Mahi’s Shared, Thrifted Paradise in Switzerland

updated Jul 10, 2019
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(Image credit: Anik Polo)

Name: Mahi Durel
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Size: 70 square meters
Years lived in: 13 years

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Welcome to the home of Mahi, her boyfriend Tristan, Lou and Nino in Geneva, Switzerland. This simple, lovely home is nestled in a typical century-old apartment located in a lively neighborhood right by the lake.

(Image credit: Anik Polo)

Mahi’s style is a beautiful mix of her French Iranian and American heritage and is reflected in her taste and influences. She expresses her talents in her lifestyle and business as a fashion designer and owner of Wood, a vintage clothing store paired with a barbershop.

(Image credit: Anik Polo)

Mahi likes to keep it simple but finds it hard to combine all her many passions. It’s difficult to resist bringing home other finds discovered at the flea market or pieces she designed for the shop at her atelier. Her vast collection of kimonos, leather bags, fabrics, clothes, and lamps is neatly stored here, but may need to find a new owner soon due to the lack of space at home.

(Image credit: Anik Polo)

Her years spent in New York working as a stylist still resonate in the house and in the furniture she brought back with her when she returned to Geneva. It follows the rhythm and seasons of her life and the growth of her children. Most of her furniture is thrifted or hand made like the beds frames she made with Tristan. Its also a way to consume less enjoy more and be surrounded by family treasures that they love.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: A mix of a lot of influences, but I would say more folk.

Inspiration: The 70s in general. My parents were both very creative, crafty, DIY lovers. Any original object that catches my eyes.

Favorite Element: The original architecture of the apartment, such as wooden floors, doors and oak windows. The location by the lake, perfect for an early bath in the summer.

Biggest Challenge: To manage the four of us living in 70 square meters along with my compulsive bargain hunting addiction.

What Friends Say: That it is well decorated and has a good vibe.

Biggest Embarrassment: We are missing an extra room; to be able to have another bedroom or a living room. It’s hard to give each other space and privacy. Most of the time we are all together, which is also great.

Proudest DIY: My bedding made of great cotton and linen that I found at the flea market. Also the bed that Tristan and I built and pretty much all the furniture that I bring in is modified, sanded, repainted or not.

Biggest Indulgence: Going to flea markets all the time and buying things I don’t need just because I found it attractive. Since I can’t keep it all I then resell it, give it away or recycle it in any other way.

Best Advice: Don’t necessarily buy new; flea market, salvation army and thrift stores are full of beautiful things. It’s a good way to recycle, save money and be original in your interior.

Dream Sources: 70s DIY magazines such as “100 Idées”, crafty magazines in general, Maison Léone for their wall hangings.


(Image credit: Anik Polo)


  • Paint: Tender lavander
  • Vintage Chest: Found in the street
  • Mirror: Brought back from NYC
  • Collage of many years of souvenirs, pictures from many trips abroad
  • Metal and porcelain birds found at the flea market
  • Book shelf: Flea market
(Image credit: Anik Polo)


  • Painting made by my dad in the 80’s in Oceanside, California
  • Bed made by Tristan et moi
  • Linen sheets and pillow case found at the flea market, transformed
  • Wooden chest with drawer found and transformed by my mum
  • African masks, dolls and birds: flea market
  • Mexican dolls: gift from friends
  • Mirror: flea market
  • Wooden chest: Salvation army
  • Brass boxes: Urban outfitter
  • Lamp: Micasa, Switzerland
(Image credit: Anik Polo)


  • Art on the wall: Dirty Hands, Geneva
  • Shelf: Flea market, I added the new wood
  • Lamps: Flea market
  • Teak table: Found in the street
  • Chairs: Salvation army, was red and orange, I sanded them and didn’t finish it, because I prefer like that.
(Image credit: Anik Polo)


  • Turquoise wooden chest found in New York
  • Bed made by Tristan and I
  • Linen sheets: found at the flea market and transformed
  • Metal pink stool: Found in the street in New York
  • Director’s chair: Flea market
  • Brass letters: Flea market, I transformed the letter N in V to be able to write love.
(Image credit: Anik Polo)


  • Bunk bed: Ikea
  • Desk: Flea market
  • Chair: Salvation army
  • Rug: Micasa, Switzerland
  • Collection of lamps: Flea market
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Thanks Mahi !!!!