Homes: Small touches

A look into the Hod Hasharon home of designer Odi Sapir-Chen.

The home of designer Odi Sapir-Chen in Hod Hasharon, an example of great interior design (photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
The home of designer Odi Sapir-Chen in Hod Hasharon, an example of great interior design
(photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
‘For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by textures and materials,” reveals designer Odi Sapir-Chen, who lives in this Hod Hasharon apartment with her husband, Gal, a web designer, and three children. “I’m also very much into maximizing space and using every centimeter to express the personality of the owner.”
Maybe that’s because her first room was a converted balcony in a Tel Aviv apartment where her parents lived and she was born in 1972. She studied textile design at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, gaining a bachelor’s with honors and simultaneously working as an air stewardess traveling all over the world.
“I went to every exhibition in New York, and wherever I was I studied the details of the interiors as much as the things on display,” she recalls. “When I visit a store, I see all the details.”
The apartment was acquired eight years ago and is in a still rural part of what is now the sprawling town of Hod Hasharon, not far from Moshav Ramat Hashavim.
“It reminds me a little of the East Village in New York,” says the well-traveled Sapir-Chen.
On the first floor of a 16-floor building, the interior was designed on a budget with furnishings from local stores like IKEA and Beitili. But using her home-styling tricks, she has managed to bring it out of the ordinary.
For example, the yellow piping on the gray suite adds an elegant look to what is fairly standard.
“Anyone can do it – you just have to ask when you order the suite,” says Sapir-Chen, who chose yellow for its staying power instead of the neon colors also available, which one might grow tired of.
The turquoise chairs came from IKEA while the bookcase against the teal wall is a Jaffa flea-market find, but from a superior store which imported it from Belgium.
The paint used for the wall is a Ralph Lauren shade, producing a strong contrast to the off-white of the rest. The vibrant teal shade is repeated in a checked cushion on the couch.
A purple plastic stool stands in the adjacent kitchen, and seems not to relate to anything else.
“What I like to do is have a color palette and work with it, but break it with something unexpected like the purple stool,” she explains.
The kitchen window is dressed with a Roman blind that was made from a long IKEA curtain in brown check; it contrasts well with the light khaki walls and the cream tiled backsplash of the units. On the walls, the word “Kitchen” is spelled out in ceramic letters, but with the “Chen” separate to emphasize her name.
The bedroom looks out from the front of the building; she says the window frame is ugly so the whole window was covered with a simple striped cotton fabric.
The bedcover is quilted beige, and life is given to the room by the cushion covers made from an expensive silk scarf in blue and khaki.
Opposite the bed she has hung many pieces of costume jewelry, belts, a spotted bag and a red furtrimmed coat, which belonged to her mother when she was an au pair in London in the ’70s.
“We used it for Purim for years,” she says with a smile.
The bathroom en suite has more hanging jewelry, a huge round mirror from IKEA and a laundry bag taken as a memento from an exotic holiday, hanging on a yellow IKEA peg.
Outside the living room a pleasant sitting area has been created, dominated by an unusual wooden bench that was another serendipitous find. “One of my jobs was as a window designer for a well-known fashion chain and I used to visit a lot of malls,” she recalls. “One day I drove into a mall, parked the car and saw this bench, just sitting there, abandoned. So I put it in the car and brought it home – it was our coffee table for years.”
An old “In and Out” cupboard hangs on the wall, while a hanging canvas bag is used to store all the beach necessities.
She has good advice for anyone creating their own interior décor.
“It’s the little touches that give character – framed napkins, hanging necklaces, even stuffed toys. Use your own things – don’t go and buy new. Everyone has nice things; you just have to open up your cabinets to find the small things that will make a difference.
“They are there – inside the cabinet, and inside your heart.”