Style in Kfar Saba

Oversized tiles give ‘stature, dignity and a great base’ to build on a room’s design.

The sofa is a Natuzzi ‘salt and pepper’ design and paired with a classic Barcelona chair. (photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
The sofa is a Natuzzi ‘salt and pepper’ design and paired with a classic Barcelona chair.
(photo credit: URIEL MESSA)
Even with a tight budget and an average-size space, one can still create a very attractive home.
The secret is in the styling, and a good designer can work wonders even with a working couple who don’t have oodles of money to throw around.
Sigal Gillon was called in to help improve the Kfar Saba home of Danny and Anat. He is a graphic artist and she works as a secretary. Their two grown sons no longer live at home.
The apartment, on the second floor of a three-story building in a quiet, central part of the town, was built 15 years ago.
“We moved in 1997 when it was built, and after so many years we felt it needed a face-lift,” says Danny. “As an artist working in design, I meet many architects and I was familiar with Sigal’s work and felt it would be right for us. She has good taste and a sense of style, both of which are qualities I was looking for.”
What he didn’t know when he hired Gillon was that she was going to make him part with much of the stuff he had hoarded over those 15 years.
“Danny is an obsessive collector,” she says. “I had to make him get rid of many pots, which were cluttering up the small balcony, and we also weeded out mountains of books and papers. It was a question of priorities, as there just isn’t space for all the possessions he had accumulated – at least not if you want to produce the clean lines we both wanted.”
She started with the floor – retiling it in gray 80 cm. x 80 cm. tiles to replace the original 30 cm. x 30 cm.
“It never occurred to me that one could put such large tiles in such a small area,” says Danny, “but it made a huge difference, it gave stature, dignity and a great base on which to build the room’s design.”
Anat had serious doubts about the tiles and felt they were too dark and somber, but was persuaded to trust Sigal’s taste.
“The whole design starts with this tile,” says Danny, “and it holds everything together.”
For the walls the designer chose an offwhite – she even turned up one day with a swatch of dozens of different shades of white – and this was painted smoothly on three of the walls while the fourth was given a rough stucco texture like an outside wall in the same family of colors. She went with the couple to choose the sofa – a Natuzzi “salt and pepper” design that they found at a sale – and they paired it with a classic Barcelona chair that was already in the family.
“I’d bought it for my son years ago, because I wanted him to be design-conscious,” says Danny.
The chair, designed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and Lilly Reich in 1929 for the Barcelona exhibition, is a black and chrome creation that Danny felt would fit exactly into the design of his living room.
All he had to do was retrieve it from his son’s apartment, which he duly did.
A Natuzzi oval coffee table was placed on a red rug, and the shape is echoed in the already existing curved ceiling and in the newly acquired oval hanging lights.
Although they went slightly over budget, Sigal insisted on a curtain for the lounge window that she pushed out, creating the sill inside rather than out to add valuable space. The white “Roman” curtain allows light to filter in and makes a backdrop to three of Danny’s many bronze figures from the Jaffa flea market that he was allowed to keep.
The white hanging sideboard was designed by Sigal and custom made to hold a stereo system with all the wires hidden inside as well as house the all-important bar.
On this sideboard, she allowed several beloved trinkets and decorations like the Picasso replica “face” vase that has been placed next to an open book of Matisse paintings.
“I put them side by side, because Matisse and Picasso were good friends,” explains Danny.
The kitchen and dining room had to stay as they were because of the tight budget, but Sigal was allowed to tackle the balcony that she described as “like a junkyard.”
“It had never been used as a balcony, just a place to dump the pots and knickknacks and keep plants,” she says.
Today, Danny and Anat really appreciate the balcony as a place to sit and have made it more welcoming, discarding most of the pots but adding some metal birds and a friendly lizard on the wall. They love to go out there on a summer evening for a drink and enjoy the breeze.
“Design is so critical,” says Danny. “The right colors, placement of things and lighting all contribute to create a good feeling. When you wake up to all these things it makes your day.”