A house full of prints, sketches, and a self-made LP

A house full of prints, sketches, and a self-made LP

A room of one’s own

26-09-2022 · People

Sofia Delle Cese (20, Italian and American), a third-year student of European Public Health, lives in a small apartment (about 65 m2) on Sint Annalaan. Her rent, not including utilities, is 895 euros per month.

Before moving into this apartment, Sofia Delle Cese lived in a nearby student house that “was dirty, smelled, had mice, and I never really bonded with my housemates”. In contrast, she has a very good relationship with her current housemate – her boyfriend Jim. They moved in together in February. They met at university and have been together for two years now. “Living together is going very well. We don’t argue about the typical things, like cooking and cleaning. It helps that Jim is very open-minded when it comes to food. Us Italians are very particular about food: it’s our way or no way at all. I cook, Jim eats, ha ha.”

After walking through the front door and taking a few steps to the right, you will find yourself in the living room. There used to be a fireplace, but it has been closed off. You have to look hard to see it through all the framed art posters in front of it. “They’re prints of old advertisements, from the time when artists rather than photographers were commissioned to create advertisements.” Delle Cese surveys her collection. “These are mostly advertisements of alcoholic beverages”, she realises with a laugh. “That’s not on purpose. We also keep an eye out for food-related prints.” She points to the empty white wall opposite the old fireplace, between the dining room and the kitchen. “We want to put them all up on that wall, but we haven’t quite decided how yet. And we both want it to be perfect.”

She reveals that one of the posters – an old advertisement of Campari, an Italian liqueur – isn’t a print, but a poster she drew and painted from reference. It’s just one of many things in the apartment that were made by Della Cese herself. On one of the walls in the dining area, for example, hangs a mirror with a quote on it: “Ceci est mon espace”, “This is my space”. “It’s a quote from the French artist Ben. My favourite café in Maastricht, Take Five, has a similar mirror, but with a different quote on it.” Delle Cese liked what she saw, so she cut out the stickers herself. In the bedroom is a mannequin in a summer dress. “She made that, too”, says her boyfriend proudly.

Above the bed hang three large sketches of a woman’s body, drawn on old, yellowed paper. “They were made by my grandpa”, says Delle Cese. “My father and he are both artists. Creativity runs in the family.”

Back to the living room, where a whole shelf of the bookcase is dedicated to the Harry Potter books. She even has a few duplicates. “I’m a huge fan”, she explains. “I followed in my brother’s footsteps. He’s almost ten years older than me, so we were always in a different phase of life, but Harry Potter is our thing together. He gave me the books and I watched the films for the first time with him. We even went to a Harry Potter exhibition in Paris together.”

On top of the bookcase sits an old record player. “That’s Jim’s”, she says. He loves his record collection, which was started by his father. Around the corner are several LPs in a box, but four are displayed on a wall shelf. She proudly holds one up. “I made this for Jim.” Not just the music (“a collection of songs we love”), but also the cover. It’s pink, with a line drawing of the couple hugging. The title: overindulged. “Jim once mentioned to me that he thought that was a good title for an album.”

While telling this story, she is standing on an old Persian rug. “My mother got this for 50 dollars at an estate sale in the US. She’s from the US, and we lived there from when I was ten years old to when I was thirteen. She worked in the antique business.” That’s how she knew that the rug was a bargain. “She believes it’s worth at least ten times that amount. My parents gave it to me because they no longer have room for it. We’re very careful with it. We use a special vacuum cleaner to clean it, and we roll it up and put it away when we throw a party.”

There is so much art and creativity in this house. Why on earth did Delle Cese decide to study European Public Health? “My grandpa and my father always said that art is something you do in your spare time. Turning it into a career puts pressure on it and takes the fun out of it.”

Author: Yuri Meesen

Photo: Ellen Oosterhof

Categories: People
Tags: a room of one's own,student room,students,instagram

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