When purchasing something from afar, whether a mobile phone on Amazon, a printer cartridge on Ebay, or a shirt on Gap, the biggest fear that consumers face is that what they order is not actually what they want. The days between paying for the item and its arrival can be difficult, with the anxiety and anticipation of waiting, not knowing if your purchase will bear fruit.
While most don’t really feel this level of anxiety about a run-of-the-mill everyday purchase, it is all too common when buying an apartment in Israel from abroad. Living six thousand miles away from a particularly expensive acquisition, with knowledge of Israel’s plumbing issues, and the fact that they can expect at least two power losses each year, can only add to this burden. Above all, recent construction projects in Jerusalem have begun to suffer a decline in design creativity and quality. Chezi Spero, Creative Director at Jerusalem Design, explains this problem:
“Most Israeli architects & interior designers don’t offer a wide range of apartment models—they offer a cookie-cutter modern design, but there isn’t much of a diverse style range nor is there a feeling of creativity.”
This regression in style and lack of trustworthy quality workmanship pushed Chezi Spero to create his own answer to the problem—a design-and-management firm that offers an all-inclusive service of property purchase, project management, and all other design needs. With the help of business partner and American oleh Yoav Ehrenhalt, Jerusalem Design was born. “Jerusalem Design aims to bring the luxurious style of New York, Paris, and even Tel Aviv to more budget-conscious Jerusalem and its greater area. We work with our clients to custom-build a design to their specifications, and if need be bringing furniture, fabrics, and materials from around the world.”
Jerusalem Design is headed by two Jerusalem residents. Chezi Spero, the Creative Director, draws from his worldly experience in the most cosmopolitan cities as well as a lifetime living around Israel’s natural beauty, to create the most suitable designs for clients. Yoav Ehrenhalt, the Operations Director, made aliyah from New York over five years ago, served in the IDF, and uses his background in marketing and business development to work on the budgetary needs of the client’s project and oversee the company’s operations. Working as a small, dynamic team, Jerusalem Design’s management is able to harness each member’s unique talents to put together their client’s dream home. Aside from helping clients create a unique design for their home, Jerusalem Design offers a solution to the complexity and difficulty of Israel’s error-ridden construction industry—they offer to personally help create the floorplan of an apartment, ensuring that everything will be built in the right place without anything important missing from the finished product.
Jerusalem Design also offers project-management services, allowing customers to rest easy knowing that their apartment is being constructed “on the level.” “We send every client a PDF update every week, including a design log, which lets them know how the project is progressing in regards to the design aspects such as a sample of the paint that was chosen or the specifications of the sink they picked out, and a management log to let them know what is happening on the job site, tracking the decisions that were made and how their budget is faring.” Additionally, a member of Jerusalem Design visits their construction sites constantly, ensuring that the construction is going as planned and all of the money is being spent properly.
“The goal of Jerusalem Design,” said Chezi, “is to help you get your dream home in Israel. We design the property, and we can also ensure that it is built properly. While problems always arise in construction, we are here to minimize issues and get on top of them, to build for you a special place to live in Israel, the perfect home.”
Jerusalem Design also works to bring more Jews to Israel by offering free market analysis, available via their website. This service is recommended to those who would like to buy in Jerusalem but don’t know where to start. It presents potential clients with trending prices in different areas or neighborhoods, tracking the real-estate over the past 10 years, as well as details on local socioeconomic information and information regarding schools, shuls, air pollution, and local attractions, so that they can have a better idea of where to look for apartments and can approach real estate brokers with some knowledge of how much they should spend on a property and if it is worth their investment. Chezi emphasized that this service is not all connected to future business. “We’re just happy to bring another Jew home to Jerusalem and to Israel.”
For more information on Jerusalem Design, please visit www.jerudesign.com.
By Tzvi Silver, JLNJ Israel Correspondent