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Timeless Contemporary Design - Create A Connection

Add elements that will give you a seamless flow between the exterior and interior spaces.

Who: Anat Shmariahu of ANAV-DESIGN

Where: Los Altos, California

Modern home design focuses on clean lines and purposeful details to achieve a look that is up-to-date without being trendy. Anat Shmariahu takes that a step further, customizing each home she designs to a family’s unique background and lifestyle. “We take a holistic approach to design,” she says.

Family ties. Shmariahu grew up surrounded by relatives who were civil engineers. “It was always a part of my life,” she says. In her case, it led to a bachelor degree at the faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion, Haifa, Israel, following two years of studying Architectural Design studying at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Shmariahu worked as an architect in Israel until 2002, when she and her family relocated to California and she established ANAV-DESIGN Studio.

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People-based design. Shmariahu believes the human element rather than the structure should drive every design. “It should be comfortable, welcoming and family-oriented,” she says. “You should be able to see how the kids can be playing in the space.”


To achieve that result, Shmariahu works with clients to explore their background and culture and what they want to be part of the house. “The design should be based on what they need and how they live their lives,” she says. 


Interested in how to get a clean and timeless contemporary design that reflects your life? Shmariahu has some tips, below.


Create A Connection. At these homes, the owners asked Shmariahu for a design that would encourage their children to spend time indoors and outside. “They wanted them to explore and play in a safe, calm environment,” she says. 

The great room connects to the large deck and pool at the yard. The raised ceiling and large doors keep the connection between the interior and exterior spaces almost seamless and allow in plenty of light and air circulation. “They wanted to enjoy the backyard spaces and the pool more often, and feel it as part of the interior space” Shmariahu says. 

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In this home, the remodeled kitchen, dining room, family room and living room all connect to the large deck and yard. Bifold doors keep the transitions between the interior and exterior spaces almost seamless and allow in plenty of light and air circulation. “They wanted the family to be together so there’s plenty of room for everyone to interact,” Shmariahu says. 

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