Thanks for the memories

A family says goodbye to the "ideal home" they've outgrown.

home rananan 88 298 (photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
home rananan 88 298
(photo credit: Eyal Izhar)
'The part we're going to miss most is the bedroom," say the owners of this beautiful cottage in Ra'anana. Sixteen years ago they built the house as a family home for themselves and their three teenagers. The children have since grown and moved on, so the parents have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it's just too big and have decided to put the house on the market. Situated in a quiet street near the very heart of Ra'anana, they bought the long, narrow plot together with friends and each built a mirror-image house. Theirs is the second house and backs onto other gardens. Although close to the center there are no other high-rises nearby. Before choosing a plan they perused dozens of Ideal Home magazines and looked at hundreds of homes and surprisingly, they both arrived independently at the same choice of house. They were very keen to have an entrance hall that would provide a division between the kitchen on one side and the living room on the other. Once they had adopted the basic plan they discovered added benefits, like the fact that their children's friends could go straight upstairs without disturbing the parents' privacy while sitting in the lounge. "We knew what it was like living with an open plan as we'd had it in our previous home," they say. "It was one of those four-in-a-row cottages - and you fell into the lounge from the front door." The whole house is paved in snowy-white marble and the entrance has a small indoor garden also built of white marble with greenery growing hydroponically. To the left is the comfortable sitting room with a patio outside facing a pretty garden. "We've had more than 80 people at parties out here," they reminisce. The white leather suite and coffee table were acquired locally and a sideboard housing the TV and stereo was custom-made to match. A shiny cream piano stands at the entrance to the room with family photos of the children and grandchildren perched on it. The dining room table is made of highly polished yew and the chairs are Regency reproductions. Above the dining-room sideboard hang two old, sepia photos of two young couples - enlarged and framed to create a touching tribute to their late parents. The large kitchen has been completely renovated with cream-colored doors and they are thrilled with the layout and convenient work counters. In the corner is a built-in breakfast bar for informal meals, although they use it for Shabbat if it's just the two of them. There are so many cupboards that they are able to set one aside completely for Pessah dishes, which means far less hassle than usual when the festival comes around. A small room off the hall is used as a computer room and is also the place where the grandchildren enjoy playing when they visit, keeping the sitting room in its pristine state. The children also enjoy the benefits of a large basement with a ping-pong table permanently set up. Upstairs, the landing is covered in thick blue-grey fitted rugs and a skylight over the stairs allows light to flood in. Built-in cupboards on the landing ensure the place is spick and span. Finally it's time to inspect the much vaunted bedroom. Indeed it is a unique room, about twice the size of the average Israeli bedroom and very reminiscent of luxury homes in Golders Green where they used to live before making aliya. "We took off the other bedrooms when we built the house and really indulged ourselves," they say. The fitted rug continues into the bedroom, making the whole room feel extra luxurious and elegant. The built-in wardrobes are fronted with a very pale blue-grey wood which has not been repainted in 16 years and does not have a scratch. The matching window blinds are of a paisley design in blue and gold and the en suite bathroom continues the white marble theme. An added luxury touch is the king-size electric bed which can be adjusted at the press of a button. "We'll miss the house a great deal when we sell it," they say. "But we hope we'll be able to make the apartment we're moving to just as beautiful." Do you feel you own one of Israel's most beautiful homes? Please e-mail