The bedroom is an extension of a uniform color palette seen throughout the house, with dark gray and white on the bed and a red throw which is picked up in the adjacent bathroom accessories.

Interior design (photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
Interior design
(photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
‘In the same way that clothes will date you, so does your home,” says British immigrant Wendy Lehman, who shares this duplex in Kfar Saba with her Israeli partner. “You need to update your surroundings; otherwise, you might as well pin your birth certificate on your back.”
The apartment has a super-contemporary feel and an interesting use of color and neutrals, as befits an expert color consultant. Lehman is the Israeli representative of the House of Color company, and analyzes the best colors for a client to wear, or, in the case of home styling, which colors they should surround themselves with.
When she acquired the home, it was still a shell – which suited her just fine, as she was able to divide the space according to her needs. She had been living in a rented apartment in Ra’anana, where her partner had lived for 25 years.
“We started looking and there was very little one could fall in love with, at least within our budget,” she says. “Then I discovered the Green Neighborhood, an entirely new area between Kfar Saba and Ra’anana which has a strong environmental drive in its design.”
This was an important factor for Lehman, for whom recycling is a way of life.
“I feel very strongly that in a small country like Israel, people need to be encouraged to recycle and we are behind the curve compared to England,” she says.
“In the building there are bins for different kinds of garbage, and cages for plastic bottles on every corner. There seems to be a lot of intention to make the area as environmentally friendly as they can.”
Nevertheless, there are still no receptacles for glass bottles and she takes them back to the supermarket rather than discard them.
The apartment was originally a fiveroom duplex, but they reduced it to four to have plenty of open space. The lower floor is one big living area with lounge, kitchen and dining room all together, and the upper floor has two suites, the master and another for guests.
She chose to decorate with basic neutral shades, enlivened with touches of color.
“Twenty years ago it was fashionable to have a different look in every room, but nowadays it’s much more common to have a link between all the rooms,” she says. “This is especially true in Israel, where the spaces are quite small.”
The floor tiles are pale gray, while much of the basic furniture is beige.
“You can mix these two and get the right look if you choose from the same family of colors,” Lehman says. “If you are working on a limited budget, it’s always advisable to invest more in the basics like the lounge and dining-room suites, which should always be in good neutral shades. You don’t want to be changing these every five years, but you can change the look easily by changing accessories, which are often quite cheap.”
In the lounge there are several seating areas, some in beige, some in blue and a single red armchair, but they are all made to blend together by the judicious use of throws and cushions. The beige sofas have brown cushions and a red throw, which is the exact shade of a single armchair with footstool in another part of the room. This in turn has a purple throw, which connects to the blue sofa with a purple throw in the television-watching area.
The same red shade appears on table runners, while all the colors are brought together in the striking print covering one wall.
“I adore it,” says Lehman. “It’s on canvas which I brought from England rolled up, and it fits perfectly on that particular wall.”
Another print which makes an impact is the pink lady on a half wall between kitchen and lounge.
“These accessories are not expensive and can easily be changed,” she says.
The gray-and-white kitchen has an island with high stools and is convenient for the dining area, where the table is glass with a brown leather trunk-like pedestal, and the chairs are upholstered in a beige pile fabric.
While she realized that the Perspex surrounding the staircase might cause problems, with visitors leaving fingerprints all over it, she felt she had to have it.
“Nothing else would have looked right,” she says. “I’ll just have to have plenty of Windolene in stock!” The bedroom continues with the same color palette, with dark gray and white on the bed, and a red throw which is picked up in the adjacent bathroom accessories.
“There are red baskets in the bathroom, so that I can keep all the things I need there and not have loads of bottles standing around,” she says.
The light fixture is, like all the other lights in the place, made of metal, and she feels they are all slightly industrial, with LED lights.
“It might be made of flowers,” Lehman says, “but there’s nothing frilly and soft about it – or any of the other accessories in the apartment.”