Splashes of color

This rustic abode in the Sharon has all the amenities of modern life.

spalshes of color 224 (photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
spalshes of color 224
(photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
'On the one hand, I wanted clean lines, functional décor and simplicity," says the owner of this just-completed house in the Sharon. "On the other, we had to avoid a cold and sterile look, since the ornamentation is at a minimum, and the background colors are very neutral." He has admirably achieved his aim with small touches like the splashes of color provided by large paintings and bright rugs, by the placing of a grand piano in the center of the house and by the large floor-to-ceiling windows which allow views of the well-tended garden and blue mosaic swimming pool to be seen from almost any point within the house. The owner had acquired the land in a small quiet village several years before he actually set about building his dream house, deterred by horror stories of friends who had built before him. In fact, when he finally got around to it, he found it a pleasant experience thanks to architect Galit Yoffe, responsible for all the interior design, and builders Austec-Shamir, who completed the job in less than a year using their advanced methods of prefabricated steel-reinforced panels to create the outer shell combined with conventional building methods. The owner, who works in hi-tech, wanted a home which would be full of light and space and would give a place of honor to the grand piano he enjoys playing for relaxation from the stresses of his work. In fact, although he stops short of saying he built the house around the piano, he does say that the central part of the house was designed with the piano in mind. From his piano stool he can look at the garden, the lounge/dining room or the kitchen, where the wall computer at the end of the counter can notify him if any mail has arrived while he's in mid-Chopin. The colors of the living area have been chosen from what Yoffe, the designer, calls "a soothing palette." At first glance the lounge suite, dining-room chairs and kitchen counters all look alike, but on further examination one discovers they are different shades of beige, some brighter, some muted. "If the colors match completely, it can be boring and you can get tired of it, but this way they speak to each other," says Yoffe. Space is an all-important element and the owner was anxious to avoid so much as a hint of a corridor. Light pours in, not just from the side windows but from skylights hidden behind lowered ceilings so the dust on them is hidden and only the light suffusing from above filters in. In order to ensure that the light coming in from the east (the side of the pool) is not too strong the architect lowered the roof of the patio slightly to moderate the light inside without in any way darkening the interior. Another important feature is that the house is planned to be superfunctional, with a sophisticated electricity system which can be preprogrammed and work from any part of the house. The washing machine and dryer are elevated for easy access, and the space underneath is furnished with baskets for collecting laundry. The modern kitchen has a door leading to the garden and straight to the barbecue area. Plenty of storage everywhere ensures that the house is always in pristine condition even with teenage children doing their thing. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and small balcony leading to the garden. So every member of the family is ensured privacy until they want to get together, whether it's watching a film on the home cinema downstairs or having a game of billiards on the full-size table. The basement is also home to a bathroom and a small but fully-equipped kitchen so there is no need to go up to the ground floor if refreshments are needed. The owner also has a study here, where he can work and keep an eye on the children or join them on the comfy right-angled sofa to watch a movie. Outside in the 13-meter pool, the water overflows into channels at the sides producing a gentle gurgling sound. The long patio is furnished with another large dining area and a chaise longue to sit and enjoy the expanses of green lawn and herbaceous borders. A rustic abode with all the amenities of modern life makes for a perfect combination. Do you feel you own one of Israel's most beautiful homes? Please e-mail: [email protected]