sneak peek: merav sade

Interior designer Merav Sade loves her work: transforming a space so it’s functional for her clients, choosing colors and fabrics and shopping for just the right vintage touches. She’s a mother to two teenagers — daughter Hagar is 16 and son Eitan is 13 — and also participates in an online architecture and design forum in Israel. So when it came time to become her own client, Merav knew she had to create something that would work for her busy family. The house is in a small city just outside of Tel Aviv in Israel. Merav spent three months renovating before the family moved in at the beginning of 2012. She loves Frank Gehry’s assertion that “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness,” and tried to create a home that felt comfortable and welcoming, not perfect. Thank you, Merav, and a big thank you to Sivan Askayo for the lovely photographs! — Amy Azzarito

Image above: The master bedroom is located in the upper level. When I bought the apartment, there were only steep stairs with an exit to the roof terrace. It was actually a dream for me to have a bedroom with a roof terrace and a small garden adjacent. I bought the old wooden doors and replaced the old glass with vintage green glass, and the tiles between the bedroom and the terrace are 100 years old. I got them at the last minute, and they fit perfectly. The terrace is tiled with a travertine stone, and above the bed I put some self-portraits I took for one of the projects I did in a photography class.

Image above: I think the living room space really illustrates the laid-back character of my family. The old couch just gets more comfortable with age, and my kids love to sprawl out on it. The 20-year-old coffee table has seen better days, but we love to eat in the living room and put our legs up when we’re sitting on the sofa. I had my two favorite armchairs reupholstered. The blue flower vase I got in Brighton, England, and the two old shoetrees were found in an old shoemaker shop in Tel Aviv. When my grandmother came on a boat to Israel from Russia, she brought some of her furniture, and the dresser was one of the pieces that made the trip. It is quite a treasured piece.

See more a Merav Sade’s home in Tel Aviv, Israel, after the jump . . .

Image above: I love my kitchen. I chose a simple wood and then painted everything a light blue, which goes well with the grey floor. I found this beautiful 100-year-old wooden door — all it needed was new glass panes. The sink in the kitchen is a simple Ikea sink. The stool is also from Ikea, but I painted it to match the light blue.

Image above: I got the Alessi kettle as a gift for my wedding (16 years ago!) from a design school. In one of my many apartment moves, I lost the bird-shape top of the kettle, and then just last year I found it again online (thank you, Amazon), and it was sent to me from New York. I use a simple terra cotta vase to store cooking utensils.

Image above: I covered the back of the kitchen pantry with a wallpaper designed by Pip Studio after spotting it in one of my favorite stores, Tweelingen Design. I got the Kathie Winkle dish and the silver-plated candlesticks ($4!) from a vintage shop. The flour container is from a vintage store in Germany. I love how all these vintage items from different places in the world find their place in my kitchen.

Image above: The two vintage armchairs I got from my brother 15 years ago. He actually wanted to get rid of them when he got a new sofa for his living room. I just reupholstered them — one in a purple color and the second one in a floral pattern. On the old Russian dresser is my collection of vintage pharmacy bottles and a Modigliani print.

Image above: My office and working space used to be the kitchen. I created this niche between two walls to store my 20-year collection of design and architecture magazines. My brother-in-law has a wine store, so I snap up these boxes from him.

Image above: The main bathroom is tiled in simple black and white tiles in a checkerboard pattern. I like to add an unexpected color to the mix — here I chose a light blue mineral plaster color on the walls.

Image above: By expanding onto a small service balcony space, I was able to create a private bathroom for my teenage daughter. I gave her the freedom to choose the colors she wanted. She chose black. The floor and walls are made of mineral plaster.

Image above: I love the light that my bedroom gets from the huge window (half the size of the wall). One wall I painted purple, and the rest I painted in light, soft tones. The bedroom door is an old wooden door I bought, and the heart-shape key chain I carried with me through all my apartments I used to live in, and it finally found its place.

Image above: My teenage daughter’s bedroom — I let her choose the colors. She wanted a purple wall, and instead of a closet door, she chose a flower pattern fabric. The bed is a simple Ikea bed, and the night table is from my vintage collection. The pink glass shelves are also from my vintage collection. I got them in Argentina, and they serve to keep and hold her miniature collection. Above the bed, there is a colored wood I found,  and I printed on it “Make Life Happier.” Just for my daughter.

