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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:

Anna Lascols, Organizing Geneva
Her mission as a professional organizer is to improve people’s lives by coaching them how to set up and maintain efficient systems to keep their time and space in order. Anna helps her clients to visualize their ideal lifestyle and works side-by-side with tem to reach their goals. These can range from redesigning their closet à la Marie Kondo to getting their paperwork under control, improving their time management skills or preparing for the arrival of a baby. Anna is a KonMari Consultant and a member of the Swiss Association of Professional Organizers (Swiss-APO). She works in and around Geneva and provides her services is English, French, German and Spanish. She offers personal organizing sessions, virtual coaching and organizes workshops on various organizing and zero waste topics.

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.

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!

 

 

treepeony 2020

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

The garden continues to be the constant in our lives. The beds need weeding, the lawn needs mowing, the seedlings need thinning, the climbing roses need tying in, the garden always needs work. I’ve spent much of these last weeks in my garden, like you certainly, watching the weather for much needed rain, pulling the weeds as they grow like crazy as soon as my back is turned. I have managed to spend longer periods of time in the garden as I’ve not been distracted by the general running around and jumping in the car that is my life. I’ve had time to consider things and to plan.

I’ve managed to replant the many plants that spend sometimes years in temporary pots around my garden. Plants that don’t quite fit where I want them, plants that I plan to move on to somewhere else in the garden or plants that I don’t have time to place somewhere more permanently. I dig them up and put them into a pot with new soil and try to remember to water them. I am constantly tripping over these lost souls, I even have a nursery shelf of plants waiting to find their forever home. Happily today I can say that many of them are now tucked into new places, at long last – I can almost hear them sigh.

My raised vegetable beds, I have six, are being slowly taken over by my new found love of dahlias. Out with the tomatoes and in with the cut flowers. I love dahlias but they really do take up a huge amount of space. I mentioned to my husband that I’d really like another two large raised beds for vegetables but he hasn’t seemed keen on this construction project and quickly returned to the safe haven excuse of getting back to the office for a call – in the next room! I’m going to have to work something out. I have planted so many seeds; edamame beans, spinach, courgettes, pumpkins, broccoli, kale, spicy salad mixes and Italian salad mixes, and I know there will be tomato plants once I get out to my tomato guy. With so much growing its a good job that all our summer plans are on hold – I’ll be busy in the garden for the duration.

The raspberries and blackberries are covered in flowers and looking healthy and strong but I always have a big issue with weeds. I garden on a hill, which is not ideal, this makes weeding a very slow and difficult job – trying to not fall down the hill demands a lot of concentration. Last year I tried a weed suppressant trick – weeding the base of the plants, adding compost, covering the compost with cardboard, dampening the cardboard before covering it with wood chips.

This year I’ve done the same just minus the cardboard – for me the cardboard didn’t work very well as it eventually migrated to the bottom of the hill. However, if you garden on the flat (lucky you) it will work brilliantly. The weeds have to work very hard to get through the cardboard and they become very leggy and easy to pull resulting in less weeding which I love.

KIAP blog 3 copy 2

Photo credit, EMF

By Liz Forest, www.emf-management.com

Recently, solopreneurs far and wide have chimed in on the Internet with anecdotes, tips and tricks (not to mention some very funny memes) for surviving the current novel-corona-induced lockdown both at home and at “work-from-home”. It is refreshing to read how small businesses in so many sectors around the globe have found creative ways to keep themselves and their employees motivated, engaged and productive.

Luckily, I have always worked from a home office and so my major adjustment these last weeks has mostly been related to the invasion of my creative space by my husband who is “doing his job from home”--best currently described as a non-stop, multi-person, noisy, death-by-virtual-meeting type activity.

Admittedly, times have been more conducive to renovating your home but there is no reason why your project needs to be put on complete hold now. It is true that the majority of showrooms and shops have been closed to the public but many are still accepting orders from professionals, have improved their online presences and the majority of these companies, small to large, have put in place measures to protect their teams as well as their clients in cases where a home visit or meeting is necessary.

That being said, as the Swiss authorities just announced a loosening of their “advice” to the public, beginning on 27 April a first layer of DIY and garden shops will open (among others). The French are maintaining their more strict measures for the public until 11 May but since the week following Easter, most trades and factories are re-opening while following the professional health and safety measures issued by the authorities. This clearly means that positive things are in sight on both sides of the border.

solo cherry blossom2

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

A few days ago, knowitall.ch published a very popular article from Tara "Gardening in these unusual times" and now she has compiled another one full of bright ideas.

Glorious blue sky days, warm sunshine, birds nesting and bees buzzing - an almost perfect spring to get busy in the garden. As all is not quite perfect we are all doing our best to make do and stay home. In light of this situation many of our usual gardening suppliers have worked tremendously hard to create on-line shops and hotlines for orders for home delivery or pick-up.

