INTERIOR DESIGN IN GENEVA
by Vivian Holding
Once you get over the fact that there’s no John Lewis here and you’re ready to embrace local style, shopping for eye-catching and functional interior design items can be a lot of fun, whatever your budget. If your stay is going to be short-lived, head for low-cost staples such as Ikea, M-Casa and Maison du Monde for quick fixes and quirky items to uplift your home (start here for your search for standing lamps, as you’ve probably discovered that most houses in Geneva don’t have ceiling lights in every room).
If you need something a bit more upmarket, but don’t want to blow the budget, Pfister, Interio and Habitat are not bad options. If price is no issue, check out Bo Concept (France), Teo Jakob, Artopia, Domiciles, Ligne Roset and Roche Bobois for some luxurious, stylish interiors. All the above stores are tried and tested and have large shop floor displays, as well as reasonable websites to guide your choices.
I still shop at some of these stores, but after living here for almost 14 years and owning my own home, I hanker for a more personal service and something a little different.
Below are some of my personal favourites. If you’ve come across any others, feel free to drop me a line or comment below.
Vintage with a Scandi Vibe
Les Enfants Terribles
I have been a fan of this shop for years (they opened in 2005). Located near Plainpalais in an old renovated garage, their workshop and boutique are a real find for the first-time visitor. Vintage items are transformed into modern design items in their workshop whilst new items such as textiles, furniture, lighting and accessories from design houses Muuto, Heidi+James, String Furniture, Eric Jorgensen, Jielde and Reine Mére are also beautifully displayed in this funky industrial space.
Latest news is that they now also offer a personal interior design service, in response to a rising demand. Home visits can be arranged, to advise you on any interior project you may have in mind.
Coup de coeur: This enormous wooden painted drawer unit, measuring nearly 3 metres in length, would be mine if only my house was big enough to accommodate it!
Opening hours Tuesday-Friday, 10am-7pm, Saturday 10am-6pm.
20th Century Gems
Les Illuminés Design XXème
Being a huge fan of Eames chairs, this shop window caught my eye instantly with a catchy display of the iconic chairs in various colours. If you too are a fan of 20th century furniture and lighting design from America, Denmark, France or Italy, this is the where you’ll find that special piece to round off your collection.
Coup de coeur: Top of my shopping list here would be a few Eames chairs for my dining room, of course. But which colours would I choose?
Opening hours Tuesday-Friday 11am-6.30pm, Saturday 10am-5pm.
Old Boys’ Club
The quintessentially British concept store (part furniture showroom, part lounge/bar) offers traditional craftsmanship and is a relative newcomer to Geneva (opened in 2014). Located next to Globus in the Passage Malbuisson, the store extends to 500m2 over three floors. Imagine a mix of old boys’ drinking den cum old colonial home or library. Old sporting memorabilia (check out the 50s tennis racket art installation), vintage maps, cushions, huge leather sofas, glittering chandeliers, sideboards, ottomans and chests of drawers are displayed in spectacularly room sets. I felt so much at home, I felt like curling up in one of their sofas with a drink and cigar!
Opening hours Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 10am-6.30pm, Thursday 10am-8pm and Saturday 10am-6pm.
If you’re after a Scandi/Nordic fix, this is the place for you. Covering 70m2, this Eaux-Vives boutique, was started in 2013 by Swedish interior designer Malin Miller. Here you’ll find all the hygge you could ever wish for. Furniture, lighting as well as accessories and gifts from brands such as Muuto, String, Menu and Design House Stockholm are on offer. Malin (pronounced Marlin in English) qualified as an interior designer in Madrid and worked for many years in the States, before returning to Geneva to set up the business. She’s super friendly and happy to offer personal interior design advice for any work you may have in mind.
Coup de coeur: Two items, both by Danish design house Menu.au, caught my eye: The Yeh wall table, perfect for smaller apartments, used as a side table in the living room or bedside table. The other is the FUWL cage shelf – use it in the hallway for keys and sunglasses, lift the wooden lid for space to store scarves, gloves and hats. You can never have enough storage space!
Opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11am-6.30pm, Saturday 10am-1pm, closed all day Wednesday.
(deerhome.ch) 45bis rue du 31 Décembre, 1207 Genève
Deer Home recently moved location (although the move was only from next door), which allowed them to take up an impressive corner plot in Eaux Vives. Partners Laura Andrieu, interior designer and architect Elodie Alvariez, will help with any renovation projects. From planning to realisation, they can advise you on choices of fittings, materials, custom made furniture, lighting, made to measure curtains as well as finishing touches. They also offer a selection of smaller items produced by artisans or young designers.
Coup de coeur: Their made-to-measure marble topped table on a metal stand caught my eye – it would make the most stunning dining table and certainly a one-off piece to impress.
Opening hours Tuesday to Thursday 10am-6pm, Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 1pm-5pm, closed all day Monday.
East meets West
(duniadeco.com) 12 chemin Frank-Thomas, 1208 Genève
Dunia (meaning the ‘World’ in the Ancient Indian language of Sanskrit) has been in Geneva for over 25 years. In their current location for the past 9 years, this vast industrial space close to Eaux-Vives soon to be renovated train station, allows them to showcase their vast range of teak wooden furniture, Belgian rugs, British-made sofas as well as lighting and other interior items. Over 300 models, which range from classic to contemporary, are regularly updated. Custom made furniture is also on offer to their clients.
Stop by late morning during the week for a look around and stay for a delicious Thai meal at lunchtime in their café (Monday to Friday only – sadly the café is closed on Saturdays).
Opening hours Monday to Friday 10am-6.30pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, closed Sunday.