A Cottage Apartment in Jerusalem

The tenants: A husband and wife with their two daughters

Location: Jerusalem

Apartment size: 90 square meters

Design projects rarely go exactly as planned. Sometimes, however, they just flow smoothly and effortlessly. That is what happened to me during this project. The clients’ and I seemed to have a shared vision – whether in planning, designing or purchasing the accessories – we thought of every detail in an almost symbiotic way. When corresponding, it was with images, colors and mutual inspirations (and some links of course 😉

The clients: parents with several married children (including a teenager and a young girl who lives with them) purchased an apartment in a TAMA project at Geula neighborhood in Jerusalem. The family wanted to “recreate” their previous house in Beit Shemesh.

At our first meeting, the couple explained that on the one hand, they are very happy about the move to Jerusalem, but on the other hand, it is difficult and sad for them to leave the house they loved so much. They showed me pictures of the previous apartment and I immediately understood their story as a family and the desire behind their request.

The challenge in designing small apartments is to create a feeling of spaciousness using smart planning and developing innovative solutions for hidden storage places. Our design plan included clean lines, as little clutter as possible and tricks to utilize the space to create a magical apartment that echoed the home they loved and left behind.

For me, one of the most important things in planning and design is to eliminate unused corridors or foyers, and instead create multi-functional corners that will free-up space that we can work with. This particular apartment did not need many structural changes, but those we did really upgraded it. With a lot of thought and planning, we managed to give the rooms a feeling of space within the entire apartment.

In the original plan, the contractor placed a small guest toilet in front of the entrance. We removed this and allocated part of the space as an addition to the utility room. Then, we created a new, beautiful and spacious guest toilet from a small, unused space close to the entrance.

Another structural change we made was to remove the parents’ bedroom suite, which was located in the center of the apartment and was too small. We turned it into a bathroom that the entire family can use. We created the new master suite in a more secluded part of the apartment, which was added to a small bathroom we completely renewed. We increased the surface area of the bathroom in the master suite by shortening the hallway, which created a new, spacious, accessible and intimate master suite that the couple could enjoy.


The kitchen is the center of the home, especially when it comes to a family that loves to cook. The clients wished to create a kitchen space that was slightly hidden and private yet would allow one to have eye contact with the rest of the house.

 In order to achieve this, we designed a semi-open planned kitchen that gives the illusion of size with a soft atmosphere that is inviting and pleasant. We added an accessible and comfortable island in the center of the kitchen with a dairy gas stove, and a convenient vegetable cabinet.

We added a lot of storage space, a pantry and a coat closet using a hidden extra-large cupboard created close to the living room. The storage area allowed us to define the space in a subtle way and thereby obtain a kitchen which is connected to the living room and at the same time maintains a certain separation from it.

We built the cupboard from the same type of Formica and in the same color as the one in the kitchen, but we added an impressive gold handle that extends along its entire length, from bottom to top. The handle that functions as a design element not only makes the kitchen cupboard part of the living room but also adds elegance and luxury to the overall design.

The color palette in the kitchen is pleasing to the eye and does not take over the space. We placed the refrigerator inside a special cabinet, which we covered with bright and luminous Formica. In the lower cabinets, we added a light wood shade that gives warmth, and for the upper cabinets we chose trendy colors ranging from turquoise to antique blue and smoky green.

It was important for us to create interesting and special kitchen cabinets that would set the tone for the entire space especially as they can be seen from the living room. We therefore created frames with refined slots and added a display area using a transparent elegant door. In order to keep it pleasant to the eye, we created a bright island in the color of the tiles with three stunning coal-like lamps suspended above it.

Living Room

The family loved the living room they had in their previous apartment. It was important for me to consider this and to create a new and trendy living room while incorporating their existing furniture. We chose similar lighting to what they had and used their sofa, armchairs and carpet as a source of inspiration for the style and the design.

To add an elegant touch we added profiled frames to the walls, purchased a standing golden lamp and added custom carpentry. We wanted to create a bookcase that would not confine the space but leave it light. We designed two special cabinets (instead of one large one) and created a charming place (with storage space) for their impressive silver candlesticks.

We did not wanted to overload the space so we added airy curtains, which we hung from the ceiling (and not at window height) to create the illusion of height. We also made them wider than the window frame to create the illusion size.

To keep things easy on the eye, we used a scale of monochromatic colors and added a subtle touch of gold with the help of designed accessories such as golden legs for the furniture, a standing lamp and cushions. The calm and light background we chose highlighted the carefully selected color points.

Guest’s Bathroom     

Bathrooms are small spaces but with a little creativity they can become a design statement. In the overall design of the apartment we chose clean lines and subdued colors so in the guest bathroom we wanted to be a little more daring and to create unique spaces with lots of character.

We found a perfect decorative tile that looked like an art piece. Its design was a fusion of ethnic, rustic and contemporary. This tile was exactly what we needed and because we liked it so much, we decided to adapt the entire theme around it. We covered the wall above the sink with this tile and even integrated it into a niche we created above the toilet.

As a contrast to the decorative tile, we chose to tile the additional walls with a terrazzo tile in a particularly subtle gray shade that would not be too dominant. We installed a wooden cabinet and a small gray sink and finally, added an amazing toilet in a matte gray color that would tie in the colors of the cabinet, sink, and the special wall tiles.


We decided to tile the bathroom with very special hexagonal tiles that we found. We chose several shades and of course a white shade that would pull everything together. We allocated the tiles freely on the wall – where we felt that color was needed we used colored tiles and where we felt that white was appropriate we used white tiles. This created a unique abstract piece of art with lots of character that perhaps most importantly, gives the feeling of a space.

Storage Solutions

With designing this apartment we focused on minimalism. We wanted to create as much space for the family as possible so we added a variety of creative storage solutions such as large cupboards in the kitchen and a spacious utility room. In addition, we added a room in front of one of the balconies (that is also used as a family room), which has a warm feeling with special colors and boutique furniture, including an amazing accessories cabinet.

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