Image above: The outdoor terrace. During the construction, I debated what character to give the balcony; an old weathered blue and white tile reminiscent of Greece or something warmer like in Italy and Spain. Then one day I saw a Mexican-style design book and immediately fell for the colorful tones. It took me a few days and “maybe” test colors to come up with the final pink colored plaster for the walls. The old wooden stool was found in one of the workshops in Tel Aviv.

Image above: I bought the oak table from a friend who runs a warehouse for vintage furniture called Vintage Mania. The table is originally from an old carpentry shop. It was stained a dark brown, but only when I started polishing it and removing the stain did I realize how great the original color was. I got it when the apartment was under construction (even before I moved in), and it is so large and heavy that we had to use a crane in order to place it on the roof. It was a whole drama, but now it’s perfect for nice outdoor lunches and dinners.

  1. Sara SK says:

    So beautiful, absolutely dreamy. There really isn’t anything that I don’t love. If this was my home, I don’t think I’d ever leave. It’s so peaceful and cosy and the colours are sensational. Really love the yellow wallpaper in the pantry and the lovely old wooden doors.

  2. I love how this home is equal parts warm and airy, bright and soothing. Your terrace is lovely, and the photographs capture the mood perfectly!

  3. Love the pops of purple! Simple yet elegant. What a pretty home!


  4. casey says:

    LOVE those doors!

  5. Sheila says:

    Love the old wood, and Ikea in the mix. I have wanted to do purple walls in my bedroom for a long time… some day :)

  6. gayleen says:

    Your doors are amazing! So is the rest of your home!

  7. Haley says:

    I really love the mineral plaster walls in the bathrooms. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. The color and texture are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  8. shalini says:

    A beautiful home. I love that so many of the pieces have a personal history.

  9. karoline says:

    I too love the wooden doors! and the plaster wall, love the texture and the contrast it gives to the rest of the home. :) !אני אוהבת את הבית שלך, מירב

  10. Michelle says:

    A well-deserved beautiful tribute to a Israeli designer, who with modest means and plenty of talent and inspiration, has created a welcoming, warm, easy and personal retreat for herself and her family. Well done, Merav, and thank you Sivan, for wonderfully capturing the essence of this lovely house in her photographs.

  11. Amberly says:

    Your home is WONDERFUL. The cheery colors and natural wood create such a great mood, and I love the rustic touches throughout – it gives it that much more warmth and “story.” Beautiful! You have great, one-of-a-kind style – thank you for sharing!

  12. That mineral plaster in your bathrooms is divine. Simple but full of texture and character, very nice indeed :)

  13. isabel says:

    Love the subtle shades of the walls; especially fond of those living room chairs. Thanks for this wonderful post.

  14. Great home. Love your sinks in the kitchen and bathroom.

  15. June says:

    Simply amazing! I would love to see more of the floor tiles…

  16. Sivan Askayo says:

    thank You all for the great comments and feedback. It was a great fun shooting Merav’s apartment

  17. lauren ricci says:

    Such a light, summery home. I love the terrace, the wood, the painted walls and the quirky vintage furniture. It looks like a space full of love and happiness. Beautiful.

  18. Great post, thanks! Does anyone know where I can get modern replicas of those vintage wooden chairs with the purple upholstery? Hope so!!

  19. Nicolezh says:

    Beautyfull place- love your sun filled rooms and I can see you and yours kids sipping that wonderful Israeli lemonade with mint!

  20. Merav Sade says:

    thx you all! for the great comments . and thx to Sivan the one and only.
    תודה לכולם!

  21. This is such a beautiful home. It’s filled with so much character!

  22. Sol Ines says:

    Beautiful. Real. Familiar. Love it. Congrats!

  23. Momik says:

    Hey. I read the article. I saw the photos. You can understand very quickly that was invested in a lot of thought and soul. I love the happy colors and ideas.

  24. adi amit fraiman says:

    beautiful! you did such a good job turning this house around’ i saw it before and the transformation is amazing! מי מוכשרת, מי?!

  25. Beautiful home! I especially love your purple chair.

  26. Zoe Yacoub says:

    Inspirational – I especially love the colour scheme and the light. A beautiful home, thank you for sharing

    אהבתי את הכל!


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