updates that need to be done, your chances of selling remain low. Of course, you neverwant to lower the price below the amount owed on your loan. Instead of doing that, you should either stay in the property until the value goes up, consider a short sale, or pay the difference between what you owe and what you can get for your home. Considernew representation If your agent isn't responsive or doesn'thave a good explanation for why your property isn't selling, then you mightwant to consider a new agent, saysTeresa Stephenson, vice president of residential brokerage for Platinum Properties in New York. Just don't expect a new agent to have the magic solution. If you speak with another agent, keep in mind that they are motivated to tell you what you want to hear, Stephenson says. If they are telling you that they can get you the price you want, ask them for data to justify their claims. With the transparency and accessibility provided by the internet today, it is a rare circumstance when a real estate agent has exclusive access to any buyers. Buyers know what is out there, she says. While it mightnot always happen as quickly as you like, your home will eventually sell. You just need a strong strategy, a healthy dose of patience, and, let's face it, a bit of good luck. The post 'It's Been Months and My Home Won't Sell'-How to Revive a Stale Listing appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com.
This week Google started rolling out Android Oreo to devices. It's been available as a public beta for some of the company's more recent Pixel and Nexus devices since May, but now carrier testing is underway for some of those models, so the official version is likely headed to devices sooner rather than later. Read more...
realtor.comWait a minute is September really right around the bend? If you're missing the whole back to school vibe, you could choose to shack up in the warm confines of aclassroom and never leave. If you're inclined to learn all about life in an old schoolhouse, we have a lesson for you. Justpack up your books and invest in aschoolhouse conversion. From coast to coast, former schools-whether a white clapboard building in New York's Catskills region or a red-shingled structurein Maine-have been artfully convertedintosingle-family homes. One thing's for sure: These seven homesoffer plentyof charm and charisma. Some will require a fewupdates, but there's nothing that demands your breaking out the eraser and starting from scratch. Before the school bell rings, we invite you to take a recess and investigate theseseven schools. N7694 County Road H, Luxemburg, WI Price: $164,700
Why it made the grade: Built in 1942, this 2,198-square-foot brick schoolhouse underwent a recentmakeover, which includes the addition of a walk-in closet. But plenty of charming features remain, includinga claw-foot tub in the second bath, hardwood flooring, and two wood stoves. Luxemburg, WIrealtor.com --- 72 Hilltop Rd, Sharon, CT Price: $280,000
Why it made the grade:Class is in session!Behind the red front door is a five-bedroom Colonial. This formerschoolhouse in this historic town now has a new roof, a cozy fireplace, an updated electrical system, and anall-white backdrop. Sharon, CTrealtor.com --- 1404 Mount Auburn Rd, Evansville, IN Price: $242,000
Why it made the grade:Operating as a schoolhouse until the 1940s, this three-bedroom, three-bath brick beauty was converted to a home in the late 1980s. A skylight and walk-in closet in the master bedroom (the school's former workshop) and a jetted tub in the master bath redefine this old schoolhouse while the exposed-brick walls in the living room are memories of its history. Evansville, INrealtor.com --- 59475 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY Price: $67,000
Why it made the grade:Rocking the tiny-house trend at873 square feet, this former one-room schoolhouse-built in 1900-is now a two-bedroom home with a white clapboard exterior. Despite the home'ssmall size, the backyard is huge. Original hardwood flooring, a stunning staircase, and a new roof are among its star features. Hobart, NYrealtor.com --- 11998 Route 240, Concord, NY Price: $329,000
Why it made the grade:Built in 1944,thisformer schoolhouse sits on a massive 1.8-acre lot. Design details include a steel roof, high ceilings, and crown molding throughout. Instead of cubbyholes to store kids' belongings, there'san antique light fixture in the foyer for instant glam. The 1,450-square-foot bonus building would make for an awesome guesthouse. Next lesson: Airbnb? Concord, NYrealtor.com --- 25071 Banks Rd, Millsboro, DE Price: $325,000
Why it made the grade:Cedar-shake siding encases this schoolhouse from 1924. Although it's being sold as is, the potential forthis two-bedroom, three-bath house is huge, with its large closets, wood-burning stove, and rooftop space above the garage that could be transformed into a green roof and/or vegetable garden. Millsboro, DErealtor.com --- 2 Howard Siding Ln, Abbot, ME Price: $45,000