This is a classic rags-to-riches story: the tale of how two tired, easily-overlooked offices in central Zürich became an opulent family home. The seemingly magical change is largely down to this property’s own fairy godmother, Claudia Silberschmidt, founder and creative director of Atelier Zürich.
It was soon after purchasing the two empty offices, originally built in 1897, that owners Purvi and Frédéric turned to Claudia. They were drawn to what they describe as her studio’s ‘stilsicherheit’, or confident style. A unique result was important to them, and they were unwavering in their trust of Claudia’s vision.
She describes a ‘Wow’ moment when, after the first visit to the site, they handed her the keys and confidently asked her to take care of everything, from architecture to furnishing and decorating. ‘It’s very unusual to get such trust from a client from the very beginning,’ she admits, ‘but I loved it!’
The first task was to unite the two spaces, located on separate floors, into a coherent home. After going back to the property’s original blueprints, Claudia discovered plans for an internal staircase that was never built. More than a century after those plans were drawn up, she put the idea into action, creating a 200-square-metre duplex with two small verandas overlooking the street and a bamboo garden and terrace at the rear.
Floor plan united, the attention turned to the interior and, from the start, it was clear that a characterful take on luxury was the way forward.
Purvi, originally from Los Angeles, has worked with iconic jewellery house Tiffany & Co and Frédéric is involved in Switzerland’s fine-watch industry. Even their beloved dog, Raja, knows how to wear a bow tie with panache! This is a household that understands and appreciates a contemporary, not-too-serious kind of grandeur.
In the kitchen, Claudia has festooned the walls and ceiling in House of Hackney’s ‘Mey Meh’ wallpaper. The rich, burgundy shade of this room evokes the couple’s love of good food and great wine. It is a veritable cave of pleasure and gourmandise, with the intimate feel of a private members’ club.
This same decadent approach has been taken in the dining room, which features a distinctive House of Hackney wallpaper in a deep olive hue, paired with a bespoke scallop-edged table and rug by Atelier Zürich that inject gold into the scheme.
Not entirely dedicated to the pursuit of decadence, this former place of work also includes a home office. A departure from the style of the rest of the home, it’s lifted above the everyday by a palette of lavender blue and cognac brown, as well as a number of custom-designed pieces created by expert Swiss craftspeople.
As we rush towards the festive season, Purvi and Frédéric’s Ginori 1735 tableware will be dusted off ready for dinner parties and entertaining family and friends once again. Because that’s when this sumptuous home really comes into its own – its interior taking on another fairy-tale-like transformation as the sound of conversation fills the air. atelierzuerich.ch