PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 March, 2009, 12:00am

A lack of space need not stunt the imagination. Zurich might be a small city in a small country but many of its people have developed a taste for stylish designs that favour function over frivolity.

One of the most comprehensive places for the clean designs the Swiss are famous for is Wohnbedarf (11 Talstrasse, tel: 41 44 215 95 90; www.wohnbedarf.ch). Crammed with modern furniture, the store places a strong emphasis on high-end, high-quality products. The armrest-free chairs in laminated wood (prices on application) would make a perfect accompaniment to the sideboard in high glossy red.

The collections at Zingg-Lamprecht (Stamfenbachplatz, tel: 44 368 41 41; www.zingg-lamprecht.ch) are showcased for the benefit of wealthy customers. Staff will guide you towards exhibits rather than the products but, despite this seriousness, all will be forgiven when you are presented with something as sharp as the futon-esque flat bed (8,000 Swiss francs/HK$53,400) in black.

At Meng Cutlery (31 Rennweg, tel: 41 44 211 1848; www.mengcutlery.ch) the emphasis is on homegrown design. Here you'll find Swiss Army knives ranging from the classic red versions (76 francs) to metallic silvery types (57 francs).

There's more national pride on show at Schweizer Heimatwerk (1 Uraniastrasse, tel: 44 222 1955; www. heimatwerk.ch). Since 1930, this shop has been displaying some of the best examples of Swiss modernity and ingenuity. Of particular note is the adorable cheese board (below, 59 francs) and a glamorous cuckoo clock (above, 440 francs) studded with Swarovski crystals. And there are lots of kitchen accessories available in the national colours of red and white.

Locals are fans of Schubiger (423 Ueberlandstrasse, tel: 44 325 25 50; www.schubiger.ch), where you can find the kind of flawless designs that have made Zurich a world leader in sophisticated, understated style. The huge flat sofa (3,650 francs) in muted cappuccino is a good example of this, as is the glass coffee table (2,450 francs), which exudes such purity of form that it could enhance any living space.