In 1998, Tamar and Ronen Schechner along with their three young sons spent a year in Vermont and completely fell in love with the beautiful landscape, sense of community and local way of life. After a year full of amazing experiences and wonderful memories, the family returned to Tel Aviv, Israel. Tamar and Ronen wanted to make Vermont the family’s permanent home, but knew that their dream would require a lot of planning and saving. In 2005, the family was finally ready to relocate.
Moving to Vermont meant that Tamar and Ronen had to start over with their careers. “Moving continents at the age of 47 is no easy task but we were determined to make it work,” Tamar explains. With a background in the creative field, Tamar started her own decorating business and began designing jewelry on the side. The jewelry business, which Tamar named , grew quickly and turned into a full-time job. When sales increased even more, Ronen got on board too. The couple now work together — Tamar designs the jewelry, while Ronen manages the website and finances.
During their time in Vermont, Tamar and Ronen have not only created a successful brand of handmade jewelry. They have also put down new roots and created a home that reflects their artistic and creative personalities. When Tamar and Ronen first planned their move to Vermont, they decided that they wanted to live in Shelburne, the town where they spent their first Vermont year. Choosing a home at the time was somewhat simple, as there was only one rental property available in the area! The family decided to take the house without even seeing it first. Tamar and Ronen’s plan was to rent for a while, then buy an old farmhouse or build their own home. Little did they know that their outdated rental would in fact become their permanent home! Six months into living in their 1960s split-level rental house, the owner decided to sell. As the boys had just settled into their new school, Tamar and Ronen couldn’t bear to move again so soon. After careful consideration, they decided to buy the house themselves.
When Tamar, Ronen and their boys initially moved in, the house was in a horrible state. It featured everything from dated vinyl wallpaper and worn formica kitchen cabinets to synthetic curtains that blocked all light. Urgent fixes included painting all the walls white and removing the heavy curtains. Since buying the house, Tamar and Ronen have slowly updated it on a shoestring budget, prioritizing every change and doing all the work themselves. A year after moving in, the couple installed a new kitchen, followed by new windows and doors. With a good amount of elbow grease and a fresh new look, Tamar and Ronen’s house has become a home that meets the couple’s every need. Each space is light and bright, and exudes a happy and relaxed feel. With splashes of color, pattern and art, the home is a perfect reflection of its owners. “It was important for us to have a space that feels open, friendly and inviting,” the couple shares. Here’s a peek into Tamar and Ronen’s lovely Vermont home, which proves that making simple changes goes a long way. —
Image above: When Tamar and Ronen moved into the house, the stairs up to the main floor were covered with old carpet. They removed it and painted the stairs a happy green color. “Twelve years later it still works well and makes me happy each time I walk in,” Tamar explains.