Passion for beautiful furnishing
The Wetscher furnishing house in the Ziller Valley in Austria offers premium home and contract furnishings. InteriorFashion was talking to CEO Martin Wetscher.
In 1912, Franz Wetscher founded a small carpentry workshop in the former brewing cellar of the Fügen Brewery. 103 years later, it has become one of the leading international planning and furnishing houses worldwide, which serves customers from all over the world and is part of the *designalliance, an association of leading premium furnishers in Germany and Austria. Martin Wetscher runs the house together with his cousin Paul. They are the fourth generation of the family to do so, and the fifth is already just about to start.
Wetscher was able to register double digit growth in turnover in 2014; turnover for the year was 27 million euros. “This development confirms our consistent transformation from furniture retailer to internationally renowned furnishing and planning house,” explains Martin Wetscher. The Austrian company has had to make an effort throughout its history. The furnishing house is too far from the big markets. The community of Fügen itself has only slightly more than 4,000 inhabitants. So the company already had to find a competitive edge in the 1960s. That’s why it’s not surprising that Wetscher was the first furnishing house to make Italian design well-known north of the Alps. In the meantime, further international top brands have been added, including Walter Knoll, Dedon, Treca de Paris, Vitra, and USM. But that alone certainly doesn’t explain its success far beyond the borders of Austria. Rather, it is the mix of international furniture brands, interior design, and a reliable network of expert craftsmen, which can be found in the Home Design Galleries – a concept of its own – in the furnishing house, and the company’s own carpentry workshop, the Wetscher workshop, one of the biggest and most modern in Tyrol. 15 interior designers and 50 carpenters are part of the staff of 100.
The approach to “furniture selling” is also distinctive. For Wetscher, it’s not the room that plays the key role, but rather the person. In an initial conversation, the focus is not on analyzing the layout of the room or house that is to be furnished, but rather on the personality of the customer. When does the customer find a home beautiful, when does he feel comfortable, what kind of furnishings allow him to express himself, what type of furnisher is he? Those are all questions that are answered by means of a furnishing style test that has been specially developed by Wetscher. Not until that is finished do the furnishing experts get involved in the planning process. The customer can immerse himself in his future home surroundings and experience and feel the materials, colors, and accessories in the Wetscher “Sinnreich” planning studio. This very individualized and above all sensitive process of planning and interior design advice leads to rooms that are perfectly tailored to the personality of the customer. For the most common furnishing types, sample rooms are shown in the furnishing house. “Here, it is possible to get a sense of what a luxury it is to live in surroundings where the soul feels at home,” explains Martin Wetscher. For example, the “Wetscher Penthouse” presents Tyrolean gemütlichkeit in a loft. Classic room separations have disappeared there and one living area flows harmoniously into the next. Custom-made furnishings from the Wetscher workshop come together with international top design. In contrast, Wetscher Landart breathes modern life into the country house and Wetscher New Classic presents haute couture for the home – a simply timeless, elegant style of living.
But Wetscher doesn’t only provide furnishings for private homes. For two years now, it has also dedicated itself to contract furnishing. 20% of its turnover is already generated in that area. Meanwhile, luxurious houses such as the Lanserhof Tegernsee have made use of the planning expertise of the Wetscher interior designers.
The complete range it offers is the reason Wetscher won the first Möbel & Design Award last year. Especially for the company in Fügen, the special award called “Wer Österreich bewegt” (“who moves Austria”) was created, which honors the uniqueness of the leading furnishing house. “The Alpine style of living and international top design come together here in a wonderful way. And Wetscher plans and realizes its projects all over the globe,” explains the jury in its statement.
The article has been published in the InteriorFashion issue 3|2015.