Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Aristocratic Bern Aesthetic

When I was younger I spent many summer's traveling around Switzerland and visiting my older relatives in Bern, Denens and Geneva. It struck me that many of the interiors were all decorated in a similar old world style.

While I would love to have photos of the those interiors now, I think the photos below (all from the extensive © Burgerbibliothek archive) showcase that style well, especially that of the old families of Bern.

The subsequent photos, taken most likely in the post WWII period, are all from the de Tavel villa on Schosshaldenstrasse in Bern. The de Tavel villa interestingly is on the same street as Bürenstock, the manor home of the de Büren family for many years.

When I saw these photos I was struck at how familiar it all felt. The style of furniture, the fabric patterns, the walls adorned with artwork, and the way family portraits were suspended from crown moldings.

As an aside, the de Tavel family is deeply significant to the de Büren family not so much for an association with Bern, but rather one in the canton of Vaud. The Château of Denens was acquired through marriage with the de Tavel at the end of the 18th century, and is the only castle that is still in family hands today.

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