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Below you will find a selection of the most recent entries from bloggers in the Your Home section.

To view the entries from individual bloggers, click on the links below:

Liz Forest - EMF Management
Liz Forest is the founder and owner of EMF Management, a Swiss-registered renovation project management company servicing the international community in the greater Lake Geneva / Vaud region. EMF handles the heavy lifting so clients do not have to learn a new trade, take time off work, or sacrifice family holidays or their sanity just to make their house a home.

Gareth Jefferies - Alpine Property
Gareth Jefferies left the West Yorkshire Police in 1999 to make a new life for himself and his wife in the mountains.  Responsible for marketing and technology at Alpine Properties, a French-registered estate agency with bilingual agents located all over the French Alps, Gareth is usually the first contact you will have the company. He is always happy to discuss your project with you, usually by email, suggesting various properties and making appointments.

Virginie Dor - Space of Mine
As founder of Space of Mine, a professional business specializing in residential organizing, Virginie Dor is committed to helping individuals and families better their lives, take control of their surroundings and time by creating organizing solutions that are individually tailored to each client. As a proud member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), she is an expert in clutter control, work flow, space planning and time management.

Tara Lissner - Swiss Gardening School
An enthusiastic, self-taught gardener, Tara Lissner is passionate about gardening and eager to share her zeal and knowledge with other gardening fans. In 2012, she joined forces with Hester Macdonald, a British-trained landscape designer, to launch the Swiss Gardening School.

Aislinn Delmotte - Settling Here
Aislinn Delmotte runs Settling Here, a company which aims to provide practical help and advice to individuals, couples and families relocating to the Pays de Gex, a region where some of the customs are similar to those in neighbouring Switzerland, but where many aspects of living are entirely different.

Sophia Kelly - Sophia Kelly Home Design
Responding to the growing demand for home design services in the international community, Sophia Kelly provides a range of tailor-made services, which are perfect for clients who have just moved into a new home or who simply need help reorganizing one that they have lived in for many years!

 

 

liz forest PM blog

By Liz Forest, EMF Management

Renovating can be a stressful and challenging proposition, especially when you are going it alone. Don’t have the time, know-how or speak French fluently? Already have a vision for your ideal space but need someone skilled to make it a reality? If you are considering working with someone to plan or manage all or part of your renovation project, here’s a list of what you should expect from any good project manager (PM):

  1. First and most importantly, it is not all about them! Beware if during your initial meeting you hear nothing but “I”—as in “I would definitely…”; “I despise …”; “I strongly suggest…”; or “I can’t live without….”.  Ditto for shameless namedropping or strong or otherwise intimidating statements about fashion, trends, colours, style—unless of course you ask!

  2. They prioritize your taste and needs. A truly talented PM is able to guide you in making well-informed decisions and putting aside their own lifestyle and decorating choices to help translate yours into an implementable vision for the project. However, if you have seen and fell in love with their home or office, don’t hesitate to say you want it cloned!

  3. They have excellent communication skills.  Without a doubt, these include active listening; regular, precise written communications; and fluency in at least English and French. They should also be able to clearly interact in person, by phone or email with you and all service providers on the job.

tara white crocus

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

There is a softening underfoot, a warmth in the air and dare I say that feeling of spring abounds! It’s true we’ve been fooled before; a lovely gentle week in February followed by lots of snow and a wind chill that felt like -16c. But it will come, that light in the day, that stretch in the evening and that warmth in the air that means below zero temperatures are just a memory.

