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| Designbest editorial staff

T

he furniture is not the sole aspect to be from the 50s and the 60s, as the spirit too, in the style of the American Way of Life that contaminated the old continent after the Second World War, pervades the mood at Bliss, a mid-century modern furniture store – modern antiques – in Zurich Werd, a district near the old town centre of the most important Swiss city.

 

The open-plan space of Bliss modern antiques in Zurich Werd

The open-plan space of Bliss modern antiques in Zurich Werd, in a post-war building clearly inspired by modernist architecture.

 

“We are certain that the people whose home has excellent quality furniture with a story to tell are happy as a result” states Robert Lenz, the founding member of Bliss. This belief is based upon personal experience: Robert’s home is an authentic mid-century modern museum and the store’s name is unequivocal, Bliss is a synonym for beatitude.

 

Bliss has a late fifties feel. Furniture on display comes from Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland.

Bliss has a late fifties feel. For the most part, the pieces on display are from Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland.

Robert Lenz who, in a perfect 50s-60s setting, holds a disk by Elvis Presley.

The store’s exterior and on the right-hand side, an image of Robert Lenz who, in a perfect 50s-60s setting, holds a disk by Elvis Presley.

 

A professional photographer, throughout the years Robert has become an enthusiastic restorer of vintage furniture, so much so that he has opened an additional store, a veritable restoration workshop in which people bring their battered pieces to be evaluated and put back together again.
But, how did Bliss begin? Let’s go back to when Robert was a young photographer with a passion for the places and the objects that had a story to tell. At the time, his parents let him renovate their mountain lodge, then seldom occupied, so it could be rented out to seasonal tourists…

 

The view of a third temporary space, a pop-up store opened in 2018

The view of a third temporary space, a pop-up store opened in 2018.

 

His parents’ lodge, built in ’59 and subdivided in three tiny apartments, had all the typical problems of the buildings of the period, nonetheless it had the bewitching charm of the post war years. With a group of friends, Robert started work and instinctively began restoring everything that could be salvaged, from the interior finishes to the furniture. If a piece was beyond repair, he would look for a replacement from the same period, from the 50s to the 60s, a time when he wasn’t born yet, although it would change his life forever.

 

Clark Kent, aka Superman, relaxing in Robert Lenz’s home, by Bliss, Zurich

Clark Kent, aka Superman, relaxing in Robert Lenz’s home: one of the most amusing photo shoots created by the founding member of Bliss.

A must-have from the fifties, a drinks trolley and the Niere DeLuxe bar cabinet, Ilse.

A must-have from the fifties, a drinks trolley and the Niere DeLuxe bar cabinet, Ilse.

 

Robert in fact, suffered the same inevitable fate of anyone who begins to collect rare pieces. One piece leads to another and eventually, the three apartments were packed. One of his friends had to intervene and force him to choose between two alternatives: to stop or to open a store that sold vintage furniture. And so, Bliss was born, Robert’s beatitude had found its way. 

 

Period gems: a coffee table in mother-of-pearl and Resopal and a cigarette holder with a globe-shaped lighter.

Period gems: a coffee table in mother-of-pearl and Resopal and a cigarette holder with a globe-shaped lighter.

All the period radios receive a technological upgrade with an additional connection for IPhone/ MP3/ Airport.

All the period radios receive a technological upgrade with an additional connection for IPhone/ MP3/ Airport.

lhe Sputnik Royal chandelier with its 24 arms and the a 24 Tripod by designed by Gerald Thurston in 1954

The rare finds include the Sputnik Royal chandelier with its 24 arms and the a 24 Tripod by designed by Gerald Thurston in 1954, both pieces are manufactured by Lightolier.

 

Bliss is an extraordinary journey back in time, to a period in which design was sought-after and extremely refined, the lines were elegant and sinuous, the pieces were incredibly sexy. We are a step away from mass production and the craftsman’s touch comes across in every detail. A lesson and an inspiration too, absolutely not to be missed.

 

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Store Infos

Bliss modern antiques GmbH
Headquaters and warehouse U2
Ankerstrasse 3,
Zurich, Switzerland
bliss-shop.ch
Opening times:
Wed - Fri 12.00 -  19.00
Sat 11.00 – 17.00

Bliss Showroom/ Atelier
Toblerplatz 5, Zurich, Switzerland
Open by appointment only

Photos:
Courtesy Bliss

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