Homes: A haven for owls
With a swimming pool outside the living room and a collection of over 400 owls, this Ra’anana apartment is certainly different.
Kitchen Photo: URIEL MESSA
With a swimming pool outside the living room and a collection of over 400 owls,
this third-floor Ra’anana apartment is certainly different.
the apartment, the first impression is one of comfort and luxury with many
beautiful artifacts in view and antique furniture mingling with modern to create
a warm and welcoming environment. Boring it definitely isn’t.
to an American couple who made aliya in 1969. She worked as a speech therapist
and tells me her husband was a stockbroker for 20 years after being “in more
businesses than you can count.”
They raised their four children here, all
“We started out living in Savyon,” the owner
“It was like a village in those days and you could live in a
cottage or a mansion, it didn’t matter.”
When the nouveaux riches started
to move in and build what she considered monstrosities, they moved out and lived
happily in Ramat Gan for years until deciding six years ago that for Shabbat
observers Ra’anana had more to offer – especially as two of their children had
already set up home there.
They had to do some complicated adjustments to
acquire more living space than was originally included in the apartment, which
had a huge balcony at the expense of the lounge. By incorporating the balcony
into the living area and adding an extension which became the new balcony, they
were able to have a reasonably sized lounge. One of the advantages was that
light now floods into the room from what used to be the balcony.
are two sitting areas in the lounge, both furnished in green. One is a green
suede L-shaped unit and, on the other side, a couch and armchair upholstered in
a striped green fabric.
“I wanted to bring in the green from outside, as
I find it a calming color,” says the owner.
The striking coffee table
came from the flat in Ramat Gan and, although she feels it is a bit large for
the present room, the table, which was specially made for her, has pride of
“I bought two metal decorative grilles and gave them to a friend
and said ‘do something with them,’” she explains.
The result is a
two-level glass-and-wood table, the wood painted to imitate metal and the
grilles set into the sides. Owls and flowers are perched on the
But then, the owls are everywhere – including in a special glass
display cabinet at the entrance as well as scattered around the room and even
outside on the balcony.
She doesn’t remember how she began to collect
owls, but with the huge and varied collection she has, she won’t take just any
“It has to talk to me,” she says. “I have turned down owls if I feel I haven’t made a connection.”
Next to the open
window, from which one can glimpse the six-meter-by-three-meter pool, stands a
gilt antique cabinet that belonged to her parents. It is full of objects she
used to enjoy looking at and playing with as a child and, since no one else in
the family wanted it, she brought it over to Israel where it embellishes the
living room. There are also several beautiful old lamps made of wrought iron and
The kitchen cabinets are cream Formica below and glass fronted
above, and the island is made of bright red synthetic marble with an inset
sparkle and a hob at one end. Tall red-and-chrome chairs surround the island.
Next to the kitchen, placed by a window, she has a collection of orchids on
their own specially made shelves, not quite flowering yet but looking robust and
The master bedroom was made by joining two smaller rooms
together and is airy and spacious, with three windows allowing light to pour in.
Behind the wooden bedhead is plenty of storage space, while on a balcony off the
bedroom she is able to grow vegetables and herbs in pots perched around the
The front balcony is like another sitting room, with its deck
flooring and comfortable straw furniture, and the view over the rooftops of
Ra’anana is pleasantly bucolic.
Plants and flowers in pots thrive out
here in the sun and fresh air. From here the pool can be accessed via wooden
steps hidden behind the vegetation.
The owner took up painting nearly 20
years ago and has made a studio for herself on the second floor. The walls are
covered with her paintings, which vary in style from figurative to abstract but
are invariably colorful. She tells me that she finds painting not just enjoyable
She has exhibited with other artists but is aiming for a
show of her own.
But strangely enough, I couldn’t see any paintings of
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