HUS Story #15
Sarah & Beni
There’s nothing more exciting than discovering your own individual furnishing style. IKEA is constantly on the lookout for creative people to show us around their inspiring home for the Lifeathome Blog. Our latest ‘HUS Story’ leads us over hill and dale straight to the home of Sarah and Beni. Who’d have thought that, at the end of this path, which was like a hiking trail, such a hidden gem would be tucked away in a small village close to Olten?
Sarah Manini, 26, Visual Merchandiser at IKEA
Benjamin Stucki, 29, Managing Director of a CNC manufacturing company
House with studio, five-and-a-half rooms, Hauenstein-Ifenthal
Nestled in Ifenthal in Solothurn. Sarah and Beni moved from the town of Olten to the heights of the mountains. They came across their dream home, in the midst of nature, on an online platform. Built by the neighbours, it’s probably what many people would wish for as a retreat or a winter home, combining a rustic winter chalet and modern living with its open kitchen, living room and first floor. The furniture just tops it all off.
Together with the central wood-burning stove and large windows, bits and bobs that the couple have collected on their travels give the living room that special touch. The fact that Sarah studied Product and Industrial Design is evident in her good eye for the right pieces.
She likes to sit down and research with a cup of coffee in hand, scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram. She often also deliberately looks for inspiration at furniture shows, like the one in Milan for example.
Do you still go on holiday a lot despite living in a holiday-home environment?
Sarah: We always try to take the time to discover a new country once a year. We’ve just been to India and are already planning a trip to Central or South America. We’re also carrying on our Tour de Suisse soon. Switzerland really does have a lot to offer too, more than we ever realised.
There’s a map of the world leaning against the wall in the living room – what’s the story behind it?
Beni: It’s a scratch map for you to scratch off the countries or cities that you’ve travelled to. It’s really cool to see all the places we’ve already been to and where we want to plan our next trip to. But we always look forward to coming back to our lovely home with our cat Chibu.
How would you describe your furnishing style?
Sarah: Because I work at IKEA, I naturally pick out my favourite pieces from the new collections. A few other pieces of furniture and objects are things I discovered on the Internet and at house clearances. But it’s important to always make room for greenery. For us, plants have a real feel-good factor.
When we go travelling, most of the time we bring back a souvenir or print out some cool photos onto canvases as memories, which gives the room a subtle oriental feel.
Beni: We got the big elephant from my grandmother and the vase was a gift too. Both have found their own little place and go perfectly with the furniture.
Where do you spend most of your time when you’re at home?
Beni: Probably on our sofa, as it’s the perfect spot to see all the way down to Olten and when we have our morning coffee, we’re often amazed by the beautiful sunrise. In the summer, when everything’s in bloom, we’re surrounded by cherry trees, plants and flowers; it’s really beautiful.
Besides the quiet atmosphere, what helps you to clear your head?
Sarah: For me it’s definitely drawing. Colourful portraits have become my trademark since my preparatory design course. And we’ve finally found a little space for a painting studio in the house now.
I inherited the creative gene from my grandfather; he was a hunter and a painter too and would draw with us children from a young age. One of his pictures of the small village I grew up in is hanging on our bedroom wall.
Beni: After work we also really enjoy cooking together and prefer to use high-quality local ingredients. Whilst in the summer we enjoy being active outdoors, in winter we let off some steam in the climbing hall. Or we get our work-life balance by enjoying a cosy evening with a glass of wine beside the fireplace or with friends in the Alps.
Have you got any plans for the future besides travelling?
Beni: This house is our dream come true so we’re more than happy to stay here and enjoy the peace and quiet and the fresh mountain air.
Sarah and Beni agree that it’s great to discover other countries and cultures but there’s no place quite like home. Discover more exciting sitting rooms and be inspired by ‘IKEA HUS Stories’.