A Touch of Country Style by Odelia Barzilay

Redesigned in 2019 by Odelia Barzilay, this beautiful single family house is located in central Israel.

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The house, built in the 80’s in central Israel, has many arches, marble floors, and stone cladding. When the designer saw the house for the first time, it reminded her of Tuscany, and this inspiration is shown in this stunning renovation.

A couple, who have three grown sons, hired designer Odelia Barzilay to carry out a complete renovation of their property that was built in the ’80s and includes a large garden and swimming pool.

“When I walked into the house for the first time, I felt like I was in Tuscany. There are many arches around the property, marble flooring, and stone cladding covering the external walls. It looked outdated but had fantastic potential. There is a beautiful big pool in the garden and with olive trees and grapevines surrounding the seating area.

The couple had one request “We do not want an old-school country design, no standard ‘country’ bricks and marble floors. We adore country style – but in small touches. We would like a combination of styles”, Barzilay adds.

During the renovation, which was carried out over 6 months, the decision was made to focus on the family areas (living room, kitchen, etc.), as well as the master bedroom and less so on the children’s bedrooms and bathrooms since the three boys were grown and likely to leave home sooner rather than later.

Smoked French oak parquet in varnish finish was laid down throughout the entire house. The natural wood colored window frames that made the arches indistinct, were painted in the same light colors as the walls.

Prior to the renovation, five steps decorated with large ceramic pots and stones led from the entrance hall to the kitchen and living room. To the right of the entrance was an open space with a pillar and arches that was used as a TV corner, with guest toilets located just next to it. During the renovation, the decorative pots and stones were removed, and the stairs were extended. The open space was partially closed off to create a bedroom for the eldest son and the guest toilets were redesigned into a bathroom with a walk-in shower. The new entrance hall was decorated with a vintage chest of drawers designed by Dalia Armoni, a mirror and new lighting.

The living room, kitchen & dining area

Since the ceiling above these areas is relatively low, it was only lowered a further 10cm, to accommodate for lighting and speakers. Since the a/c system would have required a further lowering of the ceiling, it was instead fitted on a wall behind a large country-style wooden storage unit with open shelves.

A black velvet sofa, metal-framed armchairs in grey and metal-framed tables with cement and brass tops were chosen for the living room area.

“Before the renovation, there was a closed pantry in the kitchen”, says Barzilay. “I was certain that we would discover a pillar as soon as we took the wall down, and indeed we did. Once the wall was down, it made the kitchen much bigger and we decided to leave the pillar as it was not a dominant feature in the space”.

The kitchen was also designed in country-style and is made of two main sections. One section, light in color, in a square U shape, with a dekton worktop. The wall behind it is covered in white wooden panels with fitted shelves, designed to store wine glasses. The other section of the kitchen is a dark-colored island with a wooden surface. There are cabinets built into the island and seating around it. A kitchenette was fitted adjacent to the kitchen containing another fridge, stove, and sink. The dining area was positioned next to the arched windows overlooking the pool with a dining table made of black wooden legs and a concrete surface, in its center.

The bedroom

Prior to the renovation the master bedroom was on the middle floor with windows overlooking the front of the property. This room was turned into one of the sons’ rooms and the master bedroom relocated to the top floor, where another one of the children’s bedrooms and an additional bathroom were located.

The new master bedroom was more spacious and was fitted with a walk-in wardrobe and an en-suite bathroom. The room was decorated in a warm color scheme with polymer cladding, covering the walls halfway up. The bathroom floor, like the rest of the bathroom floors in the house, was tiled with wood effect granite-porcelain tiles. The walls were tiled halfway up and then covered with decorative Vega plastering from tiles to ceiling, in shades that match the bedroom color scheme.

Photography by Einat Dekel

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- by Matt Watts