AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER

A home sweet home in the heart of Lausanne

AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
23/03/2017 Véronique Le Fort
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER

Shama and Xavier recently moved in together to a beautiful apartment right in the centre of Lausanne. The place is full of charm with original parquet flooring, a large traditional fireplace and through the window you get a great view of Lake Geneva with the mountains in the background. Although the apartment has all these top quality features what strikes you most on entering is the simplicity and the accurate arrangement of this lovely interior. Their pieces of furniture blend naturally with each other and the other objects they have give you a feeling that they have always been there. Shama and Xavier are both architects and share a common aesthetic sensitivity to which they bring their own personalities. The result is beautiful and welcoming but the occupiers never take themselves too seriously.

AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER

What do you do?

Xavier

We are both architects. I work as a part-time teaching assistant at EPFL and run my own projects the rest of the time. 

Sham

I work for an investment fund as a project manager in charge of project development.

How does it work when two architects move in together?

Xavier

It does require some discussion! Actually it was quite easy: we joined two apartments in one. We both had everything we needed in the flats we used to live so all we had to do was choosing what to take in this flat. We didn’t have to start from scratch to furnish our place.

You really can’t notice that this flat is a “merger” of two universes.

Xavier

When we decided to move in together, we also decided to find a new flat and not to move into each other’s flat. We felt that it would feel more like our home this way.

Shama

For the little story, the living room was the first room that we put together. One evening, we were looking at the bow window and Xavier said (big laugh): “do you think that we match together as well as our furniture does?”

AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER

Which piece of furniture belonged to whom?

Xavier

Everything dark was at my place! All light colours were at Shama’s.

Coming back to how two architects move in together, we came by one weekend to make a plan of the flat. After that, I listed all my pieces of furniture. Shama created a spreadsheet that she never filled and was supposed to list her furniture which she never did! At the beginning we wanted to properly plan our ideas to sort out what we had and help the removal company that was moving our two flats at the same time. That was theory only! Practically we both had to make some concessions.

Shama

That is so typical from architects! When we came to the wall of mirrors, we spent an entire evening taking measurements, measuring spaces and aligning the whole lot. We put the mirrors on the floor first and then placed them on the wall. It was such a headache! At the end we could not take it anymore so we just put some nails randomly on the wall and hang the mirrors!

Where is your furniture coming from?

Shama

Our apartment is actually a mix of our previous student flats. The palettes that form the coffee table are coming from the Paleo festival and the sofas are from Ikea.

Xavier

From my side, it is a lot of practical things and pieces of furniture that are coming from my family. I also tend to serve as furniture storage units for my brothers who live abroad!

Shama

Actually the only things we bought for this place are the Klybeck branches that we have at the entrance.

Xavier

This is also due to the fact that we are a young couple. We both have a feel for beautiful things and I think that we will be buying objects together that we love to replace what we have step by step.

Shama

True, we will follow our instinct with objects that we both fall for.

AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER
AT HOME WITH SHAMA & XAVIER

Do you have different tastes?

Xavier

I can be a bit more radical!

Shama

I’m more into trinkets, that is my Moroccan side! Xavier made me throw away quite a lot of things when we moved in together. I did have a tendency to accumulate useless dust-attracting objects!

Xavier

I do respect our cultural mix though! But it is true that we had the same training and have similar sensitivities.

What would you dream to add to your place?

Shama

We just took part in a crowd funding campaign to raise funds for a magnetism lamp. It is an amazing object.

Xavier

Some paintings, a sculpture, beautiful photography! Objects that have stories and to which we can connect. For instance we have this 18 kilos concrete bloc in our bedroom. It is a sound amplifier that my students created. It is a clever object that reflects on how to get rid of energy to amplify sound.

Can you share your favourite places in Lausanne?

Shama

Brunch at Café Bref : a cosy atmosphere with a great setup.

Café Grancy and its delicious salmon tartar: my favourite place to eat.

Chic Cham for homewares.

The Great Escape terrace afterwork or to play boules on Sundays.

Loom Gelateria for desert: the best homemade ice creams in the city.

Xavier

I recently discovered an amazing traditional Italian restaurant which is called Ristorante St Paul. There are only a few tables and it is a genuine family address.