sneak peek: malene charles


zurich based photographer and FOODIE.CH founder malene charles moved into to this 570 square foot apartment with her husman in 2006. surrounded by green, they have decorated their light-filled home on a shoestring budget. this cozy space can pose a challenge as it is also the creative space where FOODIE.CH is made. but somehow malene still manages to host rowdy sit down dinners of 10 without any toes being stepped on.

[ In the kitchen we covered the avocado green cabinets with dark wood print maktak. We only have one drawer so we hung a rack on the wall for our kitchen tools. The chairs and 1960’s table were found on (swiss ebay) and lights are from (swiss version of the now extinct club monaco caban). For us the kitchen had to be neutral but not sterile so we added a food wall of fame of some of our best food moments we’ve had together or with friends. This kitchen is where most of the food is prepared for FOODIE.CH. The oven is older than time but believe it or not we’ve hosted seated dinner parties of 12 in this space.]

[Our living room has handpainted stripes on the longest wall and a complete wall of shelves on the opposite side. The mirror, chairs and table were found at a brockenhaus (salvation army style shop) and the lights are from I read everything I can and buy about 12 magazines a month, so when our bookshelves are full… we’ll have to move to a bigger place.]

It took us a while to find the perfect bed for this size room but we’re happy we found nils moormann (no screws, just interlocks together). All the curtains throughout the apt are handmade with fabric from weisbrod AG ( The gold wall is handpainted and it turned out more gold than expected but when the sun shines on it, it twinkles. The ceiling light is vintage and the floor lights are from a design shop in Seefeld (a quartier in the city)

  1. Kristan says:

    I love the lighting fixtures they chose!

  2. Tara says:

    Flickr link for this?
    Absolutely Gorgeous.

  3. nath says:

    I love the colour of those chairs!

  4. Andrea says:

    Yes, please! The colours in this apartment make me so happy!

  5. Jamie says:

    love the butternut squash!

  6. I”m with Nath…the blue chairs have got me..!

  7. Whitney says:

    wow – those chairs are awesome. That color seems to be everywhere these days!

  8. Ana says:

    I really want that bed.

  9. Anna @ D16 says:

    Wow, those teal chairs with the warm wood and the white/green pendants…perfect.

  10. SeeMore says:

    Lovely indeed, but I would love to see this on your Flickr page so I can favorite them all!! ;)

  11. M says:

    Ooooh which Brockenstube do you go to? The ones in my part of Ostschweiz are terrible.

    Also, what is a “husman?” Is that supposed to be Hausmann?

    Anyway, I love your apartment. It’s so refreshing to see a Swiss house with COLOR!

  12. Marlene says:

    What a great chair! (first picture)

  13. Sonia says:

    omg! your living room its sooo cheerful! and your bedroom so relaxed! great combination of environments :D

  14. Heather says:

    What is maktak?

  15. Malene says:

    hi all!
    i’m flickr-challenged but i managed to create a set of the photos (including some that weren’t posted).

    @M : Zuercher Brockenhaus or Brockito. 99% is junk but sometimes you find jems.

  16. lindsay says:

    Bravo for hosting dinner for 10 in your place! We have a tiny home and I’m always thinking of ways to squeeze more people in!

  17. cheryl Hughes says:

    Great apartment.

    I have been searching for bookselves for where are yours from?

  18. Brian says:

    I think this may be one of my favorite sneak peeks.

  19. Rachel May says:

    I love this space, and the budget. It’s a nice reminder that we don’t have to spend a lot to get an amazing space.

  20. nath says:

    And besides those chairs. I now find myself drifting into a daydream where I also have a subtly gleaming gold wall.

  21. Cindy says:

    I have ugly kitchen cabinets – I want to know what maktak is, too!!

  22. Malene says:

    Hey D*readers,

    Maktak = Macktack= sticky stuff you line your drawers with. They make them in wood patterns in CH.

    Bookshelves are ikea… interio also has the exact version.


  23. says:

    Love that light by the bed in the last photo. Can anyone ID it? Didn’t see the mention in the article if there is one.

  24. LeahBeth says:

    I love your softly shimmering bedroom. Can you ID the gold paint for us? IT’s dreamy!

  25. taka says:

    I love this Chair!! (first pic)
    Were did you get from??

  26. duongducson says:

    I love this space , great !!!

  27. Kerry says:

    I love what you did to your apartment. I live in Geneva and it is so wonderful to be able to source products right here in Swizerland for a change! Bravo!

  28. Abbie says:

    Love how you went for local, fab design skills


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