IKEA co-worker profile
A visit to Nicole
«IKEA always inspired me.»
Nicole Wederich (52) works as an interior designer for the IKEA Switzerland national organisation in Spreitenbach. She has a cosy 2.5-room apartment in Basel am Rhein as well as a second home in Milan due to her love of everything Italian.
When did you first join IKEA and what did you do before that?
I started working for IKEA Italy in 1998; first as an in-store interior designer and then from 2007 as an interior designer in the Italian IKEA national organisation, as part of which I was tasked with the planning and setting up of new stores. I returned to Switzerland in 2015 and have been working at IKEA Switzerland in Spreitenbach ever since. Beforehand, I completed an apprenticeship as a visual merchandiser and then gained experience in this field. This was followed by additional training as a shoe stylist and then I ran a bar on the Adriatic coast for two years.
Why did you choose to work for IKEA and what is the best thing about working here?
I’ve always been passionate about design, anything creative and home furnishings. IKEA also always inspired me and I would often shop there myself. When I was looking for a new job in Italy, I sent my CV to IKEA… and I have been working here ever since.
What is your job at IKEA? What are your main responsibilities?
I am responsible for set design in advertising campaigns and PR projects. I plan the store scenes for the photo shoots and TV spots. Sometimes I also plan interiors for external companies, such as offices, hotel rooms and other types of rooms.
From where or whom do you generally draw inspiration with regard to home furnishings?
There are so many inspiring design blogs on the Internet nowadays. One particular source of inspiration for me is Pinterest, which is full of great ideas and interesting posts.
Do you have a favourite IKEA product? If so, which one and why?
There are lots of products that I think are cool, for example the new TRÅDFRI home smart system. The lighting in our homes has an unbelievable impact on our wellbeing as well as our mood. I now have a specific lighting ambience for every situation and activity. Another of my favourites is the SÖDERHAMN sofa – a modular and wonderfully comfortable sofa on which you can stretch out and relax.
What do you like best about your apartment?
The positive atmosphere, the large windows and its location close to the Rhine.
How would you generally describe your furnishing style?
A mixture of Scandinavian style with a touch of Italian flair.
Do you have any personal furnishing tips for IKEA Family members?
I like flexible furnishing ideas. For example, a photo frame covered in material. Here at IKEA, we have frames that are designed for this purpose and can be easily covered with the materials we sell.
You live in Basel and Milan and also commute to Spreitenbach every day. How do you manage to lead a healthy lifestyle, eat healthily and exercise despite all of this travelling?
Oh, it’s not too difficult – all you need is a little bit of self-discipline and good intentions. I normally bring a small lunch to work from home. I go to the gym whenever I find the time. But summer is my favourite time of year. As I live on the banks of the Rhine, I usually jump into the cool water after work and drift down the river together with a friend before enjoying a small aperitif at one of the numerous riverside food stalls – this really makes me feel relaxed and like I am on holiday.
Do you have any secret tips for a city trip to Basel or Milan?
I really recommend visiting Basel in the summer and floating down the Rhine with a waterproof swimming bag – it’s a unique experience and a great way to see a lot of the city. If you go to Milan, it’s worth paying a visit to the restaurant on the top floor of the posh «La Rinascente» department store and enjoying a nice lunch or a typical Italian aperitif in the sunshine. From here, you get a great view of the cathedral and the city.
Finally, what memorable experiences have you had with IKEA?
While working in Italy, I helped to plan ten stores and subsequently worked together with the expansion team on each construction site right up to the day the store opened. When all the work was finally completed and the doors were opened for the very first customers, it was always very emotional and a source of pride after many months of effort.