Modern History

  • Sunlight fills the entry, throwing light onto stone walls likely more than 400 years old.
  • A series of glass paneled doors greets the entry and closes to offer privacy (when combined with blackout shades) in the master bedroom.
  • The building’s shell is composed of a combination of pottery and beach sand. The bisque and terracotta colours create natural warmth in the coved dining room.
  • The architects created distinct viewpoints in each of the rooms, often providing a glimpse into adjacent spaces. The organic shaped coffee tables and rustic woven rug support a mandate to use natural, raw materials.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is reflected in a mirror that brings light into the spare living space. The cable strung staircase rises gracefully to the master bedroom above.
  • The galley kitchen efficiently carves utilitarian space into the home and provides those in residence with an expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Sleeping quarters are stacked above the living room, where they enjoy full ocean views.

Set above the harbor, facing the majestic Mediterranean Sea in Old Jaffa, is an ancient structure given new life by the thoughtful architects hired to restore its integrity.

Though it’s difficult to determine the structure’s exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over time, changes and additions had damaged the original integrity of the dwelling. The central ideal, therefore, was to restore the original characteristics—the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches—to peel back and expose the original state.

The language of minimalism embedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa.

“Surprisingly modern, minimalistic construction styles (especially ancient ones) allow us to create new spaces that blend periods together—even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the ages.” ~ Pitsou

The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the building’s outer shell and by respecting the engineering accordingly.

The modern is expressed by opening spaces and altering the internal flow, and by incorporating natural materials such as stainless steel, iron and wood.

Pistou’s project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and romantic values of the structure while creating a contemporary project suited to today’s lifestyle.

Designed by Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed & Irene Goldberg

Photography by Amit Geron

Sweet Home à la Savannah

  • LEFT: Southerners revere hospitality, according to interior designer Lynn Morgan. Her historic Savannah row house clearly has its own open door policy. RIGHT: The foyer’s gilded Federal style mirror keeps a watchful eye on the well-appointed living room.
  • Sunlight pours through dramatic six-over-six, double sash windows, filling the gracious living room with an inviting warmth.
  • The kitchen’s beadboard, painted in pale blue, extends from the countertop upwards and into the glass display cabinets, providing a subtly colourful backdrop to dishes on display. To ground the busy kitchen and its painted surfaces, Lynn introduced dark stained, oak countertops.
  • Playful green upholstered chairs with white, contrast piping gather round the painted dining table.
  • Lynn’s fondness for Caribbean colour finds its way into her sun-filled master bedroom. A crisp white coverlet, cashmere throw and downy pillows provide the layers of comfort required for sleeping. The bedroom walls are painted Benjamin Moore’s Mountain Mist.
  • Adjacent to sleeping quarters is a gracious dressing room, separated by glass doors. The frosted panes soften filtering sunlight.
  • High-gloss white paint draws attention to the handsome baseboards and trim throughout, especially when contrasted with the matte finish used on walls.

Set in Savannah’s historic oak-lined district, the Greek Revival row house was originally built in 1853, likely a family home for a successful shipping magnate. Determined to strike her own pose with the redecoration project, Lynn Morgan was unencumbered by the home’s luminous past.

Instead, she created a thoroughly American interior by hitting the proverbial “refresh” button. Rather than rely exclusively on French and English antiques, the designer incorporated found pieces, painted furniture and humble garden elements, creating an easy, welcoming mix. Lacquered white furniture, saturated colour and bold graphics infuse the public spaces with joyful energy.

Striking pattern is used strategically to create interest in key areas—most notably the checkerboard floor pattern in the kitchen, the bold stripes in the dining room area carpet and the blue zigzag ottoman in the living room. Subtle pattern, like the beadboard in the kitchen and the sisal area carpet in the living room, creates texture and provides a foil to glossier finishes.

Dabble Savvy: Use a dark lampshade, like the royal blue bedside lamp with a narrow opening at the top and wider opening at the bottom, to force light onto the surface of a good book (as seen in the Master Bedroom).

Lynn’s Style Tips

Keep it simple. Glamour and sophistication go hand in hand with simplicity. Lynn suggests removing something from every finished room.

Mix it up. Texture and depth are byproducts of contrast. Mixing finishes—lacquered trim and matte walls, sisal carpets and high-gloss wood floors—enlivens a scheme.

Be an original. Don’t feel compelled to follow the past. Be fearless and set a contemporary tone that speaks to you personally.

Paint it white. For striking architecture or furniture with great bones, a coat of paint is transformative.

 

Luxe Desert Retreat

  • Jamie used a grasscloth wallpaper in the foyer and hall to create textural interest without distracting from the beauty of the moulding.
  • “Reflective quality doesn’t always have to be glass, marble or other hard surfaces. Shine also comes from fabrics like the silk velvet material on the sofa cushions.” ~ Jamie
  • A classic white kitchen with framed cabinetry and white Calcutta marble countertops complements the home’s traditional elements. A custom marble mosaic on the back of the island acts as powerful art in a neutral colour scheme.
  • In the master bedroom, Jamie demonstrates that it is completely acceptable to put a bed in front of a window.
  • “I reoriented the floor plan and put the bed in front of the window deliberately to make the bed front and center in the room.”

You wouldn’t know it from its formal interior, but this 7000 square foot home is located in Paradise Valley, Arizona, amidst the deserts and the cacti. Designer Jamie Herzlinger is up to the challenge of transforming the house from top to bottom with her client’s specific vision in mind: luxe desert retreat.

When you enter the home you are instantly greeted by the 19th century Dutch corbeille-shaped canapé which sits on top of Marie Antoinette patterned hardwood floors: the entrance showstopper.

