Interiorssneak peeks

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home

by Sofia Tuovinen

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
In 1998, Tamar and Ronen Schechner along with their three young sons spent a year in Vermont and completely fell in love with the beautiful landscape, sense of community and local way of life. After a year full of amazing experiences and wonderful memories, the family returned to Tel Aviv, Israel. Tamar and Ronen wanted to make Vermont the family’s permanent home, but knew that their dream would require a lot of planning and saving. In 2005, the family was finally ready to relocate.

Moving to Vermont meant that Tamar and Ronen had to start over with their careers. “Moving continents at the age of 47 is no easy task but we were determined to make it work,” Tamar explains. With a background in the creative field, Tamar started her own decorating business and began designing jewelry on the side. The jewelry business, which Tamar named Nest Pretty Things, grew quickly and turned into a full-time job. When sales increased even more, Ronen got on board too. The couple now work together — Tamar designs the jewelry, while Ronen manages the website and finances.

During their time in Vermont, Tamar and Ronen have not only created a successful brand of handmade jewelry. They have also put down new roots and created a home that reflects their artistic and creative personalities. When Tamar and Ronen first planned their move to Vermont, they decided that they wanted to live in Shelburne, the town where they spent their first Vermont year. Choosing a home at the time was somewhat simple, as there was only one rental property available in the area! The family decided to take the house without even seeing it first. Tamar and Ronen’s plan was to rent for a while, then buy an old farmhouse or build their own home. Little did they know that their outdated rental would in fact become their permanent home! Six months into living in their 1960s split-level rental house, the owner decided to sell. As the boys had just settled into their new school, Tamar and Ronen couldn’t bear to move again so soon. After careful consideration, they decided to buy the house themselves.

When Tamar, Ronen and their boys initially moved in, the house was in a horrible state. It featured everything from dated vinyl wallpaper and worn formica kitchen cabinets to synthetic curtains that blocked all light. Urgent fixes included painting all the walls white and removing the heavy curtains. Since buying the house, Tamar and Ronen have slowly updated it on a shoestring budget, prioritizing every change and doing all the work themselves. A year after moving in, the couple installed a new kitchen, followed by new windows and doors. With a good amount of elbow grease and a fresh new look, Tamar and Ronen’s house has become a home that meets the couple’s every need. Each space is light and bright, and exudes a happy and relaxed feel. With splashes of color, pattern and art, the home is a perfect reflection of its owners. “It was important for us to have a space that feels open, friendly and inviting,” the couple shares. Here’s a peek into Tamar and Ronen’s lovely Vermont home, which proves that making simple changes goes a long way. Sofia

Photography by Tamar and Ronen Schechner

Image above: When Tamar and Ronen moved into the house, the stairs up to the main floor were covered with old carpet. They removed it and painted the stairs a happy green color. “Twelve years later it still works well and makes me happy each time I walk in,” Tamar explains.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
1/22

Tamar and Ronen found the hallway chest in the backyard of their apartment building in Tel Aviv. Ronen stripped off the old paint, and it’s now one of the couple’s favorite pieces of furniture. The chest holds treasured items, such as an antique oil painting bought by Tamar’s parents at a Florence market in 1954, the year that they met.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
2/22

The living room is where Tamar and Ronen spend most of their time. Colorful textiles from around the world create a happy and inviting space. Fresh flowers can always be found on the coffee table.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
3/22

The red chair is the main statement piece in the living room. The colorful textile pieces around the room are gifts from Susan Meller, author of “Silk and Cotton” and “Russian Textiles”.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
4/22

Patterned pillows and unique pieces of art add a fun and creative touch. There are two covers for the sofa; a white one for the summer and a grey one for the winter!

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
5/22

Tamar and Ronen in their living room. Tamar designs handmade jewelry for her company Nest Pretty Things. Ronen, a cinematographer, currently works with Tamar on their jewelry business. “This year we will participate in the NY NOW trade show for the first time, which is huge for us and very exciting!” the couple shares.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
6/22

A stunning painting by Tamar’s mother, Nora Frenkel, hangs above the entrance stairs. Colorful kilim rugs create defined spaces in the open-plan living area.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
7/22

The dining area is an extension of the open-plan living room. “We seem to always sit together around the table and couches and I love that flow of the living/dining areas,” Tamar says. Both paintings are by Tamar’s mother, Nora Frenkel.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
8/22

The Norden table from IKEA can comfortably seat 14 people, and is ideal for larger gatherings. “The chairs are a mix of shapes and colors from different times and places.” Tamar decorated the cord between the two pendants with a “Fairy Tail” card by Tord Boontje.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
9/22

Fresh flowers on the dining table add a summery feel.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
10/22

The white hutch in the dining area holds a collection of vintage plates. The artwork is by Tamar’s sister. Ronen created a unique light fixture by wrapping twinkle lights around a piece of driftwood.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
11/22

The large abstract painting by Tamar’s mother creates a bold backdrop in the dining area.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
12/22

Tamar and Ronen replaced the old peach-colored kitchen with fresh white cabinetry and open shelving.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
13/22

“Last year we removed the dark blue broken kitchen tiles and changed the sink to an IKEA farmhouse sink, which we adore,” Tamar explains.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
14/22

A memo board and grocery totes hang on the back wall of the kitchen.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
15/22

The hallway leading to the bedrooms used to be blue. “We painted it white and installed new doors with black hardware,” Tamar says. The painting above the chair is by Ronen’s uncle.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
16/22

The master bedroom is a serene space that features yard sale finds, handmade pieces and art by family members.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
17/22

Tamar found the bedside table at a yard sale for $3 and painted it yellow for a pop of color.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
18/22

A gallery wall in the master bedroom creates a collected and eclectic look. “I’m always changing the art on the walls,” Tamar explains.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
19/22

Tamar’s bedroom chest is covered with memories, from painted boxes made by her kids and nieces to a ceramic trinket box that used to belong to her mother.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
20/22

Tamar and Ronen’s son’s room was converted into a colorful guest bedroom. The upholstered headboard and pillows were made by Tamar.

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
21/22

A highlight of the year was when all three of the couple’s sons moved back home for a few months, before embarking on their next adventures. “What we love most about our home is having the boys move out and then back in!” — Tamar and Ronen

Art and Textiles Bejewel a Designer’s Vermont Home | Design*Sponge
22/22

Floor plan of Tamar and Ronen’s 1960s bi-level house.

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