IKEA Family HUS STORY
Visiting the Restles
Anja and Pascal Restle live with their two-year-old daughter Zaily in Balterswil, Thurgau, surrounded by picturesque meadows. Their business specialises in renovating old houses and transforming them into dream homes.
You live in a house that is more than 100 years old, which you have rebuilt yourself. How did this come about?
Anja: With our property company we are always on the lookout for old houses for sale, which we can rebuild and modernise. Usually we fall in love with the property so much that we move in ourselves there and then. It was the same with this house. We bought it last summer and spent the next seven months or so completely renovating it. We've been living in it for almost a year and love having so much space. But usually we never stay in one place for more than one or two years.
What did you look for when you renovated your current home?
Pascal: We like it when old features are preserved – they give old buildings their special charm. In this house for instance there are a lot of wooden beams. We have also lowered the floors in part of the living room. This has meant we now have these high ceilings, which create an airy atmosphere. While I do more of the rough stuff, Anja takes care of the interior.
What do you consider to be important in this particular area, Anja?
I'm into DIY and take great pleasure in designing or modifying furnishings to suit my taste. For example, our dining table is an old counter, which we got for free. We sanded it down and repainted it. Not only does it give furniture a second life, but it also lends a personal touch, and you always have the story behind it to think back on.
You've moved around a lot in recent years. How often did you visit the IKEA store?
Anja: A lot (laughs)! Even as a child I moved around a lot and was always at IKEA with my mum. Even though we are refurnishing nowadays, IKEA is our first port of call. Probably about 90% of our furniture comes from there. I also designed our kitchen with IKEA's planning tool. I like the fact that I can find everything at IKEA and get good quality at a very fair price.
How would you describe your furnishing style?
Anja: I really like American country houses. This is what I use as a guide when choosing furniture for our home. We also always mix the old with the new. Our interior is an amalgamation of spiced-up vintage furniture and new pieces.
Christmas is coming up. How will you be spending the festive period?
Pascal: We celebrate in a very traditional and kitschy way – like in an American Christmas movie: The house is lavishly decorated, we sing Christmas carols and on Christmas Eve we pop a turkey in the oven. As our friends usually don't have enough time during the festive period, we celebrate Christmas with them a second time in the summer – with decorations, Secret Santa and all the fanfare to boot.
Anja: It's the same for me: "More is more" – both with the decorations and the gifts. Also, this year I'd like a really big Christmas tree in my living room. We can then put all the presents around it. Since I'm a big handicrafts fan, there are usually a lot of them.
Do you have any DIY gift tips for our IKEA Family members?
Anja: I always find gifts that are witnesses to what is going on at the time particularly beautiful. Since we've had Zaily, we regularly take an impression of her feet on a plastic film. We then laminate it, cut out the shape and hang a key ring on it. This way, our family and friends can always carry Zaily with them and see how she grows.