Art, work, home

The three pillars of designer Galit Dayan Raviv’s life take shape in the house she redesigned for her family.

Kitchen 521 (photo credit: Uriel Messa)
Kitchen 521
(photo credit: Uriel Messa)
Designer Galit Dayan Raviv spent eight years in Geneva honing her ideas about what constitutes 21st-century interior design before returning to Israel and the home she had rented out in Ramat Hasharon.
She had originally gone to live in the Swiss city to be with her husband, who was working there, and found herself drawn toward the hi-tech and minimalistic look she would later apply to her home in Israel. Although young, petite and feminine, the look for which she was aiming turned out to be industrial and heavy, with a lot of gray cement and pristine white walls on which to display her colorful possessions and her own digital art creations.
She studied the Swiss approach to design and made a point of going every year to nearby Milan to attend furniture and design exhibitions. Two years ago, she returned to Israel, minus a husband, whom she divorced, but with some original ideas and a clear direction for the home she was going to create for herself and her two Swiss-born children.
She decided to study design formally in a local art college before embarking on a career as an interior designer, although she had already done some work in Switzerland. When she took repossession of her house, she found it in bad condition and decided the first thing to do would be to knock down every wall she could to create the largest space possible.
The entire living area is painted in white to serve as a backdrop to the furniture and artworks, but in the basement, where she works, she has used a bright red on the supporting columns, which makes for a striking contrast.
SHE HAS some original storage ideas that are worth emulating. For instance, in the bedroom she has taken the thick cardboard tubes on which industrial paper is rolled and cut them into 40-centimeter pieces, which are then joined together in rows of four to make an attractive and inexpensive storage unit for books, shoes or anything else. These can be made to order in different sizes, depending on the diameter of the original roll.
In another inspired moment, she placed wooden slats, left over from a parquet floor she had done in one of the bedrooms, diagonally in a niche that was already there to make a library for DVDs.
The home is one of 20 or so terraced houses set around a beautiful garden and pool for the use of the residents. A wide picture window in the kitchen enables her to look out at this heart-lifting view whenever she is in there or eating meals with the children around the island, which is divided into two sections: an aluminum surface for working, and a wooden one, made from rough aged oak, for eating.
The unusual clock on the wall introduces a bright splash of color to the otherwise monochrome corner. The living room, which is part of the same space, is a display area for some of her own digital art and for prints from other contemporary artists.
On either side of the wall-mounted television screen are two pictures. One is an original Menashe Kadishman she acquired while living in Switzerland.
“I missed Israel a lot when I was there, and I bought it on one of my visits,” she says.
On the other side is a portrait of Einstein by Natan Alkalovitch. Under the television are storage drawers, and above it is a shelf for display.
The coffee table, which was brought from Geneva, is made of plexiglass and decorated with a contemporary print. To cover the floors, cement was thrown onto the ground, flattened and then cut into large “tiles.” A conventional tiled floor would not have given the look she wanted of an industrial and hi-tech space.
This look comes into its own in the bathroom, which is all gray cement relieved by a few warmer touches of wood. A nightgown on a wooden hanger is the only feminine touch in this stark room. A large Philipp Starck silver-gray mirror softens the look somewhat.
By contrast, the shower in the basement is where she has let her imagination run riot, with colorful graffiti covering the walls, while the place where she creates her paintings is brightened by the uninhibited red pillars, glorifying the three pillars of her life – art, work and home.