The look of the Middle East

The latest trend in interior design focuses on the local scene.

By JAMES HARRIS
May 16, 2011 14:58
2 minute read.
Penthouse in Mishkanot Hauma project

Penthouse in Mishkanot Hauma project 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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When it comes to decorating a home, fashion reigns supreme. Colors, furniture, rugs, curtains are all influenced by the current fashion. So what’s “in” in current interior design? Tomer Peretz, owner and manager of Tomer Design, told Real Estate that one of the important design motifs today is local. “The Middle East is here at last. Many home owners, especially those living in single-family homes, are incorporating Middle Eastern motifs, such as painted floor tiles and extensive use of local stones.

People have finally realized that they live in the Middle East and that local design motifs work best. They are the most practical and best suited to the local climate, such as strong penetrating light, high temperatures and high levels of humidity in the densely inhabited coastal areas.”

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The wooden floors and heavy furniture associated with northern Europe, where many of the original immigrants came from, was very fashionable in the past. They may have been suited to the cold climates of northern Europe and the plentiful supply of timber, but they are not suitable for the climatic conditions in Israel.

One example is sofas and armchairs. In the recent past, leather sofas and armchairs were very popular. Not anymore. Today, cloth is king. It is much more practical and suitable than leather. Interior décor is also influenced by the size of the homes in this country.

Many local apartments are not large. Thus clean lines are very fashionable because they give the impression of space. These clean lines are combined with splashes of color and decorative items that neutralize the sterile effects those lines may have. The effect creates a more spacious atmosphere.

Clean lines and light colors are popular in kitchens and bathrooms. In kitchens, the monotony of the clean lines and light colors is broken by trimmings of natural wood. In bathrooms, the white ceramic walls are accented by vividly colored marble or small ceramic tiles.

Extensive use is also made of granite porcelain floor tiles because they are strong and have a calming light grayish color. Large floor tiles of 60x60 cm., 80x80 cm. and even 100x100 cm. are in fashion. Another major trend is wood paneling and interior brick walls.



Eitan Gavish, one co-owner of the interior decorating firm Forum Adrichalim, told Real Estate, “Fashion in interior design is in a constant state of flux. At present, there is a shift from heavy to light, from conventional to hi-tech, from conservative to modern. In the past, there was symmetry in design; today, interior design is eclectic. Modern furniture mixed with the odd antique. Modern light fabric curtains mixed with traditional Persian rugs. One wall painted a vivid color, and the other walls a light color or even white.”

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