Jamie designed a niche in the foyer to give the room a large presence. The mirror, that sits above the Marquetry commode, purposely reflects into the dining room.

Jamie describes this space as refined elegance because it’s not too formal but formal enough to go from jeans to black tie.

Jamie says the key to achieving a similar look is to always keep it simple. A neutral palette should have different variations of white and flexible lighting, including table lamps and a chandelier like the Sophia Chandelier by Jan Showers. Desert life never looked so luxe.

Photography by Werner Segarra.

Swimming Pools and Movie Stars

  • The stucco exterior is enlivened by a series of grid patterns —on the garage doors, at the front door, and in the concrete pads of the driveway.
  • In a city where everyone’s a star, Erinn knows what it takes to make a dramatic entrance. The Asian inspired fretwork of the front door is the result of a sketch she penned while out to dinner with friends.
  • The difficulty with contemporary design is its tendency to be cold. Erinn created a warm, modern feeling by incorporating sleek wood features in the window surrounds, on the floors and in the landscaping.
  • With a base of warmth established, she was able to clad the living room fireplace in stucco and insert a chrome U-channel to create the massive grid, mimicking exterior materials, without fear the feature would read as “cold”.
  • Introducing the soft, gray oak (a repeated element from the living room floors) warms the high gloss surfaces of the spacious kitchen.
  • The sun-drenched family room and kitchen enjoy poolside views and easy access to the outdoor barbecue. Erinn insists on an open floor plan for homes where entertaining happens frequently.
  • Erinn pays particular attention to the backsplash when she’s designing kitchens. “A typical mirrored backsplash might have created uncomfortable shine with so much sunlight,” says the designer.
  • Casual seating provided by sleek bar stools tucks discreetly beneath statuary Calcutta gold marble countertops.
  • The master bedroom is something of a departure from the rest of the house. Here, dark wood floors and the royal blue suede headboard create a cozier, more dramatic setting. Floor-toceiling bookshelves conceal a central pocket door that leads to the ensuite. “It’s almost like walking through a tunnel,” the designer enthuses, “which is very cool.”
  • Honeyed wood and white lacquer cabinets combine with champagne coloured mosaic tiles in the master ensuite. The room’s most dramatic feature is the private garden seen beyond the glass shower wall.
  • A repetition of organic materials—wood, stucco, stone—creates flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • An avid gardener, Erinn uses succulents in boxed concrete beds to provide structure to contemporary gardens. Japanese maple trees (seen in the back corner) add complementary colour to large expanses of green.

Making a comeback in swanky town USA takes more than desire. Hard work, vision, re-direction and a bit of luck are required to bring waning potential back into the spotlight. Dabble chatted with interior designer Erinn Valencich who recently faced such a challenge transforming a traditional home in the tony Trousdale Estates neighbourhood of Beverly Hills.

“I envisioned an urban oasis with large windows leading to outdoor rooms,” says the designer. “We started with a beautiful footprint and expansive views. I added floor to ceiling glass walls and additional ceiling height, growing rooms from 9 to12 feet.”

Dabble Savvy: UNDERSTATED IMPACT

  • Sleek pattern makes a statement in contemporary settings. Graphic lines provide order and can be introduced as architectural detail.
  • High contrast adds drama. A combination of light wood floors and dark window surrounds produces head-turning results.
  • Combine diverse textures for impact. The rough, matte stucco and smooth, concrete stepping stones are complemented and softened by shrubery and trees.

Designed by Erinn Valencich; Photography by Adrian Anz

 

Simple Pleasures

  • Surrounded by pristine white and warm woods, Culley Ingram strikes a contemplative pose in her restful Nashville living room.
  • This chair was found at Antiques at the Factory and the busy mother of two fell in love with the artisanship behind its elegant shape. The oil painting is by Danielle Rahe Fox, an artist from the Ingrams’ hometown of Santa Cruz, California. Family, as displayed in the homegrown gallery rising above the main floor staircase, is a priority for Culley and her husband, songwriter and music producer Jason Ingram. Daughters Blythe and Nola are much in evidence throughout the home.
  • Culley finishes icing red velvet cupcakes.
  • Simply furnished, the master bedroom gives way to a large deck, ideal for family barbecues and summer sunning. Culley painted existing grass cloth covered walls a crisp white, preferring the subtle texture to flat drywall.
  • Jason’s home office, just steps from the family kitchen, is an actual recording studio.
  • A collection of guitars and a mandolin, gifted by a dear friend, strike a pleasing chord on display.
  • The graphic black and white canvas is a portrait of Culley by artist friend M. A. Wood.

With sunshine pouring through the windows, reflecting onto cushy white upholstery and pristine walls, there’s nary a trace of the formerly dark rooms the Ingram family moved into several years ago. Craving a backdrop for living rather than a “show house”, Culley, a self-taught design enthusiast, set about creating a peaceful sanctuary for her family of four.

Culley humbly chalks her design abilities up to genetics, slowing as she speaks of beloved grandparents:

“They were world travellers who had an ability to appreciate an object’s inherent beauty. My grandmother taught me to look for potential in objects both humble and grand, while my grandfather taught me to enjoy the hunt and respect the process of creating a home.”

Undaunted by raw possibilities, Culley sees blank spaces on walls and in rooms as “opportunities.”

 

Culley’s Fave Design Stores

Epiphany – contemporary and antique furniture and accessories

Dealer’s Choice – where Culley bought her living room chandelier

Iron Gate – new and vintage offerings


Words by Kimberley Seldon; Photography by Simon Burn