A glass dream

This sprawling 1,000-square-meter home in Savyon, built on more than five dunams, has light pouring in from every side.

april 27 real estate fro (photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
april 27 real estate fro
(photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
Adina and Ya'acov Baruch, owners of this stunning home in Savyon, have just opened a new furniture store in Herzliya Pituah. Having been importers of Natuzzi for the last 30 years, they decided that they would move on to something else. They were even reluctant to have their home photographed with the old furniture. "The cobbler's children go ill-shod," laughs Adina, who was chairwoman of Wizo, Savyon, for several years. I assured them that the house is so gorgeous - perhaps one of the most outstanding in nearly four years of writing about beautiful homes - that they had nothing to worry about. They built the house four years ago, using well-known architect Motty Ben-Horin to design both exterior and interior and are very happy with the results of their combined efforts. Adina, who was born in Russia, came here in 1949 at eight."I grew up in Jaffa, and used to run around barefoot to the sea, around the neighborhood. I knew when I built my dream house it would have to have plenty of garden around and a pool. I love the water and being able to look out at the flowers and hear the birds singing." Glass is used extensively both at the entrance gate and in the house itself to bring the outside in and make the visitor feel really at one with nature. The sprawling 1,000-square-meter home, built on more than five dunams, has light pouring in from every side, and this was something Adina particularly wanted when she set about planning it. "We moved to Savyon - they used to call it 'Snobyon' in those days about 20 years ago - and rented a big house, but it was horribly dark. It was like the darkness of Egypt - I still have a trauma just thinking about it. So when I built this house, I told the architect that I wanted light above everything else." She points out that the house can be viewed as constructed in different sections. The first, on entering, is for formally receiving guests. The hanging garden of philodendron which covers the whole width of the room acts as a divider to the next section, and it's amazing how this simple plant can be so effective by simply having so much of it. Sitting in the living room to talk, one is surrounded by gardens blooming with daisies and poppies - a sight people travel miles to see in the North - with a view of the fishpond which takes up a whole corner of the garden between two wings of the house. This water feature, surrounded with aquatic plants and trailing leaves, is visible from many rooms and is especially beautiful and soothing. Adjacent to the entrance is a completely self-contained apartment which serves as a study for Ya'acov. Then there are the two kitchens, one for cooking and washing up and doing all the dirty work, and one which they like to keep clean all the time and where the family lives most of the time. Here they can eat breakfast or help themselves to cold drinks or warm something up in the microwave without having to go into the serious kitchen where the heavy work goes on. The next section serves as the private quarters of Adina and Ya'acov. One is required to remove ones shoes, as the area is carpeted in a shaggy, white wall-to-wall rug. Curved walls are everywhere for a softer feminine look. "When we started building," Adina explains, "I told the architect I didn't want a cube, and everything was done in curves. We found it limiting, so in the end we reached a combination of the two." A small private sitting room looks out on the luscious garden. There's even a small kitchen so they can get themselves a cup of coffee and not be bothered by anyone. The bedroom has a vast curved window which can be covered by a floor-to-ceiling curtain at the push of a button. "I can open the window from my bed and jump straight into the Jacuzzi," says Adina. Finally we check out the sun room, which serves as her office and contains her collection of hats for which she is well-known in Savyon, earning her the title Madame Chapeau. "I had many dreams," says Adina, "and together we brought them to life." Do you feel you own one of Israel's most beautiful homes? Please e-mail: gloriadeutsch@gmail.com