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Lake Geneva


This house with a view of Lake Geneva had a new living room extension already begun when I was asked to help, and the basic structure could not be changed. I turned the existing room into a library with a small sitting area, making the new, lower space the main living room, paying careful attention to the big change in floor level and ceiling height, which I concealed with new plasterwork.


A detail of the painted, faux mosaic frieze in the colours of the terracotta floor.


A sofa in the upper room, with a Bernard Thorp weave edged in a scarlet chenille trim. The cushions are various oddments of Indian sari silks and weaves turned deliberately back-to-front which gave interesting textures.


Around the original stone fireplace I made three walls of bookcases, with a framed mirror above the mantlepiece, two of my Thor armchairs and my original, wooden X-Frame stool. The walls were plastered with marble dust by Giovanni Lombardo, a local craftsman.


We were obliged to keep the existing terracotta tiled floor, so I devised a painted frieze of faux mosaic in similar colours to suit it, using Ottoman motifs in the spirit of my raised, silk-draped alcove sofa (part of the old room, whose floor could not be lowered.) The rug was an Allegra Hicks kilim; the chair, my first, an interpretation of an ancient Greek Klismos.