With the almost pathological busy-ness of contemporary existence, few have time to think about interior decoration. And yet, giving a home a facelift may be a more effective way to feel good about oneself than visiting the plastic surgeon. Time to speak to Mme. Wilde?
Berengère Wilde bears her name well. This 40-year-old Belgian, who’s been living in Switzerland for 20 years, is extremely passionate about her home design and interior decoration business, and her excitement transpires in all her endeavours, big or small. Her company, Secrets de Scène, is just the thing for individuals wishing to transform their home-sweet-home. This might involve a few minor alterations that can be handled through her express online coaching service or in a two-hour visit. Or it can involve major makeovers for which tailor-made solutions are needed. Berengère Wilde puts her coaching skills and list of trend suppliers at the disposal of her clients, taking her clientele’s tastes, way of life and budget into account.
The challenge at hand might be freshening up a kid’s room, or it might be a “home staging” to help property sellers put their asset in its best light for potential buyers. All the solutions Wilde offers her clients are then plugged into the architectural software Sketchup, which helps envision and simulate her interior design projects and thus supports clients in their decision-making process. As an all-service company, Secrets de Scène also keeps abreast of upcoming trends and suppliers in the home design field. As the spring-summer season is fast approaching, she has identified the major trends for the outside space, which is, according to Wilde, too often overlooked.
One trend that is emerging as a big blip on the radar is strong integration of outside space, garden or terrace as part of the home. What that fresh-air area really needs now is a living area. No use restricting lounge space to inside the house’s walls. The point here is to extend your home beyond its usual limits, to make the most of the space available and give a little twist to the interior while playing out with the growing space constraints most of us face.
Cleverly, Wilde helps her clients do that while keeping in mind their sometimes contradictory wishes, looking for materials with a long shell life that her clients will not get tired of too easily. For this reason, she recommends furniture pieces that seem to belong to the space, like the solid wood ones handproduced by the Italian firm Exteta. In the same spirit, she proposes solutions to lengthen the spring and summer seasons by using the right equipment to protect the outside space, such as tents and pergolas for hot days, or glassed-in walls to keep warm and dry come autumn and winter. It takes knowledge and expertise to find the proper protective materials, such as large cloths supported by sticks for a stylish and uncluttered result, or more resistant structures like porches.
Another new development for the outside space this season is the progression of kitchens en plein air, which Wilde sees simply as a continuity of the inside kitchen. What she proposes is areas that encompass both. She does stop at giving advice about what to cook out in the new-found kitchen. She remarks, however, that the Age of the BBQ, with its burned foods and dripping fats, has given way to the more healthy plancha, a way of grilling food on a metal plate, avoiding direct contact with flames. So while living and cooking out-of-doors reattaches us to some primordial period in human evolution, it is good to remember that some aspects of civilisation are genuine improvements.
Berengère Wilde has a whole range of ideas and providers up her sleeve when it comes to “taking your home outside,” as she puts it. Jardec sàrl in Etoy, in the canton of Vaud, for instance, is an expert in custom wooden outdoor terraces, porches and pool decks. The company uses specially treated woods that endure years of exposure to humidity and are guaranteed for up to 50 years. She also works with a selection of suppliers from Italy and France where she located the company 25°&Cie, which produces a wrought iron lookalike that is in fact made of aluminium, preventing rust issues. As customers have now turned their back on teakwood for ethical reasons, Wilde sources new environmental-friendly materials such as driftwood, which is notoriously robust. She insists on the importance of keeping the practical aspects of decoration in mind when working on the interiors or exteriors of a house that’s why she’s always on the look for innovative solutions to prevent cushions used for outside seating areas to rot or get damaged because of the weather, and she works with suppliers offering practical and aesthetically pleasing storage solutions.
Article by Lauriane Zonco