The herringbone parquet creaks. The scent of freshly ground coffee beans wafts through the air. Anyone who visits Sibylle Jenni immediately feels at home. She prepares cappuccinos with an espresso machine and invites us into the living room.
"Where shall we start?" she asks.
For the past two years, Sibylle has lived in a three-and-a-half-room apartment in Zurich's Kreis 6. It's a stroke of luck to find affordable housing in this neighborhood. With her flair for design, she lends dignity to the old building.
"As my everyday life is quite varied, colorful, and noisy, it is important for me to be able to come back to an oasis that radiates calm and has a harmonious effect on me in the evening," she says. "For me, home is a place to recharge." Chaos often reigns in her head, so she likes to keep things neat and tidy at home.
Sibylle is the founder and managing director of The Tiny Factory, a Zurich-based manufacturer specializing in the production of granola, an American-style crunchy muesli. The creativity she brings to her work in the bakery is also reflected in the furnishings of her home. She bought the bathroom furniture in a vintage store in Zurich. It was bright orange. Sibylle had it spray-painted. Her work space is integrated into her home, and was also custom-made: "Since the idea of a rectangular desk seemed a little cumbersome to me, I had the table top sawn into a shape I liked," she says.
The Zurich native likes to try things out spontaneously. Sometimes things go wrong, but you just have to do it. Her motto is "learning by doing."
But there is a lot of attention to detail in Sibylle's home furnishings as well. Every object has its own very particular place. She has a black Linck vase on her bedside table. A drawing by the Romanian playwright and painter Eugène Ionesco, a spontaneous purchase from a small art studio around the corner, hangs on the wall in the entrance. From her work space she looks into the face of Elvis Presley, the man she says had the most beautiful voice in the world. "I traveled to Vevey especially for this graphic portrait."
As a self-employed small-business owner, Sibylle's budget is limited. As well as items that she sometimes has to dig a little deeper into her wallet for, there are also many items in her home that are full of sentimental value. She has no clear idea of how a flat should be furnished, she says. And yet a theme can be identified. "I describe my style as simple and restrained. I like clear forms. It's important to me that the beauty of each object is showcased and honored." For this reason, Sibylle gives the objects space to take effect. "I am amazed myself at how everything has turned out."
On our tour of the apartment, Sibylle points to a cup on the shelf. It is one of her favorite pieces, something she picked up on a train journey through Vietnam. "Whenever I drink from this cup, I am reminded of the tranquility of the person who painted these fine strokes on the porcelain."
Sibylle’s personality is behind every object in the apartment. This even applies to the simple sofa. "I hate to admit it, but in the two years I've lived here, this is now the third couch that's been here," she says, smiling. Her search for the perfect interior never ends. At the moment, she is still missing a punk rock-style poster, she says. And since she couldn't find one anywhere, she decided to take a graphics course and create the picture herself. Learning by doing.