Joie de vivre - With Sonnhild Kestler

"With my designs, I want to inspire people, stimulate their imagination and arouse emotions." For Zurich-based textile designer Sonnhild Kestler, it is important to tell new stories with her work, but also to reactivate past experiences in the viewer: "Abstract, archaic forms are turned into pictorial figures or scenes that awaken personal memories and thus come to life. BELA & ELIS should also become a canvas for personal narratives and thus the emotional heart of the room." The fact that the names were chosen to be gender-neutral was a conscious decision. After all, both figures should leave room for interpretation: "Everyone can connect their own story with BELA & ELIS - shapes and colors should encourage people to talk to each other about the strong personalities and be inspired by their appearance," adds Annique Drechsle from DESIGNERCARPETS - DRECHSLE. "What's more, the two carpets themselves are small works of art: they not only reflect the design philosophy of the renowned artist, who was awarded the Swiss Grand Prix Design for her work in 2010, but are also each absolutely unique in their own right."




"Nowadays, there are billions of things that you look at and immediately forget about. For me, it is important that the objects I design are noticed, that they touch you and become part of your daily life."


Sonnhild Kestler, textile designer and artist




Handmade unique pieces - sustainable and fair-trade


Sonnhild Kestler first develops the colors and shapes in painstaking detail: "Compositions unfold intuitively and playfully, which I meticulously assemble in a kind of paper collage. I mix the colors that I print onto the paper especially for this purpose, experiment with a vocabulary of shapes and react to the design on a 1:1 scale." Once the color mood is harmonious, the paper and wool colors are perfectly matched and the rug goes into production in Kathmandu: Here, the virgin sheep's wool is hand-spun and BELA & ELIS is manufactured row by row according to Tibetan knotting tradition. "The high quality of our products is extremely important to us," emphasizes Stefan Drechsle, owner of DESIGNERCARPETS - DRECHSLE: "Everything we do, we do with great passion and enthusiasm: for the individual product, for the intensive collaboration with our designers, for the high-quality production and for the competent people who make our carpets. We do this with great appreciation, which we are happy to pass on to our customers. Because they don't get a fast-moving product, but one that will last a lifetime." This can be felt in every fiber: The passion for traditional craftsmanship combined with innovative design, a very high level of quality awareness and a pronounced customer orientation are just as much part of the brand values of the Lörrach-based family business as transparent manufacturing processes, fair trade, social commitment and respectful and attentive cooperation.




Lively room atmospheres - can be combined individually and playfully


The fact that sustainability is also expressed in spatial well-being is primarily due to the natural material: thanks to its texture, the Tibetan wool not only ensures a uniquely soft feel, but also a healthy living environment - and thanks to the expressive motifs, a lively room atmosphere: BELA & ELIS are an ideal eye-catcher in the living room, are happy to lie at your feet in the bedroom, welcome guests in the hallway and enrich everyday life with their pure presence. The two figures can be playfully combined, enliven the room as a pair head-to-head or individually and unfold their individual effect depending on the location. "Their pictorial nature is simply a joy," says Annique Drechsle: "Just like the collaboration with Sonnhild Kestler! Together, we have developed two special rugs that bring life to any room." BELA & ELIS are not the first joint project: Back in 2021, the now well-established team was able to produce two large, oval rugs with a fading stripe pattern for the child and adolescent psychiatric clinic in Basel by BUR Architekten. This was followed in 2022 by a ten-meter-long, striped rug for the Welcome Desk at the VitraHaus in Weil am Rhein. Further collections are planned. "And perhaps the BELA & ELIS family will grow to include new figures ..."




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