A few weeks ago, my friends from Bubbles (a group of leading lifestyle bloggers in Israel) were discussing some ways to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot on our blogs, and we came up with the idea of each hosting a guest on our blog, since Sukkot is known as the holiday of guests. As soon as this idea came up, I knew who I’m going to ask to be a guest in my virtual Sukkah – Keren Avni, a talented architect and – to those of you who haven’t noticed yet – my beloved sister.

אירוח מעצבים

Two years my junior, Keren is undoubtedly my biggest inspiration by far. She was the one whom led me to fall in love with design and work in the field, but that’s not the only way she’s inspired me; Keren is the model of balance, of a healthy lifestyle, of grace under pressure, and of course of immense talent.

After studying architecture in the Technion, Keren worked in the prestigious firm Efrat Kowalsky Architects, where she led some acclaimed projects like the re-planning of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum and representing Israel in the eighth architecture biennale in Venice. Recently, Keren started her own architecture firm and she’s teaching at the Interior Design program at the College of Management Academic Studies and parenting her three little princesses.

architect Kern Avin

One more thing before I get out of the way and let Keren share her guest post, I just want to let you know Keren has an amazing new website where you can get inspired by her gorgeously designed projects – private residences and awe inspiring public buildings alike. Oh, and if you read Hebrew don’t miss Keren’s amazing blog, too. Her posts are always so knowledgeable and thought provoking!

designed projects

And now – finally – I’ll let Keren do her thing:

Something funny happened in the last few years: Orit became the family’s resident Martha Stewart. When we were growing up, everything was always so clear: Orit was the realistic of us (with 6 units in astrophysics) and I was the creative one (not that I didn’t do my own 5 units in Math-Physics-Chemistry but why sweat the small details…) and you know how it is when you’re a kid, once you’ve been tagged, it sticks.

I was always the one who had all those extra-curricular activities: Pottery, painting, sewing, fashion design, patternmaking. Name a creative a class – I took it. The only class I managed to persuade Orit to take with me, I think, was sewing.

Years later, while in the army, Orit took a Mamram (computing and info system) course and that’s it – the way to a career in Hi-tech was clear. Meanwhile, I signed up for Architecture studies at the Technion [which Keren finished on the dean’s list, just saying! -Orit].
And then, a decade and a half later, with a glowing hi-tech career to boast about, Orit joined me and became a creative, a maker. Did I say “joined”? She put us all to shame with her mad skills of sewing, knitting, taking photos, designing – and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Without waxing sentimental, let me just say it’s been a real joy. It’s a joy to share a vocabulary with my sister. It’s a joy to be able to understand each other at the deepest level possible. I feel like we both won the lottery.

When Orit invited me to both her virtual and real-life Sukkah, I just couldn’t arrive empty-handed (someone has to hold down the age old niceties, you know!) so I decide to make some decorations with my daughters. For a long time now I’ve been seeing tutorials for tissue paper pompoms all over the web. It seemed pretty easy (NOT! okay, just kidding – partially – it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but it requires some patience.)

decorations

A few things about crafting with kids:

1.  Don’t start crafting with kids if you’re not a 100% confident about the technique or project you’re planning. Kids smell fear and it just wouldn’t work.

Home decorations

2.  If you have an energetic redhead for a daughter, don’t expect her to quietly sit and fold paper into precise little folds or separate layers of tissue paper with infinite care and patience (she’ll probably come up with her own brilliant craft, though).

3.  Counting on posting perfect photos of the perfect fruit of your kids’ crafting skills? You’d better set aside some time to make to make those perfect-looking pompoms yourself after the kids go to sleep, then, but don’t forget to take a few pics of the messy-but-adorable ones your kids made.

