This week we spoke to Simone Aïda Baur, an interior designer who runs her own design business and a blog offering design tips. She was born and grew up in Basel, and now lives in Zurich. Her other passion is travel. She’s lived in seven countries, speaks six languages, and especially loves the Caribbean – last December she organised a Caribbean hurricane relief charity event in Basel.
What brought you back to Switzerland?
I returned to Switzerland seven years ago for health reasons. At the time I was also looking for a career change. I wanted to start a new career in design. So when I was offered a job with a high-end furniture company in Switzerland, I decided to move back and give life in Switzerland a try.
What do you love most about your life here?
I love the fact that I can be in Milan, Paris and London in the blink of an eye and submerge myself in some of the most remarkable design and stay abreast of the latest trends and innovations in the world of interior design. I religiously visit Milan Design Week every year, and London, where I studied interior design.
What was your biggest challenge after arriving here?
As a Swiss-German-speaking Swiss people expected me to know the local customs, rules and regulations. But having lived most of my adult life abroad I wasn’t very familiar with the Swiss way of life. This led to a lot of confusion at the beginning.
What does it mean to be Swiss?
To be perfectly honest, I’m not really sure how to answer this question. My dad is of German descent and my mom of Italian descent. Even though I was born and grew up in Switzerland I always identified more with my Italian side. Having lived in so many countries, I now, more than ever, consider myself a global citizen.
What do you miss from your life before?
Having lived in the Caribbean and Dubai for many years, I miss the ocean and the warm weather. In my opinion ‘life is better in flip-flops’. I also miss the comfort and luxuries of the expat lifestyle I enjoyed in most of countries I lived in.
What would you miss most if you left Switzerland?
The efficiency and the fact that everything works. And, easy access to the world’s most exciting places in terms of design. Also, the scent of pine when walking through the forest.