“Interior Design is the secret ingredient of feeling at home anywhere in the world” is something you hear me say a lot.
Having lived in 7 countries and on 3 continents myself, this has been my personal experience. Now I use this experience to help my clients, who are mostly expats living in Switzerland, create a home that reflects who they are and also reveals a bit of their story. This will give them with a true ‘Sense of Home’. Your home can provide this sense of belonging, which is essentially something all humans crave one way or another.
With my recently launched blog series ‘Interior Design Project’ I’m giving you a glimpse behind the scenes and share insights about the interior design process from concept to realisation.
As an individual, let alone as an interior designer, I strongly believe that our home has an impact on our health and wellbeing. I think it’s fair to say that the pandemic and the lockdowns have brought this to light more than ever. Our home in fact is our safe(st) haven.
Hence making your home beautiful, cosy and comfortable has never been more important.
Re-designing and re-decorating your home is not only a creative way to keep your mind occupied but also a way to bring hope and positivity into your life. With this said, I am happy to present you one of my full-service interior design projects that shows, that even a minimalistic interior can be a cosy interior.
The modern building complex ‘Magnolienpark’ was still under construction when I first met with the client. The complex is located in the sought after neighbourhood of Gellert in Basel, Switzerland.
The complex features several multi-storey buildings of up to 6 floors. My client’s apartment is located on the top floor with fabulous views across Basel. Including views of the Roche Tower, the tallest building in Switzerland. The kitchen and bathroom were finished to a modern and high standard and the floor was laid out with beautiful dark parquet flooring, providing us with a contemporary and neutral background to work from.
My client wanted a fresh start in his new appartment. When we first met at his ‘old’ appartment, he made it very clear that he will only bring his flat screen TV and his personal belongings to the new flat. At the same time, he emphasised that he had no interest, let alone giftedness in interior design and most importantly no desire to visit furniture showrooms.
He envisioned a contemporary and rather minimalistic interior that would be easy to care for.
As a bachelor with a busy career involving frequent business travel, he was simply looking for a comfortable and welcoming home, that he would look forward coming home to. At the same time, he wanted a home, he could be proud of and a place he could invite friends and colleagues over for drinks.
The keywords he used to describe his future interior was: cool, relaxing and masculine. He then went on to tell me about his passion for the outdoors, forests and trees. He also told me about his love for New York City, where he used to live. In fact, it’s the only urban place he really loves. He confessed that he deeply missed looking at the skyline of New York from his appartment, especially at night.
With this information and some further observations I made, such as his preference for (navy) blue clothing, a design concept started to form in my mind. The Full-Service Interior Design process encompassed everything from the initial design concept, to the sourcing of furniture, lighting, soft furnishing, curtains, home accessories and art through to the implementation and installation down to the final styling.
Based on the questionnaire, an in-depth Interior Design Consultation and the initial design brief, I suggested a neutral background using taupe and white throughout the entire appartment. In the living room and on the terrace I added dark royal blue, in the dining area ice blue and in the bedroom the colour sage green to the colour palette. Both hues, blue and green, are cool and soothing colours, that help create a relaxing ambiance. The wooden floors as well as the taupe area rug add warmth and coziness to the colour scheme. Not having to worry about any sticky fingers, I was able to add this light coloured rug, creating a lovely contrast against the dark wooden floors.
Creating a focal point in a room is a great way to add interest and especially in a living room, where you welcome guests, it’s also a great conversation starter.
The focal point in the living room is the feature wall, which we painted in a deep royal blue to beautifully offset the large scale photograph featuring the New York city skyline by night (from YellowKorner Basel). The blue background, which was perfectly colour matched against the photograph, gives the impression of looking through a window, especially at night. I basically wanted to re-create that emotion my client described when living in New York.
At the same time, I integrated some organic elements in several subtle ways, reflecting his love for nature, trees and the forest. These elements include the chairs on the balcony that look like branches. The branch shaped floor lamp in the living room and the table lamps in the bedroom. The most prominent pieces is, however, the bespoke area rug. The rug featuring the leaf skeletons was designed by myself for this project and custom made by one of my suppliers.
The subtle sage green in the bedroom further adds a touch of nature to the interior. To create an overall modern and minimalistic design, I used a combination of straight lines and curves. And very few, but meaningful home accessories, such as my client’s favourite books and the elephant, reflecting his home country.
The different layers of texture, using linens and velvets add coziness to the space and create a welcoming ambiance.
With tailored interior design anything is possible, allowing the client’s personality to shine through whilst maximising the space to suit their lifestyle.
Interior Design is my passion, creating a sense of home my superpower and happy clients are my reward. Seeing my client’s eyes light up when they see the final product gives me a great sense of accomplishment, for I know that I was able to improve their quality of life and as such contribute to their happiness. This is what my client said at the end of the project:
“Simone has a friendly, outgoing attitude that she easily maintains while remaining solution-focused. She has great communication, listening, and organizational skills, which kept us on time and on budget. To summarise in one sentence, Simone was able to translate my personality into a beautiful and functional living space and I’m in love with the blue wall and the New York skyline. I can’t stop looking at it.” Dr P. Rege, Basel, Switzerland
As I always say, happy clients are my favourite type of clients. This project not only made the client and of course me very happy, but it also got published in the most significant Swiss interior design magazine Das Ideale Heim, the online design magazine meter and on Raiffeisen bank’s blog RaiffeisenCasa.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about the design process. And had a taste of how to get from point A to point B when designing a room. Of course, I would be thrilled to take that work off your hands. Let me do what I do best so that you can have the time to do what you do best and love most.
Changing lives, one room at a time!
P.S. Are you ready to change yours? Book your complimentary Interior Design Discovery call now!
Photography: Tracy Crevar Warren