A sunny home by the sea

Architects Tammy and Ohsri Yaniv, together with interior designer Liz Harris, transform an old apartment into a lovely holiday retreat.

Herzliya beach house 521 (photo credit: Uriel Messa)
Herzliya beach house 521
(photo credit: Uriel Messa)
‘For Brits who keep a holiday home in Israel, the most important things are sun, sea and light,’ says designer Liz Harris, who did the interior of this well-used holiday apartment in Herzliya Pituah.
“The lady who owns it comes here very often – sadly her husband died recently – and she has four married daughters who use it and come here with their children,” says the designer.
The 180-meter apartment has three bedrooms to accommodate the visiting grandchildren, and tons of storage space cleverly set into walls and corridors.
“We’ve used every nook and cranny,” laughs Harris, who only took up interior design after she made aliya from England with husband Brian a few years ago.
To undertake the restoration of this fairly old apartment, she used architects Tammy and Oshri Yaniv, whom she’d known since they were students in London.
They decided to open up the place, straightening some walls and knocking some down altogether. The result is a light-filled, open-plan living, dining and kitchen area from nearly every angle of which the sea and promenade can be seen.
The compact kitchen takes up very little of the apartment, but is cleverly constructed so that plenty of storage space is sequestered behind the sleek stainless steel walls. Harris shows me how she has included a complete sliding pull-out ladder that fits snugly into the wall, and another drawer for containing all the wine bottles and the coffee machine - but no electric mixer.
“Who is going to come on holiday and start baking cakes?” she asks rhetorically.
The backsplash for the kitchen sink is made up of vertical marble strips in black, white and grey, some with a sparkled finish, some plain. The ceramic hob is set into a cabinet that also acts as a room divider.
Around the lounge, which is furnished in white leather with black and white cushions, are some unusual framed pictures, including the edition of the newspaper Yom Hamedina printed on the day David Ben-Gurion declared the State of Israel.
DECORATING THE kitchen and dining area are several old, framed posters from the early years of the state, part of a collection that was made in England and brought back to embellish a wall in Israel.
Over the dining table is a magnificent, canopy-like light-fitting that is especially impressive at night, with its multitude of sparkling bulbs extending from the center.
The two wide windows overlooking the sea have electrically operated blinds that ride up to reveal the spectacular view. Harris prefers these to curtains, which she feels would only obscure part of the scene. She employed a Russian immigrant, Ilya of Notus Curtains, who not only sewed the impeccable blinds, but created the mechanism necessary to operate them.
In front of one of the floor-to-ceiling windows, Harris has placed two grey easy chairs with green-accented cushions, while under the coffee table is a shaggy rug in the same shade of grey.
The bedrooms and bathrooms all branch off the long corridor, in which she has also managed to create plenty of storage cupboards that blend seamlessly into the smooth paneling of the walls. By straightening the wavy corridor, Harris was able to include a laundry room with sliding doors.
The first guest bedroom is decorated in striking black and white, with a headboard and blinds in a thick, zebra-striped material and a black-and-white butterfly bedspread. Another room, this one for visiting children, has a mauve and white color scheme, and Harris cleverly bought extra sheets to turn into matching blinds and decorative bolsters.
In the master bedroom, she decided to make use of the deep turquoise color painted on all the aluminum profiles rather than painting over it as in other rooms. She found several materials with different designs but the same cream and turquoise colors, and she has used these to great effect for blinds and bed covers.
She also designed the white stamped-leather dressing table and side tables, creating an attractive arched shape. The floor is bleached white parquet, making a perfect foil for the colorful textiles. A gorgeous, signed Philippe Starck mirror completes the room.
The building, which faces the Herzliya tennis courts, also offers a swimming pool for apartment owners, and one cannot imagine a more attractive place to be dreaming about while still in London, with its rather unpredictable weather, than this charming home away from home.