In Küssnacht am Rigi, the interior designer has created an entire apartment exactly to Chris and Renée Redmond's tastes. His design concept checks all the right boxes, and there is a common theme running through the entire condominium. The clinically white surfaces of yore have given way to a stylish, exciting industrial look with plenty of nifty details. And it took Rolf Hurni and his team a mere three months to imbue this apartment with its new spirit.
Marshall picks up speed, skidding across the exquisite oakwood floor on his four paws. “Wood flooring and our dogs just don't mix, that's what we thought at first,” chuckles Renée Redmond. Well, that was before interior designer Rolf Hurni started remodeling their private kingdom in Küssnacht am Rigi, adding new style and panache to all its interiors. Renée and Chris Redmond, US citizens both, chose to make Switzerland their new home 13 years ago. What had been intended as a five-year stay gradually turned into a “lifelong project”, and after several years living in rented apartments, they came to the conclusion that what they really needed was a place of their own. A one-year search on the real estate market ensued, successfully ending in April 2020 when they signed the papers for their very own condominium in Küssnacht am Rigi. Choice location, glamorous scenery, perfect floor plans: the place had it all. Well, almost – if it hadn't been for the clinically white surfaces throughout the apartment, which, to the design-minded couple, was tantamount to an interior design nightmare. And so, they decided to turn that place into their own personal paradise.
Number one and two on their no-go list were the bathroom and the floors. Renée and Chris barely allowed the ink on the contract to dry before paying a nearby bathroom design showroom a visit, thereby setting the first milestone in their extensive remodeling project. Because it was at that showroom that interior designer Rolf Hurni was recommended to them. They immediately contacted him, had a meeting, and knew: if anyone could translate their ideas into reality, it was Rolf. “He very quickly zeroed in on our lifestyle and needs and in no time had drawn up an overall plan,” marvels Renée. The interior designer neatly summarized their whishes, including everything from favorite shapes and components to materials and colors, and came up with two words – “elegant industrial” – serving as a blueprint for the look he intended to achieve when remodeling the Redmonds' interiors. And, as always when Rolf accepts a new project, time was of the essence. Even more so in this case: Imagine Renée and Chris sharing an apartment that measured no more than 50 square meters with their two dogs, Daisy and Marshall. Somewhat cramped for a family of four, you might agree. But all of that should be over by July 2020, when they would be able to move into their own kingdom, as was their wish.
First, the Redmonds focused on the apartment's hot spots – bathroom, floors, kitchen: “Rolf showed us a variety of design proposals he had drawn up for the bathroom. Using his ideas like pieces of a puzzle, we assembled it just the way we desired it, bit by bit.” Where once everything had been austere white hues, Renée can now enjoy her spa time in a world where wood hobnobs with metal and delicate curves live together in perfect harmony with strictly straight lines. “The range of fixtures and flooring options available was a bit mind-boggling. We were so glad Rolf guided us through the selection process,” she agrees with Chris. A good thing, too, that the interior designer kept an eye on the overall design concept throughout the project. And so, one thing neatly led to another. However, choosing the right flooring wasn't easy, they both admit. Their two dogs, while being at the center of the Redmonds' world, are also quite a handful. “How can wood flooring withstand that kind of treatment? And, you know, cleaning up after these two all day just isn't my idea of having fun,” affirms Renée. Reassuringly, Rolf never forgets to keep several options open, always with an eye on the budget. Ultimately, it was ashed oak that made the grade, today gracing all the rooms, wall to wall. The lady of the house is thrilled – these floors are easy to keep clean, they can take a beating, and they simply look great.
