Designing a Villa in the Jezreel Valley

The challenge

Being inspired by the urban environment and using available materials, turning trash into artistic objects.

Turning a disadvantage into an advantage, concealing the fact that the frontal window looks onto the parking lot.

Accentuating the advantageous height of the space.

Villa in Provence design


The exposed brick walls that in the front of the house, which is located in the rural Jezreel Vally, make difficult it for passers-by to imagine what lies on the interior of the house due to the the classic European architectural design by Moti Malka of exterior which is so drastically different to that of the natural surroundings.  Interior designer, Hilit Karsh, generally designs with a minimalistic and modern style, meticulously balancing between the exterior and interior of the home and beauty with practicality for her clients.  Rarely does a project come about where one takes priority of over the other and with the right eye for correct composition and the appropriate blending of different materials; Hilit always finds the right design for each space.  In this particular project she has designed in a clean provincial style, warmth combined with openness and clean lines.

In order to create a united and harmonious flow with the impressive exterior design, the interior design merges rustic European details and materials along with more modern ones.  The result is  that the nature and the valley surrounding the house is in synch with the soft inviting design style.

Design of the house: the house is two floors; the upper level, made up of the master bedroom and children’s rooms has a gallery that overlooks the lower level which is designed with colorful carpets. The yard includes a garden and a swimming pool.  The different openings that are placed strategically all over the house provide a view of the environment, fillings its rooms with different elements of the nature around the house.

The essence of beauty and design talent is found within the ability to blend different aspects and elements of the home.  The success of the design plan will be measured if one whole home is created “if it looks like it was always there” the ultimate goal was to create a relationship between the interior and the exterior, to create harmonious motif throughout the entire house.  Whether it is the use of different materials, colors, or textures, the intent is to have a comfortable flow in the home.  The general approach to the design was harmony and integration, not just between modernism and romanticism, but with inside and outside, this inspired the decision to incorporate stone covering from the exterior to the interior of the house.  In contrast to the blunt walls, it was decided the flooring for in the interior would be almost a completely white marble with a sleek appearance.

Lower level:  The main entertainment area, which the gallery overlooks, is built in an impressive atrium style.  The high ceilings are emphasized with four columns and parts of the wall are intermixed with the exposed brick.  The statuesque chandelier serves as a focal point on the highest ceiling and draws attention to the outer front of the house and the interior.  In order to contrast the heavy look of the exposed brick wall sophisticated, white, marble tile was used for the floors.  From one perspective, the use of the white marble gently evens out the look of the space in which the dominant exposed brick is used and from another perspective it the marble enriches the feeling of have natural stone in the space, staying true to classic European design style.  From this part of the home there is an exit to the pool area which above it has a stone pergola.  The formal atrium design used in the living room compliments the low ceiling above the kitchen and dining room, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

The color palette is comprised of mono-chromatic, light, colors, which is most prominent in the flooring, kitchen, furniture, doors, etc.  This palette was chosen mainly to neutralize the “heaviness” that may come about if there was a rustic design throughout the home.

The kitchen, that was meticulously planned, includes three parallel ‘strips’– two sides and an island in the center, each generously proportioned.  The side of the kitchen faces on side the main space and on the other side the kitchen face a large window that overlooks the valley and allows natural light to flush the room.  The wooden ‘butcher block’ blends well with the palette of light colors and the exposed brick walls in the living room, this design style was also done with provincial-modern twist in mind,  meaning creating a space that is both a functional and airy with touches that compliment the rustic atmosphere.

Upper floor: The master bedroom includes a balcony with a breathtaking view of the valley, a walk-in closet and complete bathroom.  The surprising feature of the bedroom is the same exposed brick that is found at the front of the house and on the lower level.  The bathroom is made up of white flagstone tile in order to continue the same stylistic features with the functionality that is required in a bathroom.

The children’s continue the on the design path of mixing between clean outer lines, modern details along with decorative details, as to not make the room too ‘dull’ (i.e. a make-up table)

Interior designer, Hilit Karsh, executes this project without compromise; she managed to fine-tune the bombastic European architectural style of the exterior of the house using provincial design and natural resources on the interior, making it a younger more at ease space.  Despite the design having interwoven, nostalgic proportions, the house is airy and very far from having an antiquated look, the minimalistic properties and subdued coloring from the traditional design and the modern technique used now blend together harmoniously.

“I never compromised (the design), even when dealing with the clients and convincing them to understand my choices” says Hilit, “and afterwards, they couldn’t say enough how much I was right” This was the case when choosing the doors, the clients wanted, as the architect suggested, dark wooden doors, Hilit however wanted to use light, cream colored doors to even further the feeling of openness in the space and accentuate the stone.  After some strong persuasion, the designers choice of cream colored doors was chosen, which in turn truly did open up the entire living space.  This was also the case when choosing the shade of marble, putting a window in the kitchen in order to let the “outside in” and to go with the plan of the three ‘strips’ in the kitchen, which is a modern style using provincial materials.

In the center of the kitchen on the large island there is a flat surface made of genuine mahogany.  On both sides of the island the cabinet doors are white.  Behind the doors, and one side there is a storage cabinet and on the other the refrigerator, whose depth is 70 cm. in accordance to that of the cabinet.  There are also high stools around the island that are both aesthetic and comfortable.

From the center of the den there is an exit to the garden and swimming pool areas, which are in the front part of the backyard, and used for entertaining.

The interior designer successfully took advantage of the entire space to create a living experience which combines the outside and the inside using a light palette of finishes, and the exposed brick, with her design Hilit gives a feeling a of a much bigger space than there actually was in the original plan for the home

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