Tuesday, December 20, 2011

the pear

A little trip over the border and you are in the Italian city of Como on the amazing Lago di Como... one of the most breathtaking lakes in Europe!

It was time to do some shopping to find a few special items for the lounge room.  In one store 'Heimstore' there were some very gorgeous cushions in Marimekko prints and fabulous decorator objects but you just couldn't go past the amazingly eye-catching giant fruit.

The fruit are made in Brasil by hand using the most beautiful ceramic, organic pigments and real sticks for the stems of the fruit.  Each piece is unique because of it's artisanal beginnings.  Check out for more fruit and other amazing ceramics.

The chairs are antique tobacco-leather wing chairs from the UK and the cushion is from Heimstore in Marimekko 'Tuuli' print.   The Paua Shell Bowl is hand-made pottery from New Zealand.  The coffee table books are by Jonathan Adler and Tricia Guild

Friday, December 9, 2011

christmas is nigh!

It is so exciting getting the house ready for Christmas.  And what's more exciting this is a first, a White Christmas high in the Swiss Alps.

The snow is coming down and covering the ground with a beautiful white-glittering softness and the streets and trees are being lit up with festive sparkling lights... it looks so very beautiful!

So while all that magic is happening outside, it is time to start making it feel warm and cosy indoors, particularly in the Stuva.  Getting crafty with napking rings and candlesticks... here are a few snaps of how the table is going to look for Christmas dinner.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

bargello craft in an old swiss home

Living in a very, very old region in a house at least 400 years old, you find all kinds of beautiful furnishings, hinges, timbers, tiles.... well all sorts.  And, often the best way to understand the life of the house you need to research the items between the walls.

So I have been researching and have been unable to find a clear history on the hand-stitched textile known as Bargello.  It is all through the house on chairs and cushions and I believe it has also been traditionally used for rugs.

The stitch can be done in many geometric patterns and in all the colours you love.  Artisans use wool on a firm backing and simply repeat a beautiful pattern.  

These are our Bargello upholstered antique chairs...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

dotted swiss

Dotted Swiss is a textile originally fabricated in Switzerland in the mid 1700's.  It is a beautiful fabric with textured dots stitched, flocked, or embroidered onto cotton or another soft base fabric like tulle.  

The result is a very simple and gorgeous pattern which is popular for dresses, stockings, embossed paper or even on a good Swiss Swatch watch...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

swiss modern design

Switzerland produces some really cool and interesting modern design.  Take the following pieces by example.  We have the beautiful items by R├Âthlisberger Kollektion, the 'Schubladenstapel' drawers and the 'Trompe-l'O├»' mirror which ingeniously creates the illusion of a door slightly ajar adding interesing depth to a space.  

Also rather interesting are the cardboard chandeliers 'Kartonklunker'and 'Kandelaber' wall sconce both by Rainer & Tobias Kyburz...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

what is it about cigars?

My boyfriend tells me that smoking a cigar is simply a moment of self indulgence.  For me the attraction is that whole James Bond image... debonair, smooth talking, well-suited, tall, dark and handsome.  Well you get the picture.  

Today we visited the Davidoff store in Geneva so my boyfriend could buy some cigars for his forthcoming sailing trip in Greece.  Now pardon my ignorance, I was aware of Davidoff were specialists at producing aqua-inspired fragrances but I had no idea the Davidoff brand began in Switzerland with tobacco.

The Davidoff store was presented like a high-end couture house because they are catering to many of the same clients.  The store was classic and sophisticated, the merchandise was displayed in a very exclusive way and the room out the back which housed the cigars in the exact humidity the tobacco requires to stay 'fresh' was crisp and very clean.  

Dried and fermented tobacco leaves hung from the celing of the back room and cigars lined the shelves in all sorts of lengths, thicknesses, boxes and tins.  

These are the purchases...

Take a look at the store experience in these images...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

vintage ad prints - Bally by Villemot

I am particularly fond of these old advertising prints for Bally, a Swiss luxury fashion house.  The first image is available from a shop here in Geneva for around 1,200 CHF, I would just love to get my hands on it!

The artist, Villemot (Bernard, 1911-1989) was a popular French graphic artist known for his advertising prints since the mid 1940's.  These Bally shoe prints are from the 1980's and earlier.

They are quite large and would look absolutely brilliant in a grand minimalist frame with wide white board surrounding the prints.  Then, hung on a plain wall in the living room above a vase of bold flowers... very cool!

Friday, May 27, 2011

renovating an old Swiss home

We have a strong desire to purchase an old house in Switzerland, preferably a farm house with an attached barn and over 100 years old.  Something we can sympathetically renovate and turn into a comfortable home where old and new merge harmoniously.  A place to enjoy certain modern comforts with the charm and character of the days gone.

After searching the internet for inspiration and to see what other people are doing with their old Swiss home conversions, I found this example by Formzone - Christian Speck.  

I really like what he has done with this home!  It still has all the beautiful and important detail of the original dwelling including the pine-lined rooms, exposed stone walling and curved cellar doors (now the office).  And, the home appears to accept the newest additions being the lighting, furniture, crisp white walls and a modern kitehn and bathroom.

What are your thoughts?