On the Sofa with Atelier Zurich

Atelier Zürich stands for modern and emotional interior design made in Switzerland. The company was created by the company's creative head, Claudia Silberschmidt in 1999. With her talented team, she develops concepts for her clients, focusing on establishing a distinct style and identity. Each project is characterized by its depth, refreshing charm, the unexpected and a good pinch of humour. This has translated into many pieces of furniture George Smith has created for her projects.

Interview

We have sat down with Claudia to interview her about her company, using custom-made furniture and what makes her design process so sought after and successful.

1. What is the best way to mix traditional and modern styles in a living space?Always keep style at the forefront of the design, there is no real set recipe in my opinion!

2. What aspects of Swiss style most inspire your work? Many aspects! The Swiss nature, meadows, the sky, lakes and the Swiss craftsmanship which combines wood and metal

3. How do you go about achieving something that is visually pleasing but also practical with the types of furniture you choose? Firstly, we choose the piece of furniture which is comfortable and appropriate for the client and then we add a fabric which is suitable and cohesive to the mood we want to achieve.

4. What is your favourite colour scheme? It’s hard to choose just one, I have many! I do particularly love greens and blues, but also oranges, yellows and rose.

5. How do Swiss hospitality project styles differ to other projects in different countries? Swiss have a good sense for the craft and creating a clean look. It is this aspect which probably characterises it the most. Unfortunately, the Swiss also want everything to be perfect and this is sometimes a killer for the creativity. A healthy balance is always good!

6. What steps do you take to establish a client’s ‘distinct style’? We will try to decide on three initial areas: where the object is located (new building or a renovation), what the client's wishes are and what the budget is. Once all three of these key aspects are established, the project is making headway to be successful and distinct. The more information we gain from the client about what they like, then the more personal the style will become.

A George Smith Back to back sofa 

7. What are the advantages of including custom-made pieces and doing onsite upholstery? The project can become more bespoke, characteristic and unique for the client, which we think is wonderful! Onsite upholstery allows us to monitor progress very closely and execute small final changes quickly and easily. Larger pieces of furniture, for example, the Chesterfield we made for the 'le grand hotel Bellevue Gstaad', gives us a flexible use (with a very long inbuilt sofa and several flexible add on poufs) and yet also when all pieces of furniture are moved away (for example for a welcome cocktail) the space keeps its cosy atmosphere with the long built-in chesterfield sofa.

8. What is your favourite local restaurant? The ‘Razzia’, in terms of style!

9. What inspired the design of the laundry basket? Many aspects of a simple vintage pouffe.

 

The versatility of custom-made furniture

Atelier Zürich worked with George Smith for the stunning hotel, Le Grand Bellevue. In this project, we built a bespoke leather banquette sofa which needed to be completed on site for the location and space it was designed for. This enables the bar and restaurant area to achieve a seamless style with one singular piece of furniture while providing multiple seats. Bigger certainly was better in this case and can help overcome the desire to achieve plenty of seating yet without appearing cluttered.

A bespoke 15-meter banquette and Signature Brewster Chairs at the  Le Grand Bellevue Hotel