Credit for all pictures: Omri Amsallem
Credit for all pictures: Omri Amsallem

(Designer Stories)

Quintisential Tel Aviv Design with Chen Shadmi

by Inbal Sinai  | 04/03/21

Interior and industrial designer Chen Shadmi lives and works in the center of Tel Aviv, mainly on Tel Avivian projects “I moved here 15 years ago for my studies and fell in love with the city” she says, “since I believe architecture and design are local crafts, I tend to work where I live, where my clients, suppliers, and materials are.”

Shadmi, qualified both as an interior and industrial designer, founded her studio in 2010. Working mainly on offices and city apartments, Shadmi offers her clients a comprehensive service including not only the design of a space but also that of the furniture and the systems interwoven in the space like electricity and lightning. “If the client chooses, I can plan the project from a 360 perspective, if not, I can reach out to a list of great local suppliers and professionals I collaborate with.”

Inbal Sinai (IS): What inspires you when you work on a new project?

Chen Shadmi (CS): “The client. My work is all about the person, family, or employees who are going to use the space, so they are what inspires me and leads me through the design process.”

IS: And visually?

CS: “I love natural materials; wood, stone, cement, and greenery - whatever is local and can survive the climate here in israel. I usually prefer to keep these at their natural forms, and use touches of color in small details that add warmth to the space.”

Shadmi often combines technology and innovation in her design processes “I recently worked on a private villa in Ramat Gan whose owner is a gadget-lover entrepreneur” she explains, “When I saw he had VR glasses I immediately asked if we could insert my 3D models into them so that I could share my vision and plans with him and the suppliers at an early stage. We investigated together until we found a way to technically make it work and the result was exciting! We stood in an empty space but could actually see everything - from the height of the ceiling to the kitchen structure. Since most people who are not designers often have a hard time envisioning the final outcome, the importance of clearly communicating the vision is crucial. This process was one huge step ahead in terms of communication with the client and precision of the professionals who executed the plans.”

IS: What is your number one design tip?

CS: “Pre-planning. Know what you want and work with 3D models to simulate it, but try to also be flexible to changes that will come up in the process.”

IS: Something specific for small city apartments?

CS: “Use professionals - architects and designers - to help you plan it better. The smaller the surface the more expensive each part gets, so it is crucial to make the most of every inch. Work with someone that has the experience and know-how fit for the task.”

IS: And for those who now work from home and need a steady working station?

CS: “Make room for a proper home office and design it to fit all your needs and comfort. Acoustics are crucial, a kitchenette if the space allows - anything you need to separate your work zone from the rest of the house. Create maximum comfort that will help you concentrate.”

IS: What about design objects?

CS: “I always recommend working with local designers. We have some amazing talents here and there is a huge plus in being geographically close to the people you work with - mainly being part of every step in the design process.” 

IS: You clearly love Tel Aviv, but if you could work on a project anywhere else in the world - where would that be?

CS: “Every big metropoline like New York, Paris, or London. Although I believe it takes a deep understanding of the context to successfully plan a project, I think sometimes it takes an outsider to come up with out-of-the-box, innovative ideas.”

  • Placeholder H Apartment - Interior Design Project by Chen Shadmi. Floor Cushion by Knots Studio. Pillows & Throw Blanket by Nama.
  • Placeholder H Apartment - Interior Design Project by Chen Shadmi. Floor Cushion by Knots Studio. Pillows & Throw Blanket by Nama.
  • Placeholder H Apartment - Interior Design Project by Chen Shadmi. Floor Cushion by Knots Studio. Throw Blanket by Nama.
  • Placeholder H Apartment - Interior Design Project by Chen Shadmi. Ceramics by ABS Objects.
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