Living

Inspiring books and magazines for your home and garden

Susanne Loacker

Sometimes you’re not looking for an idea, it just comes to you. While reading, browsing or walking. We provide six tips on which books and magazines might give you inspiration for your home.

A woman is sitting on a bench with firewood stacked underneath. A brick wall can be seen in the background. The woman is flipping through a magazine.
© Getty Images / Robert Kneschke

In this article

1. The magazine “Schweizer Garten” (Swiss garden)

This monthly magazine is the most widely read gardening magazine in Switzerland. A subscription (105 francs per year, 194 francs for two years) includes a print edition, the e-paper and, almost the most valuable part, a super friendly and professional reader service that answers inquiries patiently, quickly and comprehensively. A trial subscription for three months is available for 20 francs.

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2. The book “Die schönsten Brockis der Schweiz” (the best second-hand shops in Switzerland)

There are some quite shabby second-hand shops out there – as well as some really nice ones. Iris Becher and David Knobel present the best Swiss second-hand shops on 220 pages. Weighing almost a kilo, the book (52.90 francs on books.ch) is worth reading for anyone interested in topics such as sustainability, zero waste or retro chic. The book was published at the end of 2019 and will therefore probably remain up to date for a while. Reading it is not quite as exciting as browsing second-hand shops – but is still a lot of fun.

3. The book “Häuser des Jahres” (houses of the year)

Each year since 2011, the Munich-based Callwey publishing house and the German Architecture Museum have awarded prizes to 50 outstanding houses and 20 individual solutions, for example for a facade, attic or bathroom. This book is where trends are illustrated, but also where ideas are shared by professionals. Available at books.ch for about 80 francs.

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4. The book “Künstlerinnen und ihre Häuser” (women artists and their homes)

The Stuttgart doctor of art history Gabriele Katz explores the fascinating question of how creative genres influence the work of women artists. In nine portraits, she presents the charm of “poetic sites” that have had a fundamental impact on the life and work of each artist. The numerous black and white pictures give the book a distinctive look. Available at books.ch for 29.90 francs.

5. The book “Die besten Einfamilienhäuser – Umbau statt Neubau” (the best single-family houses – conversions instead of new-builds)

Every year the German magazine “Häuser” awards architecture prizes on a specific theme. The theme for 2020 is “small houses”. In 2007, it sought out the best single-family houses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland which had been converted instead of newly built. Although the edition is a few years old, it provides interesting ideas for homeowners. The book is still available on Amazon. (Amazon, about 15 euros).

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6. The magazine “Umbauen + Renovieren” (conversion + renovation)

This magazine, known as the Swiss magazine for modernization, gives great tips and always has a main topic, for example bathrooms. The magazine is published six times a year (subscription for 43 francs), but individual issues are also available. Here you will find plenty of inspiration for the future conversion or renovation of your own property.

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Conclusion: individuality is important. Nevertheless, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes it’s good to be inspired by pictures and text – be it for building, converting or traveling. Whether your project remains a dream or whether you implement your vision is up to you.

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