Behind the Scenes with Interior Designer, Annette Frommer 19th March 2020 | IN EXPERT INSIGHT | BY SBID

We delved behind the scenes with SBID Accredited Interior Designer, Annette Frommer, Founder of Israeli-based design studio, Annette Frommer Interior Design. Serving an international client base and specialising in interior design in Jerusalem, Annette stresses the importance of staying inspired to keep designs fresh and original, and shares how essential our smart phones have become when it comes to doing business!

Can you describe your current job?

I am an interior designer based in Tel-Aviv, Israel. My clients are from abroad and looking to have a second home in Israel whether in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

What is your background and how did you get into interior design?

I was born and raised in Belgium and have been living in Israel for the past 35 years. I am fluent in six languages which certainly helps when interacting with my international clients. I always knew that I was going to somehow be involved in a creative profession and admired beauty and design, whether in architecture, art, or fashion.

Interior designs by Annette Frommer

Describe an average day in your job role..

Luckily I do not need too many hours of sleep in order to function, and I can honestly say that I spend most of my day working. Yes, I am a workaholic. I get up very early, prepare my coffee and then straight to the computer. I receive many mails at every hour imaginable since my clients, and some suppliers, are located in many different time zones. I like to feel that I start the day with a relatively clean slate.

I then go to my office, another cup of coffee, and meet with the team. We go over projects and other matters at hand. Next is the field. I am a great believer in being hands on in every project, so I visit all my projects on a weekly basis meeting with the builder, other professionals, etc.  There are days of course dedicated to “shopping” and “choosing” – those I love the most.

I usually return home at about 7pm and after a quick bite, it is back to work. Again I answer mails, go over plans and documents, gather samples, and prepare all that is necessary for the next day. I don’t know how we once worked without a computer and without a smart phone.

Interior designs by Annette Frommer
Interior designs by Annette Frommer
Interior designs by Annette Frommer

Which elements of your profession do you enjoy the most and/or find the most rewarding?

The world today moves at an incredible pace. We are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of information. I believe that most of us wish for homes that are serene, tranquil and that provide a sense of safety.  Rewarding to me is seeing my clients happy with the result of my work – with the way I planned the space, chose the colour palette, textiles, lighting etc. Often times I am given ‘carte blanche’ and make all the decisions on behalf of the client. So it is definitely rewarding to see a big smile on their face.

No matter what the style, I always endeavor to achieve beauty, harmony and elegance. Elegance is key and it is achieved when there is cohesion, softness, subtlety, so that the final result appears to be effortless.

Is there anything new you are excited to be working on?

Yes. There is one project where I am planning and designing 5 apartments with the same layout for 5 siblings. It is a challenge designing each apartment unlike the other and making sure each sibling feels that his apartment is unique and designed especially for him!

Another project is a 1,000sq townhouse for a single family – with many bedrooms. The challenge here will be to make this vast space with so many bedrooms feel like a home, and not a hotel.

Interior designs by Annette Frommer
Interior designs by Annette Frommer

What do you find the most challenging aspects of your job?

Coming across problems in the field, and coming up with solutions that are exceptional and actually make the space look even better.

What has been your favourite project to work on?

We were commissioned to review the plans and bring a halted project (a stunning mansion located in the suburbs of Jerusalem) to completion utilising the existing layout and partitions. The basement was especially problematic as the space was long, narrow, dreary and windowless with very low ceilings, and we had to transform it to be a prominent billiard room with facilities.

The final result includes an elegant billiard room, an inviting and relaxing bar/ lounge area complemented by an adjoining decorative wrought iron cellar door that leads to a state-of-the-art wine cellar, with walls covered in authentic old bricks and floors with reclaimed ancient stones.

The Italian woodwork is finely designed and crafted with onyx backlit ceiling panels cleverly disguising a maze of pipes and ducts; creating the illusion of height.

As for the mansion: the result is characterised by ornate and neoclassical décor that is opulent and lavish. The rich woodwork, the gold and silver gilt-accented furniture, the layered textures in muted pinks, light blue and aqua hues define the formal ambience of this home. The grand entrance with refined marble flooring embodies elegance and romance.

Interior designs by Annette Frommer

What do you think is the biggest problem the interior design industry faces?

I think that as a designer, it is extremely important to continuously be inspired, be creative, and to strive for quality and distinction. The biggest problem is when I see more of the same, when I see copy/paste designs. It is challenging to remain fresh, original and timeless.

Which people do you admire the most in the industry and why?

There are a few which stand out to me! Andree Putman; a scion of her time, her projects are very classical and designed to perfection. India Mahdavi, for her creative use of colours and shapes; and lastly, Peter Marino whose work is fearless, bold and non-conformist!

If you were inspired by Annette’s story, click here to learn more about the role of an interior designer.

Want to become SBID Accredited? Click here to find out more.