Beth G. Kopin
Inches to Metric: Zionism Through Design

Inches to Metric: Pops of Color

Beth’s Favorite Color


When I graduated from my design program the sophisticated color palette of the Chicago/Northshore area was taupe, it still is. There were a few brave souls that were willing to decorate white on white. I always fought it. I love experimenting with color, it is the easiest way to, freshen, calm, engage a room, instantly transforming a space.

I studied with one of the greatest colorists of our time. She was only famous in certain design circles, we were terrified of her. She could discern the slightest nuance of color. We spent countless hours studying shades of grey, a spectrum of white to black. We mixed in drops of black into white coming up with an exact shading scale. I remember losing sleep each time I had to present to the group. We did the shading scales with colors as well…it was killer. I am so grateful to her.

Few people were willing to work with color, I became known as a color specialist. I was hired to help with paint selections. I’d show up with a deck of paint, open the fan and my clients would go into a sweat. Picking color was never simple and with endless choices it’s more complicated now. There are dozens of whites and grays alone. Most colors have a tinge of either red, blue, yellow, green, basically the entire color spectrum. When selecting paint, there are endless considerations. After agonizing over the proper color you need to decide which lighting you are planning on using. Lighting can either enhance or destroy a color. LED (all bulbs come in a variety of colors) vs edison. Color depending on if it is seen during the day, (sunny or cloudy), or at night can dramatically change it’s appearance.

We have saturated color in both our homes. I use color in my clients’ homes. In the US people are getting more adventurous with color. It’s taken decades and home improvement shows to convince people it’s ok to use color.

I selected three colors to paint our Israeli home. Pale and dark grey, caramel and mint. They were subdued, rich and simple. Our contractor asked why I was using so many colors? Most Israelis use basic white on the walls. Is it because the homes in general are small, homeowners are afraid to define space, or because it’s a new concept?

Dealing with our Israeli painter was a hoot. I had our contractor ask the painter to prepare boards with the selected colors before painting, when he asked why, I told him it is common practice in the US. I came to review the paint with the painter, none of the colors were correct. I asked to see his paint deck. The numbers were right, but he used the wrong brand.

People love to see our home, and hear about my process when getting the tour. I proudly say the colors of our home are the palette of Israel. The blue/grey, the color of the sky in the valley in the afternoon just beyond our garden. The wood floor, the color of sand/Jerusalem stone. Our master, matches the stone quarried from the upper Galilee a caramel tone, and mint the color of the sea glass used in the mosaic in our bath.

My husband and I went hiking a few weeks ago during “The Turning” in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario with dear friends. I was hoping to find a very unique color that has been my passion color throughout my life, an indescribable tropical sunset pinkish/orange color. I would know it when I saw it. With tears in my eyes, I took this amazing photo (see above).

No matter what we create, it is nothing compared to what G-D has already given us, we just have to open our eyes and see it. The color spectrum is everywhere; in the rainbow, jewels and crystals imbedded in the earth, vegetables, fruits, birds, butterflies, flowers, sunsets and leaves on the trees.

Living and owning a home in Israel is one way of manifesting that indescribable color in our life. We should all aspire to live the color of those gorgeous leaves!

About the Author
Beth Kopin is a trained interior architectural designer from the US. She has experience in the design/construction world that spans thirty years, and works and lives in both Chicago and Arnona, Jerusalem. She commutes regularly between the two cities. She brings her work ethic, training and US standards to Israel. Beth has surrounded herself with extremely talented trades. Her design team developed a way to CAD (computer aided design) plans in both US and metric standards. This enables both the US born clients (some of which live in Israel, some as second homes), and Israeli trades to better understand the plans, ensuring a more fluid communication. She is able to help bridge the gap of cultural differences, manage expectations, relate often confusing metric standards, as well as all the basic elements of designing a beautiful and functional home.,
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