(photo credit: )
The owner of this stunning house gives all the credit to her architect Rami Gil and her builder Gil Dan.
"Building the house from scratch took about three years, a year of planning and two years of building, and I can honestly say it was a most pleasurable experience," she says.
Most people who build a house usually groan but then confirm that it was worth all the aggravation in the end, so it was refreshing to hear that someone actually loved having a house built.
"The architect was very professional and took care of every detail, working hand in hand with the builder. He came at least three times a week to inspect the progress of the work and check on the finish," says the owner.
The house, set in a dunam and a half of land in Kfar Shmaryahu, has a quiet dignity about it, with muted shades of grey and dark brown both outside and in several of the rooms. A great deal of glass is used throughout, as the owners felt that being able to see the garden and the pool would substitute for the basic lack of fussy decoration within.
All the inner doors are made of glass set in a grey steel frame. A motif of horizontal lines runs through the house and gives a vaguely Japanese feel to the d cor.
As one walks through the glass front door fortified with the steel lines which act both as protection and as a decorative element, one notices the unobtrusive lift set at the side of the entrance hall which goes up to the bedrooms and down to the basement. The staircase and banisters carry on the horizontal motif.
Much of the furniture is made of dark brown wood, and for ornamentation the owners have many splendid works of Israeli art, particularly sculptures.
There are actually very few walls to hang any paintings on with so much glass, so they found that putting choice pieces of sculpture around solved the problem of the whole thing looking too stark. Works by Ofer Lalouche, Motti Mizrachi and Jan Rauchberger decorate the living area. Family photos are displayed in the television room.
The owners often entertain and the lounge is ideal for large parties - hundreds of people can be accommodated in the summer when the guests can wander off into the garden. The subdued tones of the furniture are relieved by two vivid touches of scarlet - one a reclining sofa which looks out onto the garden and another a ceramic bowl of fruit brimming over with pomegranates. The bar, linens and tableware, stereo and discs are all stowed away in dark wood long sideboards lining the walls.
"We wanted a feeling of calm, of relaxation," says the owner. "I love the clean lines and can't abide clutter." Even the busy working kitchen is decorated in a soothing white and the many drawers and cupboards are extra wide. The top cabinets are fronted in smoky glass to tone with the glass-topped table and grey metal chairs.
"All the doors and windows are the same height and width," points out the owner. "It created symmetry and also, being practical, made the process of building quite a lot cheaper." The ground floor has two more rooms which we were able to inspect.
The husband's study, which was also visible through its glass walls, had the option of lowering the horizontal
blinds when privacy was needed. It was furnished with a glass-topped table and two yellow-green easy chairs.
In the far corner of the house the family/television room was the most colorful of all the rooms with a navy blue sofa, a matching navy flowered rug and tub chairs in purple, grey and blue. On the wall the colors were reflected in an oil painting of Maya Cohen-Levy.
"I can sit in the corner of this room and see the whole house and front garden at a glance," points out the owner.
One of the architect's conditions for undertaking the job was that no interior designer would be brought in and the choices of d cor would be his and the owners' working together.
"He felt strongly that he wanted total harmony between the interior and the outside," explains the owner.