Mediterranean In Netanya
Location: Netanya, Israel
Residents: 1 parent + 1 child
Rooms: 1 + 3
Can you envision redesigning your house when the interior designer you selected lives in a different country? This was the story of this apartment in the coastal city of Netanya, Israel. Everything you see here was designed, purchased, and placed without me actually being present during the process.
Can you envision redesigning your house when the interior designer you selected lives in a different country?
This was the story of this apartment in the coastal city of Netanya, Israel. Everything you see here was designed, purchased, and placed without me actually being present during the process. Physically, I wasn't there. Remotely - on daily video calls, WhatsApp messages, and emails, I was there 24/7 and beyond.
“My apartment has a severe lack of space”, came the initial message on Facebook. “I need some more storage space at the entrance, for bags and shoes, etc. Could you help me with that”?
I said yes, and this is how we began. What started with 'just' additional storage area which ended up with a brand-new living room.
I began to receive a variety of questions:
“How do you like the cushions?”
“Which tea table would fit here the most - the round or the square?”
“Where can I find a nice fabric shop?”
“What should I say to the carpenter?”
And so, we went on, continuously chatting over WhatsApp, thinking, and planning, sharing ideas, comforting and encouraging, solving new issues.
The outcome was a new entrance hall from scratch, separating the living room from the entrance door with the help of the Mashrabiya bookcase.
What's 'Mashrabiya,' you may ask? (don't Google it!)
Can you try and find the Mashrabiya in the pictures of this house?
The Mashrabiya is just on the right side of the yellow-beige armchair in the living room. This white wooden latticework was initially an Arabic architectural design element used in upper floors of oriel windows. It allows peeking to the street and letting in light while preventing bypasses from seeing into the house.
As we worked online, I made a detailed sketch of the bookcase and the Mashrabiya for the carpenter to get a precise picture of what he had to create.
The owner asked for a Mediterranean look, so the blue and white base colors were chosen. The Mashrabiya gave the inspiration for other items in the room, thus its shape corresponding to the bench upholstery pattern. The chairs in the dining room were painted and reupholstered. The former table was repainted and a bench with storage space was added.
I was requested to make it affordable, so I got creative and worked mainly with what was already there. We renovated and moved furniture and painted the TV wall with a soft blue color, which brought in some of that ocean-atmosphere. Small changes can make a huge difference. Only a few new items were purchased, including the carpet, sofa, and coffee tables.
As for me, it felt as if I was playing 'Minecraft,' moving the figures from a distance with a remote. I was happy that I could oversee all the different tasks from far away.
This type of work - distance remodeling - required that I be even more available and active and so was the client who needed to be highly engaged. It's not that I could have just dropped by to see how things were going. We needed to be reachable and proactive via WhatsApp on almost a daily basis. Sending photos of 'before' and 'after,' consulting, assisting, and reassuring. I always aspire to quickly respond to my clients' messages, but it was even more significant in this case. I was obligated, giving my client a feeling that I'm always there for her.
It feels warm and cozy now, after the renovation. The dining room with its round table and soft cushions is the best and central place in the house! It serves as the dining room, a workplace, a family meeting space, and a storage place. "My son's friends LOVE coming over to our place. I'm so glad we did it!" the owner keeps saying.
And I am so happy, too.
Distance is not an obstacle anymore for the design process. Interior design can be done smoothly ONLINE!