Luxury in Netanya

This gorgeous home is proof of top Israeli designer Selwyn Elkin's extraordinary talent

Netanya home  (photo credit: Uriel Messa)
Netanya home
(photo credit: Uriel Messa)
The owners of this stunning apartment in Netanya possess several other homes – they still have property in South Africa, including a large house and a holiday home, plus a house in Ra’anana, but for them this is the best.
“I’ve decorated and lived in many homes,” says the wife, “but this is the most beautiful home I’ve ever had.”
Put it down to good taste, many beautiful antique pieces and few financial limitations – but most of all, the credit goes to top Israeli designer Selwyn Elkin, who has produced a magnificent décor with a heart-warming color scheme emphasizing purple, blue and white.
Says Elkin, who immigrated from South Africa 30 years ago, “We discussed colors, and I asked her what were the colors she liked to wear. She said she wears a lot of purple and lilac, so we built up the scheme around this.”
According to Elkin, if you surround yourself with colors you would also wear, you have picked the right décor for you.
“If red is not your color, you can’t live in red,” he says.
As one exits the elevator on the 13th floor, one arrives at the front of the apartment, which is situated in one of the newer buildings overlooking the sea.
Greeting the visitor are two splendid paneled double front doors painted in shiny Chinese purple lacquer, which give a hint of what is to come.
The entire floor of the five-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment is covered in washed oak parquet with a very faint lilac tinge in the wash, while the walls in the living area are also a very delicate shade of lilac.
WE BEGIN our visit in the lounge, an elegant room surrounded by a huge balcony with an uninterrupted view of the blue Mediterranean beyond. The sofa is very pale lilac cotton, while the cushions are various shades and patterns of purple. An ornate Victorian chair and matching footstool are upholstered in rich mauve velvet, in contrast to two reproduction Regency chairs in beige-and-gold-striped satin. Two matching display cabinets are on either side of the sofa, topped with two elegant lamps. The rug is fine-quality Persian that the owners already had. Many of the other rugs in the home were brought back from Istanbul by Elkin, who went there for this purpose.
The dining table and chairs are highly polished mahogany, and in this room are two striking displays. One is the series of botanical prints which Elkin brought back from England and had framed here; the other an arrangement of blue and white dishes that were brought back from a trip to South Africa, placed above a marble-topped chiffonier with a mirrored back. The light fitting was acquired here and chosen to match the three wall lights in the entrance hall.
Correct lighting makes an important contribution to any scene, and here the wall displays are each lit with three spots from above. However, the wide cornice that extends around the whole living space also contains concealed lighting clearly visible in the kitchen, giving off a warm glow.
In the white-painted kitchen are several attractive features. A rounded wall used for bookshelves was in the original plan, and Elkin decided to continue the line with an island indentation. On one wall of the informal eating area is a collection of prints backed in red passepartout, while opposite a computer niche fits snugly into the shelves. The owner tells me she has a huge collection of cookbooks and is thrilled to have them so readily available near the kitchen.
A quick glance at the family television room – bright purple couch, family photos on an antique table and a blue-and- white rug, plus some of the attractive corners showing some of the antiques brought over from South Africa – and it is time to inspect the master bedroom, a dream of ice-blue and snowy white where the owners can lie in bed or sit on the white sofa and enjoy the sea, visible through the window dressed in flower-embossed Roman blinds.
The carpenter-made white furniture has been finished with an abundance of detail and molding, but even that cannot compete with the pièce de resistance in the room, the superb gilt Empire mirror.
The two lamps on either side of the bed were imported from the US and have crystal bases with off-white silk shades.
The owners are delighted with their new home and still marvel at how the work was completed so well and quickly, with such perfect results.
“There isn’t a plug or an electrical fitting that’s not in the right place,” they say. “The finish is so attractive, even the doors have molding and paneling with decorative rosettes on the corners.”
Most of all, they are delighted they were able to work with a designer who listened to what they wanted, incorporated many of their old pieces into the home and understood exactly what they were looking for. For Elkin, who can design a mansion but is equally at home working on a three-room apartment, it gave him plenty of scope for his extraordinary talents.