Water Water Everywhere
We Israelis have a ambiguous relationship with rain. In theory we should love it; a desert land thirsty and dry for more than 300 days of the year welcomes every drop that falls. Or so you would think. But the reality is somewhat different. We shun stepping foot outside the door during what is euphemistically referred to as ‘winter’. Traffic lights routinely malfunction, malls invariably flood, car park barriers cease to work, lifts grind to a halt.
And the average Israeli home leaks. Because even though every year, Israel enjoys more than 500 mm of rainfall, our homes are not prepared.
It starts with the absence of the coat cupboard - or anywhere to remove wet shoes or boots. Enter an Israeli home on a rainy day and there will be a floor cloth or at best an old bath towel by the front door on which to wipe your feet and to balance precariously upon whilst you divest yourself of your outer garments, garments that you will then be forced to drape, dripping, on the nearest chair or door handle.
The air conditioning – every Israelis best friend through the long hot summer - will, if you are lucky, be blowing hot air noisily and, in all probability, inadequately. More likely it won’t be on at all; instead your host will be wrapped in oversized fluffy pyjamas, swaddled in blankets and shuffling around in furry UGG slippers. And there will be a bucket somewhere collecting rain water as it tracks its way through badly sealed windows, worn away grouting and broken roof tiles.
There is another way. You can have the comfort of a functional home, cosy and fit for winter purpose in this land of milk and honey. Careful planning hand in hand with clever design and tasteful finishes means you can have a house that doesn’t just look wonderful but that works for you all year round, whatever the weather.
Lets start with keeping dry – inside. The sun is a powerful friend but it comes with a mean streak. Over time it erodes the cement that sits between the tiles on external walls and the sealant around windows, so a thorough audit of the outside of your property should be part of any renovation process as should a survey of any roof areas. Addressing issues before they cause damage is always better and more cost effective.
Keeping homes cool through the many hot months is a justifiable priority here in Israel but it does not need to come at the cost of staying warm in Winter. There are many options for ‘designing in warmth’ when creating a beautiful home - from under floor heating to focal fire places, from the use of different materials to the creative use of seasonally appropriate soft furnishings. We look at all of this as part of our renovation projects.
And of course the threshold to your home is hugely important, not only in Winter and not only for you and your family but for everyone who comes and goes. Arriving and leaving your home shouldn’t feel like an ordeal or an assault course. From school bags to rain boots, buggies to beach balls finding front door storage solutions and creating a functional and welcoming entrance to your home is a real priority for every project we undertake.
If you are planning a renovation or if you are reading this and nodding woefully at every line please get in touch. I am delighted to offer a free half hour Zoom consultation to discuss any thoughts you may have or to answer any initial questions.
And failing all else, we can always talk about the weather.
Tamar Freudmann - Itzuv Pnim : I have been designing, renovating and remodeling living spaces for more than a decade. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit my site for more information www.itzuvpnim.com