I do so love the optimism of March. Every DIY catalogue that comes through the letter box is packed with the promise of spring with bunnies and daffodils in almost every picture; lawn mowers and garden tools to make every job a breeze. Furniture catalogues encourage us to enjoy outdoor living with new patio furniture, parasols, coffee tables and sofas, to plan dinners and parties with friends. We the gardeners know that this is all just a sales tactic for it is far too early to even begin thinking about outdoor living, we are all preoccupied with outdoor working; beds to dig, mulch to spread, plants to grow, shrubs to prune and seeds to sow.

tara onions

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

This perfect light, golden tones all around and cooler temperatures gently ease us into this new season of Autumn. The summer bedding is fading but trying to hang on continuing to perform in the sunshine, the summer veggie plot is almost at an end with the soft herbs going to seed and the green tomatoes fooling us into thinking that they may ripen on the vine (they will not), the lawn is showing signs of worm casings and a scattering of colourful leaves greets us ever morning – a time of change.

It has to be said that this summer was really fantastic, long days of warm sunshine, almost enough rain to keep the lawn green and that perfect blue sky. A hot summer like this reminds me to take a closer look at my garden. It brings to the forefront the areas I will need to concentrate on when the guests have departed and the rosé is finished. And so the list begins; add even more mulch to keep greater moisture in the beds, explore even more fully hardy but drought resistant perennials to reduce watering, reconsider the choice of planting for the vegetable plot when a holiday is planned – goodness I’m beginning to see a pattern, all of these issues revolve around water, the lack of rain and the need to irrigate. This may have something perhaps everything to do with the fact that I have a south facing garden on a hill with clay soil. Oh the work!

Samoens in snow

by Gareth Jefferies, Alpine Property

We often get asked what the weather is like in the Alps. And where we get our forecast from. There are loads of resources available. I rarely use just one, I get used to putting them together to get an overview of the situation.

Our favourite forecast is from an amateur forecaster in Chamonix, it's good for most of the Haute Savoie. We find it works fine in St Gervais, Samoens and Morzine too.

We often use Snow-Forecast for long term trends, it's free up until 6 days however don't get too hung up on the actual numbers. It should be renamed rain-forecast in the summer.

gareth blog weather chart

And then MeteoBlue, this goes into more depth and forecasts further into the future.

If you want to get back to basics then there is always the pressure charts. The best are probably from the Met Office.

gareth blog weather chart 2

For a more micro idea of the current rain/snow there is a real time radar, this is great for picking dry periods between showers.

gareth blog radar

Webcams in the Haute Savoie.

When things are a bit grey in the valleys, we use the webcams to see what is happening on the mountain!

When there is a thunderstorm it can be fun seeing where the lightning is striking. This site shows the real-time strikes and is very accurate.

Author's bio

Alpine Gareth 200Gareth Jefferies left the West Yorkshire Police in 1999 to make a new life for himself and his wife in the mountains.  A keen skier, with a love for all mountain activities, he really appreciates the distinct seasons that you get in this region. He now has 3 children, all of whom love the outdoors - indeed one is aiming to compete for France as a Biathlete in the 2020 Youth Olympics in Lausanne!

Responsible for marketing and technology at Alpine Properties, a French-registered estate agency with bilingual agents located all over the French Alps, Gareth is usually the first contact you will have the company. He is always happy to discuss your project with you, usually by email, suggesting various properties and making appointments.

www.alpine-property.com

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washer dryer 500

By Virginie Dor, Space of Mine

How would you describe an “organized space”?

Some of the answers I hear most often are: “uncluttered”, “neat”, “tidy”, “spare”, “minimalistic” or even “boring”.

Truth is, an organized space has nothing to do with these characteristics.

Some people’s home can on the surface appear straight out of a magazine with clear counters, neatly stacked magazines staged on the coffee table, and family pictures carefully displayed on the fireplace mantel; yet what you may find when opening their kitchen cabinets or hallway closets is no real system in place and out of control chaos.

While on the other hand, others live and work in complete physical clutter; and yet feel comfortable in their environment and are able to find anything in no time. Could they be considered “organized”? Absolutely!

Being organized has less to do with the way an environment looks than how it functions. If a person is able to find what it is they want when they need it, feel unencumbered in achieving their goals and is happy in their space; then that person is well organized.