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BIN house

BIN HOUSE

Private House Renovation // 180 square meters // Binyamina

2023

 

At the end of 2021, the phone rang, and from the other side, a polite American voice 😊 introduced himself as the realtor for an American couple planning to make Aliyah with their 4 children in the summer of 2023.

After a brief conversation where I learned about the property's condition and their desire to carry out an expansion requiring a permit and comprehensive renovation within about 18 months, despite recent reforms in the permitting process, the timelines for obtaining permits remained a concern for them— a minimum of a year, in addition to the usual 10-14 months for comprehensive renovation. I understood that their schedule was not aligning as expected.

I explained that my expertise is in maximizing value in properties, whether it's a 60 sqm apartment in Tel Aviv or a 180 sqm house in the suburbs. I suggested that the best option for them is to plan a comprehensive renovation that suits the existing property, within the permitted space to meet their needs and those of their children.

After I passed the audition 😊, we began the process remotely. We scheduled a measurement and a discussion to build the program - understanding their profound needs and how the house will “grow” with them over the years. Coming from a spacious home in Cleveland, as a family, we wanted to maintain a large amount of storage space and bathrooms that match the number of family members. Additionally, because they have family in Israel and the USA and Shomrei Shabbat, the house had to be suitable for hosting on Shabbat - meaning designing a layout that enables setting up a long table for a comfortable Friday night meal in proportion to the space and comfortable sleeping arrangements on Shabbat.

The most significant change was the realization that in order to create an open dining area, we needed to change the staircase layout. After consulting with a contractor, we made the necessary reinforcements and set out on the journey. Instead of stairs in a "U" shape that reduced the effective floor space, we designed iron framework stairs in a smoky green shade that provide ample storage for hosting – all the serving dishes, cups, and the alcohol cabinet surround the dining area, making hosting easy and pleasant.

The kitchen, serving a family of 6 daily and kosher, was exactly the size needed - equipped with a double sink, double dishwasher, wide and tall integrated refrigerator and an additional pantry at the entrance from the parking area, featuring a food pantry and a utility space for organizing items for entry or exit. This is where shoes are removed, school bags are placed, and so on.

The smoky tone of the stairs continues onto the wall leading to the master bedroom. The main bedroom contains 4 wall closets providing ample space for hanging, folding, and even storing suitcases in a specially designed deep closet. One of the side cabinets by the bed also serves as a bedside table. Another closet is a two-way unit, with one side being a "regular" hanging closet and the other side serving as a well-equipped makeup corner with a mirror, lighting, and side compartments for all makeup and hair accessories.

The bed faces a wide window, surrounded by an additional cabinet incorporating a rounded wall section with a bench seat next to the window.

The parents' bathroom is particularly luxurious, featuring a double sink and tones of light and dark travertine. The wall, with its windows, is cladded in three-dimensional textured tiles.

Exiting the bedroom, there is an entrance cabinet on the way to the living area. The guest bathroom was chosen to be particularly dramatic, with a black fishbone floor tiles, above which is a "perimeter" with the same tiles, and above them, a wallpaper-like tile. The sink is placed on a minimalist metal frame element designed specifically with consideration for hanging towels, etc.

Adjacent to the guest bathroom is the guest/office room for the couple, equipped with a Murphy bed descending from the wall cabinet and a well-stocked library. The library includes professional medical literature alongside Jewish philosophy books.

On the upper floor are located the three children's rooms. The 2 daughters, the eldest and the youngest live in adjacent rooms, each with its wardrobe and open storage compartments. Each room has access to a shared sun terrace where they can host friends 😊.

In the entrance to the girls' rooms, a modestly concealed washing machine is located. With four children, it operates 24/7, hidden behind accordion doors, alongside shelves for storing various cleaning and laundry materials. Above it, there is space for laundry storage and a vented area for ventilation.

The girls' bathroom was designed to grow with them over the years - on one side, there are mature, flowery tiles from the Motina company, while on the other side, there's a playful touch with the fixtures and accessories. The mirror is mounted on a rail, allowing it to be positioned in front of the window and enabling the window to open when needed.

The boys share a room with bunk beds and a shared wardrobe that also includes space for all their neatly organized LEGO pieces that they build together.

Adjacent to the boys' area is an additional entertaining room with an opening sofa - this room serves as the upper-floor TV room and also allows for hosting additional family members who come to visit. The room is connected to a bathroom with a double sink that serves the boys daily and guests when entertaining.

 

The most unique aspect of the project is the process we went through together

After I passed the "audition" with the mediator, we immediately began building a collaborative remote work process. We explored various options for the design. Once we found the chosen option, I went alone to the stores and found finishes that matched the inspiration board we had created together. Two months before the start of the execution, the client visited for a week in the country. We inspected all the finishing materials, including those we had debated over, and finalized decisions with all the suppliers. It was important to me that she sees the materials she would encounter daily with her own eyes, not just in pictures before the final choice. The same applied to the barstools, the sofa, and so on – I wanted her to sit on the chair she would use during Friday meals 😊.

Afterward, we began the execution, since the clients do not reside in the country and cannot oversee the execution, a project management service was added here - in addition to one weekly on-site visit and sending photos of the progress, all the small and bothersome coordination matters were mostly taken care of by the client. The regular contractor, who works with me on all renovation projects, also handled part of it.

The practical level of management involved coordinating the installation schedule and organizing the various professionals so that they would come for measurements, deliveries, and installations in proximity to each other, one after the other, and complete the work thoroughly and professionally.

After the entire house was installed and organized, managing the project itself required thinking like a customer who is now moving into a new apartment - coordinating cleaning, followed by pest control, garden care, and purchasing electrical appliances such as a washing machine + dryer + television + coffee machine, etc... As a family with 4 children, arriving after a journey full of travel hassles from home to the airport, with 11 suitcases, a 12-hour flight from the East Coast, and waiting once again at the border for all the necessary paperwork from the immigration office, our vision was for them to arrive at a clean and organized home where they could simply roll their suitcases to the rooms and relax on the couch. To fulfill this vision, and of course, in coordination with them, we purchased everything the house needed to feel like home - linens, towels, soap dispensers, mezuzahs, doormats, and Shabbat candles, plates, glasses, a sum... We even stocked the pantry and the fridge so that the end of this journey to Israel would be sweet and leave them with the feeling of "home."

To the "Before" pictures.

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Ground floor | before

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1st floor | before

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��BINYAMINA_HOUSE__2ND FLOOR PLAN_ AFTER-1.jpg

Ground floor | after

1st floor | after

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Credits:

Photographer: Itay Benit.

Styling for the photos: Maya Livnat Harush.

Contractor: Sahar Twina - Pie Projects Ltd.

Kitchen: Regba.

Bathroom Countertops: Fervital \ Corian Chic

Artisan carpentry: Pascal Wooden Furniture Ltd.

Metal Work: BUBU

Sanitaryware and tiles: Mody / Hakoach Ceramic.

Parquet: Via Arkadia.

Doors: Stato/Rav Bariach.

Lighting: Sheka and Teka.

Personal import lighting: FLOS.

Art: Ingrid, Michael Aviv, Studio Reish, Keren Or BaBayit.

Furniture, textiles, and accessories: Pick Up, Tollmans Dot, Prat living, Milano bedding, Idana Home, Adams’ furniture, Nihuta, Pieces.

Outdoor furniture: Green.

Gita Home, New Village Nursery, Zemer Rugs, Ceramics - Lori Goldstein, Northli, Tema, Butchers’.

Wallpapers: Avi Wallpapers, Pas Normal.

Wall colors: Tambor.

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