Shabby chic in Hod Hasharon

As a designer you can renovate forever, says Nicole Nakash, a 40-something designer.

Provencal and industrial style meet to create a comfortable living space. (photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
Provencal and industrial style meet to create a comfortable living space.
(photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
The great thing about being a designer is that you can change your home at will, and bring a completely different look to your surroundings with minimal outlay.
That’s what Nicole Nakash did in her Hod Hasharon apartment when she decided to get rid of her ultra-modern, bright-red kitchen and give it a complete face-lift, by bringing in a totally new mix of styles – Provencal and industrial.
“I’m forever renovating,” says the 40-something designer, who was born in England and came here at the age of 12 with her parents and sisters. “That’s my job, and as I’m preparing for other people, I get waves of inspiration to change the look and feel of my own place.”
The apartment – home to Nakash, her husband and two children – is on the first floor of a two-story building, and was decorated and furnished very much with children in mind.
“I firmly believe that a home should be a home, and not a museum,” she says.
Nakash is also very into buying furniture secondhand and adapting it to her surroundings. The taupe sofa was acquired from an American family who imported it from the States, then found it wouldn’t fit in their apartment. It is made of synthetic suede, easy to keep clean and washable.
“I always look for user-friendly materials,” she says.
She decided not to put colored cushions on the sofa, but to achieve interest by mixing textures instead. The other sofa is made of wicker with a greige fabric on the seats, and on this couch she has put fluffy and flowery cushions.
Wicker is also used for various storage baskets and for the dining-room chairs. The chrome coffee table provides yet another contrasting material, with its straight lines and glistening surface.
“It was made for me according to my own design,” explains Nakash. She likes the fact that the ultra-modern look of the smaller table contrasts with the much more traditional dining table, another secondhand purchase from some returning immigrants who had brought it from Canada.
“It’s a Ralph Lauren design in a heavy oak, quite highly polished,” she says, “and the wood is repeated on the kitchen island and lounge unit.”
The iron buttons that appear on the sides of the table find an echo with several other iron elements in the room – the metal cabinet for storage, the chair backs and the light fitting over the table.
One wall of the dining area is covered in off-white bricks, and Nakash feels this look helps to bring in what she calls “a bit of soul.”
“I love the different finishes, especially those connected to earthy themes like wood and bricks,” she says. “I also love flowers, and always have them in my home.”The kitchen is the place where she was able to let her designer’s instincts have free rein and the look is a rather unusual mix of Provence, provided by the moldings on the cabinets as well as the rustic wicker chairs, and industrial, epitomized by the stainless-steel wall and the ventilator over the island.
“I think it’s very cool and I’m happy with what I did,” Nakash says. As far as the Provencal look is concerned, she feels she did it very subtly.
“The moldings I chose are quite minimalistic,” she says. “It’s possible to find French or Russian examples which are much more ornate and curvy, but these are more tasteful. Also the copper handles are quite straight, too.”
Nakash likes the fact that the back wall incorporates all the appliances in one area, leaving the rest of the kitchen free to express its softer side.
Two identical gilt mirrors, one in the lounge and one in the kitchen, lend a luxurious touch.
These were acquired from the extensive props of an events designer, accustomed to creating scenes with a collection of unusual home accessories.
The straw sofa came from the same source.
The door leading to the bedroom wing of the apartment has three round windows filled with milky glass, also designed by Nakash.
“The idea is to let in light and to be able to see if someone is coming,” she says.
The home office is also part of the living room, and was planned with several objectives in mind.
“I like the dynamics of this area,” says Nakash.
“The whole family can be doing different things but we are all connected – someone is on the computer, someone in the kitchen and someone else in the lounge. Everyone is around, but doing their own thing. And I think it’s also important to be able to see what the children are doing on the computer.”
The furniture holding the computer was made in tone with the kitchen cabinets, while the handles – though also bronze – are more businesslike, as befits an office. Wicker appears here, too, and the wall is finished in a rough-textured paint.
“I think you can sum up my style as ‘shabby chic,’” says the designer.