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A small design company has just been launched in the region, specializing in designing “tailor-made” hard furnishings for the home.

Located just outside Geneva, but operating in both France and Switzerland, Ralpine Design will provide a customized design service for private clients who require unique pieces of furniture for their home, whether they be small items such as tables and chairs, or larger items including built-in wall units.

Owner, Robert Leeman, told knowitall.ch, “Our aim is to produce bespoke, high quality products that have been beautifully designed and are perfectly matched to our client’s lifestyle.  Our products are tailor-made to fit our clients, their surroundings, and more importantly the way they live their life. Like a tailored suit, our furniture excels in its performance through the close partnership of hand-made craftsmanship and creative design.  We employ the very best, local craftsmen to create our products, and use the finest materials possible.”

He continued, “We invest a lot of time with our clients at the beginning of the design process, as we feel this is the best way to determine their needs.  As a small team, clients are able to deal directly with us and see every detail of the project as it develops.  It’s really important to us that clients feel connected to the entire design process.”

With many years experience gained in industrial design, Robert has the ability to communicate well in “two and three dimensions”, understand clients wants, hopes and desires and translate these into beautiful products.  He told us, “Creativity is the act of collision, the act of connected thinking, linking previously unrelated things and making something that is greater than its component parts and that fits seamlessly within the lives of consumers. Adding value and creating artifacts that people will love for years to come is a big driving force behind Ralpine Design’s development methodology.”

Robert developed a passion for furniture and diversified into designing and making furniture when working in the UK as a university design lecturer.  When the opportunity arose at the end of 2011 to set up his own business just outside Geneva, he seized the chance – and hasn’t looked back since.  As a native English speaker, he has already started building a good client base within the local expat community.  One recent client told knowitall.ch,

“For our living room unit, Ralpine Design has not only been a great creative input, but also a strong professional guide for our choices, either aesthetic or economic. With this project, where there were both technical and architectural constraints, as well as our own ideas and wishes evolving over time, Ralpine Design has been flexible and proposed alternative solutions that met our needs and budget. We are very happy with the results both in terms of originality of the design and quality of the carpentry. Importantly, we now have a piece that really changes the look and feel of our living room, whilst still respecting the soul of the house.”


At Ralpine Design, clients are fully involved at all stages of the creative process. Following the initial consultation with clients, traditional design studio techniques are used to generate a project brief. These include Mood-board creation sessions, role-play and other user analysis techniques undertaken with clients in their homes.

In the subsequent development stage, several design concepts are developed for the client to “critique”. These are typically hand-drawn images and renderings that illustrate the design intent, and from which the client can choose his or her favorite design.

Once a particular design has been chosen, the process begins of “bringing the project to life” through CAD (Computer Aided Design) models and visualisations that give the client an exact approximation of the chosen design. This model will then be used to build the chosen piece of furniture.

Each client is provided with a personalized agenda for all key stages of the build right through to installation. As Ralpine Design uses local craftspeople to put together each piece of furniture, transportation and delivery is easily coordinated with clients. A member of the design team will be present upon delivery or installation to oversee proceedings.

discount-button150newTo encourage knowitall.ch clients to try out their services, Robert has offered to waiver the initial consultation fee on any projects commissioned by new clients, which are seen through to completion.  Simply bring a long a copy of this article when you make your first appointment with Ralpine Design to claim your discount.  This offer is valid until 31 August 2012.

Ralpine Design
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076 265 46 68