4.  Feeling like you’re about to loose your patience? Great time to invite your older niece and ask her if she’d like to learn how to make some AWESOME decorations

decorations

And to add to the family party-vaganza, it was Michael’s fifth birthday on the holiday eve. We were planning on celebrating together under the pompoms the girls I made, but to keep things real, all the young ones celebrated their own way – on the bouncy castle. At least there was some sort of cohesiveness in the color scheme…

birthday decorations

Home decorations

birthday decorations

decorations

Thank you Orit for being an amazing host as always, happy birthday, Mikey, and good luck to all of us getting back to routine!

-And from me, too, have a great week!

Orit


Remember our “3 designers, 1 perfect room” contest? Well, it’s time for the big reveal!
A short reminder for those of you who missed the action: A few months ago Dana Israeli, Ofra Ron Mazor and I decided to join forces – we threw a contest with the prize of a complete kids’ room makeover from scratch, complete with items from our own collections, bespoke furniture and accessories, and refurbishing existing furniture.

We were psyched to see the amazing response our contest received, and the thousands of participants who were up for the prize. We’ll admit that in the deepest secret place we hoped to get to decorate a girl’s room, or maybe a sister-and-brother room, but lo and behold, we got a joint room of three brothers!! After recovering from the surprise, we hurried on our way to meet and see “the prospects”: we found the sweetest family with 3 little boys and one amazing home owner who opened her door to us and let us a free reign to do as we please with her sons’ room (thanks, Liron! It was such fun working with you and experiencing the happiness and excitement throughout the process!)

So, as for the rules of a proper makeover, here are the “befores”:

The room before

(photography throughout the post: Dana Israeli)

The room before

We exited that first meeting giddy and inspired for an exciting makeover that will turn the room into a beautiful – and also practical and fun – haven for these 3 sweet boys. We agreed on a color story for the room and divided tasks and responsibilities between us and parted each to our own work, completely trusting each other’s capabilities and talents. When we met again at install day, some of the work was new to us, too, which explains how excited we were, seeing the room take shape before our eyes.

And here’s the room “after”:

room design - after

home design

room design

So what do we have here?

children's rooms design

One gorgeous Premium Series play kitchen by Petit Studio. Honestly, it’s a work of art.
Magnetic frames by Tweelingen for the kids’ art.

room design

A refurbished closet by Dana Israeli – and this how she’s done it: Dana installed special-ordered frames on the closet doors, and now the kids (or their parents) can change the patterns inside the frames, just like you’d change any picture in any frame.
Just by the closet, you’ll find a big magnetic board (which was pre-owned) and arranged on top of it the kids’ names in Tweelingen magnetic letters, and Tweelingen magnetic frames with family photos.

magnetic frames

And for the final touch, we swapped the ordinary closet knobs for checkered ceramic knobs.

room design

Bedding by Tweelingen – the pillows are from our throw pillow collection, and the quilt was made especially for the room. I’ll share a simple quilt tutorial soon!
On the bed’s wall we hung cloud chalkboards by Petit Studio. Sleep tight!

cloud chalkboards

This gorgeous round tug was commissioned from Dikla Regev, who knitted it in the colors of the room. As someone who knits, I can especially appreciate the intricate handwork that went into making this rug. In Dikla’s studio you can find ready made rugs and also tricot for knitting your own.

room design for children

A toy cart painted with Dana Israeli’s numbers stencil, and an Ikea lamp filled with life and magic courtesy of Ofra.

coloring book

We added two Ikea dish drainers to the previously owned table for colors – this was Ofra’s brilliant idea!
On the table, a Tweelingen coloring book is waiting to be filled with creativity.

magnetic board

The walls are decorated with a self-assemble scalloped shelf from Dana’s DIY store, a robotic magnetic board by Tweelingen and also our box shelf.

room design

By the end of the day, we couldn’t wait to see Liron’s reaction to the makeover!

room design for children

And she was happy! And excited! And so were we.

3 Designers

And so we marked a big “check” on a huge, successful (and a little over the top) project.

Have a great week! (I’ll be spending it arranging Michael’s 5th birthday)

Orit