«Thanks to his ideas we have our own little kingdom now.» Renée and Chris Redmond
Where Renée is the boss of the bathroom, Chris is the king of the kitchen: “Sharing the same space with the living room, there simply is not enough of it left for a large dining table. But Rolf came up with the perfect solution for that.” Which meant that he extended the kitchen island, which now, in addition to offering an expansive worktop, conveniently seats four. This is where the Redmond's guests enjoy their dinner, and where Renée enjoys watching her beloved husband preparing it. Or she might also simply enjoy the view a across the ceiling height windows. “Each is like a picture frame,” smiles Renée. And each affords her a panorama that covers the gently rolling hills, Lake Lucerne, the Alps, and Mount Pilatus in the foreground, a view that is truly beyond compare. Even on a rainy day. And that's when the cleverly placed flush-mount ceiling and suspended lights come into play, evenly illuminating both the kitchen and the living area. The charcoal gray kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts go from floor to ceiling. With his choice of colors when redesigning the kitchen, Rolf exactly hit the spot. “Rolf and his wife Gaby's guidance was really helpful. They never pushed any ideas on us but made some good points when we asked them for advice. And we often did,” Renée remembers. Her gaze wanders towards the pantry adjacent to the kitchen. That space used to serve as a laundry room. “Which made no sense to us, and so, Rolf gave it a new purpose.” What made sense, on the other hand, was the pantry's made-to-measure cast-iron sliding door. Not only is it handy, it is also striking to look at, and it goes together great with the faux concrete walls. “This look was Chris' wish. To him, walls coated in whitewash are just too conventional.” Thankfully, Rolf knew a painter who could achieve exactly that look. “He really blew our minds, because for every new challenge, he has the right ace up his sleeve,” Chris and Renée both agree. That said, Rolf isn't a man of many words. He listens closely, and then just does what needs to be done. The Redmonds appreciated exactly that, from the first minute, and saw themselves confirmed in their view throughout the remodeling process. Things just kept moving, and not once did the couple have the impression that there could be a snag somewhere. To prevent that from happening, Rolf would regale them with a constant stream of work progress pictures to keep them up to date. Also, they paid a visit to the constructions site every week, before moving in for good at their personal kingdom in July 2020. After a mere three months of remodeling, one might add.
The Redmond's original idea was to just have the kitchen and the bathroom remodeled and new flooring installed. It turned out to be much more. Because Rolf supplemented his original design concept with a lighting design concept to match, strategically placing lights to create an entirely new ambience throughout the apartment. The interior designer placed lights where they not only make sense but make every moment brighter and more joyful: with a gently backlit bathroom mirror, for example, flush-mounted halogen ceiling lights, suspended lights in the bedroom – and the two one-of-a-kind wall lighting fixtures in the corridor: Inspect them up close and you will notice that they are shaped like two US states: Vermont and New Hampshire, birth places of Renée and Chris, respectively. Renée puts into words what these lights symbolize to them: “Rolf has succeeded in creating a symbiotic whole out of Chris' and my ideas.”
A perfectly symbiotic relationship? This is how you would describe the way the Redmonds have been going through life together since they were 18. And it shows. But you would have to add that today, their life together centers around their two dogs, Daisy and Marshall, Marshall in particular collecting dog show trophies like other people collect stamps. And it's because of him that the Redmonds are often on the road throughout Europe. As much as they love traveling, though, arriving means a lot to them too. And in Küssnacht they have arrived to stay. This new life in interiors that fit them like a glove, they really like it. Renée considers even the office one of her favorite rooms – and Daisy seems to share that sentiment, snoring away not very queen-like in her basket while next to her Renée is holding one of the many video conferences of these days. Which, of course, occasionily gives rise to hilarity. By the way, Renée witnessed the remodeling of her office up close – the second construction phase, which included the bathroom and the office, kicked off after the Redmonds' arrival in Küssnacht. They were pleasantly surprised, though, about how little the construction work bothered them in their day-to-day life. And how easy-going all the construction workers were. “Remodeling work can be stressful, you know. But with Rolf at the helm, it turned out to be a thoroughly pleasant experience. We were all smiles, every day,” is how Renée sums up this time spent in such good company.
So, here in Küssnacht am Rigi, Rolf took what was dear to the hearts of Renée and Chris from the great states of Vermont and New Hampshire and, out of all that, created a little kingdom just for them, a place that perfectly brings together everything they have wished for. And what is Daisy's comment? A hearty snore, that's what.