Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guest Post: Exploring Israel's Design Community

            I am thrilled to receive the opportunity to guest blog for Rosa Dest Interiors.  When I first spoke to Rosa about my forthcoming trip to Israel, I was excited to explore local architecture, design, and art with an eye to find what dominates Israeli style and craftsmanship.  It didn’t take me long to discover Kastiel, a showroom, design studio, warehouse, and workshop all rolled into one.

Founded in 1942 in Tel Aviv by Efraim Kastiel, Kastiel began as a small upholstery workshop but overtime grew to be one of Israel’s most sought after destinations for fine furniture, intricate area rugs, textiles and custom bedding, fine art, and home accessories.  Kastiel has designed and furnished every Israeli Presidential office to date.  Today the showroom is co-owned by his two sons that share their father’s vision and passion, collaborating with renowned Israeli architects and designers like Alex Meitlis. 

            Having heard and read so much about Kastiel, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to go to the showroom.  I was able to weave through the galleries and vignettes, showcasing their ready-made designs.  They also offer extensive customizations tailored specifically to each individual client.  Kastiel offers a wide range of textile options for customization, including the latest from names we love back home like Robert Allen, Zimmer + Rohde, Kravet, Duralee, and Ralph Lauren Home.

            I found the style of Kastiel’s designs to truly embody the feel of Tel Aviv.  The city, which is nicknamed the “White City” for its unrivaled concentration of Bauhaus buildings, has a distinctly historical feel juxtaposed with the sleek contemporary architecture and interiors that have sprung up in the past decades throughout the city.  Their designs have a whimsical element to them, which I later was pleased to find out from a representative that the Kastiel brand attempts to add a “touch of humor” to all of their pieces.  Kastiel maintains the highest standards of traditional craftsmanship with an eclectic but distinctly contemporary style. 

I hope you enjoyed a small peek of the Israeli design community!  I am interested to hear your thoughts.

Madelaine Martyn

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