The Wow Factor by Studio Daniel Michaeli‏‏

The Wow Factor is a beautiful home located in central Israel, designed by Studio Daniel Michaeli.

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When the property owner is a prominent figure in the construction industry, and his partner has exquisite taste, it is no surprise that the results would be breathtaking: unique details, unusual materials and special elements work together in harmony creating a living experience with an undeniable wow factor.

Years after moving to a private property, located in a pastoral and prestigious neighborhood, the owners decided the time was right to give the property a complete facelift: “The owners are remarried. They each have one child from a previous marriage and two joint children”, says interior designer Daniel Michaeli. “They moved into the property, built in the 1980s, about a decade ago as an extended family”, he adds.

According to Michaeli, the project was born from the desire to build a swimming pool in the garden and very quickly turned into a massive renovation during which the entire property was stripped down to its basic frame. “The infrastructure was completely replaced, the layout changed, and after discovering that the property already had extension permits in place, we extended the property to create a spacious and well-lit ground level”, he continues.

The old property, abundant in arches, was completely transformed: “This is a very prestigious neighborhood where all the properties are well designed. However, the couple’s priority, above all else, was to create a modest home that was in line with their design aesthetic. The result is modern, clean, and bright”, says Michaeli. The designer adds that the greatest advantage was that his clients are familiar with the industry. “The husband is in the construction business and was responsible for the renovation and the wife, who has an incredible eye for aesthetics and exquisite taste, played a key part in creating the design concept as well as its execution. Her ambition was to create a conceptual property that was rich in content, which led her to unusual places in search of unique pieces that add touches of luxury to the property”.

A well-presented and powerful ground level is evident upon entry. according to Michaeli, since the wife is an amazing cook, the kitchen was naturally designed to be the heart of the property. “It was therefore imperative for her that the kitchen won’t just look good but will also be practical, convenient and pleasant to use”, he explains. Thus, he planned the perfect ergonomic L-shaped space for her with a long island in the center used both as a worktop and as a breakfast bar. “The kitchen was literally designed as a chef’s kitchen, with two integral refrigerators, abundant storage, a large pantry, and a smart cupboard that can be drawn out with the touch of a button and contains sophisticated baking and cooking appliances. The cupboard is an optimal storage solution and can be used as additional worktop space”.

The kitchen units were painted a unique color manufactured by the Italian automotive paint brand, Dupon, which are wear and tear resistant and easy to clean and maintain. “We chose a granulated graphite gray that corresponds with the dark Dekton surface that was fitted with an integral sink. A lit fixture was fitted above the island, a true ‘piece’ that adds character to the entire space. The fixture is made of gold-tinted brass with a strong LED strip that emits a powerful light suitable for working in the kitchen”.

The desire to create a sophisticated, powerful, and precise design led Michaeli to source all the tiles and sanitaryware from the boutique store ‘Topaz Ceramics’: “The store imports very unique products, proper pieces, which allowed us to create a high-end quality property. For example, the tiles chosen for the floor are granulated gray in a special finish that has a cloudy yet glossy effect”, Michaeli explains. “This is an eclectic-urban textured tile on the one hand, and on the other, the cloudy gloss gives it a clean and luxurious feel in the space”.

The designer took advantage of the extension permit and planned a well-lit dining area that leads to the garden through large patio doors. As a result, the family can barbecue outdoors even on colder days, whilst enjoying the meal indoors. “I used the structural beam of the original frame as an asymmetrical element that makes the space more interesting,” he adds.

The dining table is made of a flower-patterned eucalyptus veneer plate, fitted on metal legs. The geometric chairs, imported from Italy, are upholstered in fabric and leather and are dominant against the delicate and minimalist table.

The feature wall, with asymmetric engraving, is a carpentry piece that was designed by Michaeli himself. The wall conceals cutting edge VRF air-conditioning units that can be attached directly to the side wall. Michaeli chose Dupon paint here too in a shade darker than that chosen for the kitchen and the furniture pieces chosen were custom-made by top Israeli manufacturers. The couches are a high-quality velvet fabric and the amorphic rounded shapes chosen to give the space a soft and gentle feel.

The staircase was used as an architectural motif, with thought behind it: “The owner wanted a floating staircase, but due to structural constraints, it would have been cumbersome and extremely expensive as it requires the installation of metal beams within the walls, which isn’t an option”, says the designer.

“Instead, we built an external beam that suspends the stairs and is visually appealing, although it significantly increased the cost of the renovation. The base of the staircase is a metal frame on top of which blackened smoked oak treads were fitted”.

The ceramic tiles, chosen by Michaeli at Topaz Ceramics, are very thin. He adds: “The enormous size of the porcelain tiles enabled us to create dominant textures and patterns that look like art and inject a high-finish clean aesthetic into the spaces”.

The middle and top levels were fitted with wood fishbone parquet. The middle level includes three spacious bedroom suites that were designed in clean and mature lines reminiscent of luxury hotels. The bathrooms were designed in clean bold colors and texture was injected into the space with the use of tiles and carpentry units.

The parents’ master bedroom, approximately 50 sqm in size, is located on the top level: “The original property had a tiled roof and changing it would have extended the permit processing times and delayed the renovation. As a result, we decided to keep the sloping roof and to raise it to the maximum of four meters, which created the feel of a luxurious chalet”, Michaeli explains. There are no physical partitions between the sleeping area and the en-suite, but a conceptual partition is created as the result of a pole that was erected in the center of the space, on which a 360° TV was fitted. Two hanging light hoops add to the sense of height and contribute to the spacious feel. The tiles chosen for the bath area give it a textured yet clean look, “Proof that you can work with unusual elements and simply dare”, says Michaeli.

The garden that prior to the renovation was hardly used, turned into one of the highlights of the property: “although the space isn’t very big, we managed to build a fantastic six-meter-long pool. In addition, we designed an outdoor kitchen, a lounging area and a bar table, which is how we created an experiential outdoor area that compliments this unique house”, summarizes Michaeli.

Photography courtesy of Studio Daniel Michaeli

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- by Matt Watts