I thought I'd highlight some options here to give you a few more ideas in the garden this spring:

Schilliger - are now up and running with on-line sales for home delivery or pick-up from Gland. Go to the website and see their extensive list of plants, complete an order form, submit it by e-mail and wait for their call with payment and pick-up info.

La Noyère - with the workshops suspended and the little boutique temporarily closed the team at La Noyère continue to provide fresh flowers for pick-up near Mont-sur-Rolle. See the website for details.

Fleuriot - while all stores are currently closed Fleuriot can deliver orders of fresh flowers and house plants across the canton of Geneva. A wide range of arrangements are available to view on-line.

Orchidarium - although the greenhouses in Prangins are closed to the public a special sale of orchids will take place this week in time for Easter. Photos of the orchids will be posted on the FaceBook page on Thursday, pick-up will be on Saturday 11 April from 10:00-16:00. Further information about ordering, payment and pick-up will be available on Thursday on their FB page so please keep an eye on it for further details.

Desarzens - those of you familiar with the Jardins en Fête show in Coppet may remember Thomas Lehwark from Green Selection who along with his team provided beautiful annual plants over the years. In light of the current situation the parent company Desarzens has decided to open on-line sales to private individuals. The quality remains superb and new varieties of flowers and vegetables will be added as they become available. See the website for on-line orders, delivery is by priority mail.

spring blossom gland 03 20a

By Tara Lissner, Swiss Gardening School

I recently posted a blog speaking of springtime openings of gardens and parks, lovely plant markets and fairs and all the jobs to get started with in the garden. Today our reality has changed. Most of these markets have been cancelled or postponed, the gardens remain closed and we must now learn to garden when all the garden centres are closed! I’ve put together a list of gardening related businesses who will deliver or allow you to pick-up. It is by no means an extensive list but a small start especially to support small, local business owners. I hope you find it useful.

Rémy Jaggi
Located in Trélex, this small producer has a large variety of herbs, salad plug plants, early bedding flowers and tons of perennials, fresh cut tulips are also available. Orders must be made in advance by phone 022 369 11 66 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. collection is only in the afternoons and only by appointment. There is no self service. 

Nature en scène
Located in Arnex-sur-Nyon (Borex), this small garden centre has a wide selection of salad and early vegetable plug plants, seeds, soil and early bedding flowers, fresh cut tulips are also available. Orders must be made in advance by phone 022 367 12 34 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Pick up on Thursday or Friday only. There is no self service. A seed order form and a plant plug form are attached below for ease of ordering.

Jardins Belle Vue
Located in Borex, this small producer will delivery early bedding plants among other things. Orders must be made by phone 022 367 12 39.

Maréchal Jardiland
Located between Chavannes des Bois and Versoix this small garden centre will take your order by phone 022 779 03 58 for pick up.

liz soldhouse

By Liz Forest, www.emf-management.com

It has been ages since I put pen to paper and for good reason; in short, we have spent half the year in the throes of selling our home.

Well actually—the house was signed away in an instant but the months leading up to actual signature were chock-a-bloc full of list-writing and countless trips to the déchetterie, box packing and multiple celebrations in the name of the 13 glorious years we spent as owners of a truly lovely home.

Anyway, in the aftermath of the pack out and settling in, I thought useful to share three of the lessons we learned in the process.

What You Will Owe to the Tax People
As the saying goes, the only certainties in life are death and taxes. In Switzerland, you have 30 short days from the moment you sign away your home to report your sale and capital gain, if any, to the tax authorities. Capital gain is calculated as the difference between your sales price and your original purchase price, adjusted for certain expenses and any value-added transformations you made to the property while you owned it.

There is good reason to take this 30-day deadline seriously. The notary, during the final sales signature meeting, will hold back 5% of the sale price as a guarantee to the tax office of your eventual tax obligation. For the average seller, this amount can greatly exceed any capital gain liability. By making the deadline, you get your place in the queue for processing, which in Nyon District currently amounts to about 4-5 months, and you thus have the opportunity to claim back any/all of the hold back.

In the Canton of Vaud for example, the capital gain tax rate varies between 7% and 30% depending upon the length of time you have owned and lived in the property. Years in which you are resident count as double, meaning that 12 years of owner-occupied housing allow you to reach the lowest marginal tax rate of 7%. On the other hand, if you were to buy and sell in the first year of ownership, you could owe a whopping 30% on any capital gain realised. The Swiss authorities use this sharply digressive scale to discourage anyone from considering short-term house flipping (or more complex real estate speculation).

However, one very important caveat. You are allowed to “adjust” the net gain by certain eligible expenses (e.g., realtor and notary fees) including if you have made and can prove value-added investments over the course of ownership. Think adding on a garage or a winter garden. Generally these qualified expenses are not related to maintenance or renovation (like retiling your master bath), which you would have already deducted on your annual income tax return. In fact, no previously-reported deductions are allowed to be reported to offset the capital gain.