What is your interior design style?

We’re a mother/daughter interior design and architectural company based in Jerusalem called Patt Interiors. I have been an Interior Designer for the last 25 years. My daughter, Moriah, joined me five years ago when she finished her architectural studies.

I was born in Los Angeles and as a very little girl can remember myself being intrigued by my grandmother’s perfectly decorated home (she worked with an interior decorator). I had an easel in my room and I would draw floor plans of homes for imaginary families. My mother engaged me in choosing my bedroom curtains and paint color and from that moment on, I was hooked!

After studying interior design in Israel (and later in London), I began planning small apartments in Jerusalem. I found that I had a knack for making the most out of small spaces. As my clientele increased, I began designing homes and vacation apartments for people living abroad. My clients were from the US, Gibraltar, South Africa, England, Brazil, Colombia and Canada, and everyone had a different view on design because of their country of origin. I made myself familiar with the needs and wishes of each of my clients to make sure they felt comfortable in their new home away from home. The fact that I grew up in Israel from the age of 14 is very helpful to my clients from abroad. The construction world can be quite daunting and I am able to be a bridge between my clients and the unique building process here in Israel.

My office is in Jerusalem but I find myself working all over the country – Netanya, Jerusalem, Modi’in, Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh and Moshav Tkuma are just a few places. At the moment, I am working on a house in Rosh Pina, making the most of the beautiful view of the Kinneret. I love traveling and seeing new places, as well as meeting and working with many wonderful people. My job is never boring. I especially enjoy the excited look on my client’s face when they walk into their newly renovated and furnished home, or when I am able to break through the gruff exterior of a tough contractor and earn his respect and friendship.

One of the first questions I am asked is “What is your design style?” People want to know if my style is Modern, Mediterranean, Traditional, or Contemporary. My answer is “The Stage Designer for plays must be able to create all sorts of sets and scenery. The Stage Designer can’t say: I only do Fiddler on the Roof, I can’t do anything futuristic.” I am like the stage designer who creates a home in a style that the homeowner will love and feel at home. I also sincerely love just about every style out there and enjoy creating something unique and personal for each of my client’s homes.

Style is not the only thing that is important in interior design. A knowledge of many aspects in building is very important- Electricity, lighting, plumbing, air conditioning systems… the homes of today have many sophisticated systems and knowing what fabric on your sofa matches the curtains is just not enough.

Knowledge of the various technical intricacies is also not enough, a good designer must know how to deal with the tradesmen on site, making sure they are doing quality work as well as properly following the plans you have drawn. Questions will come up and the designer or architect must have prompt and sometimes creative solutions in order to get the job done right and on time.

My daughter has brought a lot to the company with her young spirit, design savvy and her hi-tech approach to the architectural aspect of home design. Having an architect on board has been a real boost to our projects.

If I had to summarize: Good design is the synergy between good style and a professional approach to each detail of the project. ■

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