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Occasionally I’ll attempt a DIY project at home.  It won’t involve electricity or plumbing…or electronics…but!  I’ll still give the ol’ college try in hanging photos/artwork on the walls, assembling IKEA furniture, planting a terrace garden, and negotiating a bucket of paint, a paint roller and a step ladder.

But after moving to Geneva, I found myself at a loss.  What is the best way to get started on home improvement/DIY projects?  Where to find the supplies, how to get to and from the store, and how on earth to drill through concrete walls?  The answer to the last question, it turns out, is not with an IKEA drill.

It took some trial and error before learning about two local home-improvement/DIY resources: Jumbo and MParc.*

The first one I checked out was Jumbo.  This big-box Home Depot equivalent is located in Meyrin, just past the Geneva Airport, and is easily accessed by tram 14 (followed by a few minutes walk).  It offers appliances, supplies, hardware, tools, and fixtures for all kinds of DIY projects, as well as services like custom curtains, custom framing, paint-mixing, carpeting, wood and glass cutting, and bike and ski repair.

But how to haul home your purchases, especially if they are large and bulky items?  Well, there’s the old tried-and-true way of begging a friend who owns a truck or van to let you borrow it; renting a large vehicle for the day; or you can pay for home delivery of the items.  While not cheap (±70 Fr., depending on where you live and the weight of the items), it may be the easiest option.

Next up was MParc’s Migros Do-It + Garden, discovered about 2.5 years into Geneva living.  Why it was such late-breaking news, I’ll never know.  Hopefully this post is useful for fellow DIY-ers new (or not so new) to the area.

MParc, located in Carouge next to the Tours de Carouge bus stop, is an indoor mall-like complex that includes different businesses operating under the Migros brand.   There is a Micasa, Sun Pharmacie, a pet store, an M Print shop, M Electronics, M Sports and so forth.

It’s similar to Jumbo, but also features an impressive array of art supplies and a gardening/nursery area.  The outdoor garden space is open year-round, selling indoor and outdoor furniture, plants, BBQ grills, kiddie pools and toys, lawnmowers and more.

I’m sure there are other home improvement resources in the area, but so far, Jumbo and now the Migros Do-It + Garden center have met all my needs.  If you have other tips, please feel free to add them to the Comments section.

*Photos taken from Jumbo and MParc websites.

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland.  If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.

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