For our latest Eldvarm Encounter we caught up with the founder of atelier zürich, Claudia Silberschmidt. Known for her cheerful use of colour and maximalist approach to design, Claudia’s sense of joy is infectious. We love the way she uses Eldvarm’s range within her work, proving that Scandinavian design is much more multifaceted than being all about minimalism. Join us as we learn more about Claudia’s design journey, her favourite projects to work on and where she gathers her inspirations.
Can you give us a little background on your interest in design and your two companies?
atelier zürich stands for modern and emotional interior design made in Switzerland.
After many years of study in St. Gallen and New York, as well as years of working in architecture and design offices, I founded my own interior design studio in 1999. In 2014 I launched my brand FROHSINN with a concept store of the same name.
I am the atelier’s owner, interior designer and creative director. I work alongside my team to develop design concepts for our clients and we are careful to make sure that each project is given its own personal identity. Each design carries the not-yet-there and is characterised by its depth, refreshing charm and a good pinch of humour.
I have long been based in Zurich but will always remain an Appenzeller at heart, and I am passionate about developing new things with a great love of craftsmanship and detail. I am involved in absolutely everything my two companies do and I am always striving to bring a personal touch to the interiors we design. The result is signature style for both companies and private living spaces that are full of character.
Where do you look for inspiration? Are there any particular movements in art and design that you look to?
I find the greatest inspiration in nature and art. During a hike or cross-country skiing in winter, I often get the greatest thoughts! I find art very inspiring. It has a wonderfully liberating effect and always acts as a strong support to my creative process. I find inspiration from all kinds of art, finding answers in classical as well as in modern art.
You’ve worked on some really amazing projects. Do you have any particular favourites and could you tell us the story behind how the project came together?
I love working on private projects as well as hotel projects. The requirements are very different but still related as with a hotel project you are providing a home away from home.
One of our latest great projects is definitely the private club Baur au Lac in Zurich. We had to manage the balancing act of attracting young club members without upsetting the existing ones and creating an extraordinary club ambience that works regardless of age. We were very inspired by the classic English private members clubs.
Your work is full of joy. Could you tell us a bit more about this and how you infuse your spaces with this sense of positivity?
I am basically a very cheerful and positive thinking person. I think everything is possible! New tasks inspire me, always making me curious. I think this joie de vivre probably spills over into the projects.
We like to think that collectibles connect us to memories and people from the past. What is your most precious item that you have in your home and why?
This is a white ceramic bowl from the early sixties which I discovered on a vintage tour in England at an antique market. It was only later, when I was at home, that I found out that it was a Swiss design by the ceramic artist Margrit Link, who was probably the first Swiss woman to produce artistic ceramics in the 1930s.
We like to have books that inspire in our showroom so we are always keen to hear what books others find inspiring.
- What is a book that you share with friends and family?
‘Will happiness find me?’ By Peter Fischli & David Weiss, two great artists!
- Do you have a favourite book on design?
One of my favourite design books is definitely the one by Gio Ponti.
Where did you first discover the Eldvarm range? Could you tell us about which is your favourite of our products?
When I was looking for fireplace tools for our chalet in the mountains, I thankfully found Eldvarm on the internet. The ‘Lichen’ is still my absolute favourite. I love the soft, cheerful and natural colour combination.
Eldvarm likes to think that lighting a candle or a fire can have the effect of lowering the sound of life, maybe of even slowing it down for a moment. We really believe that there is something healing within the flame. Is this something you relate to?
Yes, I absolutely agree! Every time I come to our mountain home, I immediately light the fireplace. It is always such a great heart-warming moment!
The four pillars of Eldvarm are Love, Beauty, Generosity, and Vulnerability. Which of these words means the most to you and why?
Love! For me, it brings all the elements together.
We believe that the fireplace is the heart(h) of the home, where memories and stories are created and shared. Do you have a favourite memory of being around the fireplace?
When we were in the desert of Marrakech with friends and gathered for an aperitif around a wonderful campfire in the middle of nothing.
Find at more about atelier zürich’s colourful universe on their website and next time you are in Zürich be sure to stop by the Frohsinn flagship store at Mainaustrasse 42, 8008.