What is it about ski chalets that makes us feel so cosy? Is it because we know just outside the timber clad walls there are usually mountains of snow? Do they make us dream of our next skiing adventure? Or is it simply that these unique types of interior are created purely to help you recover after a day on the slopes? Whatever it is, we’re obsessed with them at this time of year. Luxury ski chalet designer Nicky Dobree shares with us one of her favourite projects which saw her create a stylish, traditional interior for this Val D’Isere chalet…
Project name: La Canadienne Val D’isere chalet apartment
Floor Area: 170m²
Project time taken: 12 months
Completion of Project: December 2017
Our clients come to us for a timeless, luxurious bespoke interior and my brief on this occasion was to design an Alpine retreat for my client’s family and friends. The penthouse, perched at the top of the building with views across Val d’isere’s mountain range, was a wonderful starting point. Working with local contractors we built the space to be just that.
What was the creation / planning process?
A rare double height space in the sitting room draws your eye to the views and creates a real sense of space. Sunlight pours through the windows in the mornings, tempting you out onto the piste. We used old timber to clad some of the walls and we plastered others in white to let the light bounce back in. A pale blue colour palette throughout the apartment creates harmony and restfulness and adds contemporary contrast to the wood tones and neutral coloured curtains, blinds and soft furnishings.
In the open plan sitting room we designed the sofas and upholstered them in linen and wool. They sit in front of a Ralph Lauren Home timber coffee table all grounded by a chunky sisal rug. Fur cushions and cashmere throws add another textural contrast and invite you to snuggle down by the fire and relax. The slate fireplace was designed using the local stone which is echoed on the kitchen worktops too. A pair of leather bar stools sit neatly underneath a high wooden kitchen bar table which breaks the space between the kitchen and dining area and is a practical and informal place to have breakfast.
The dining table and chairs were all bespoke. For practicality, the tall elegant dining chairs are upholstered with removable linen covers. In the corner stands an elegant and timeless Christian Liaigre bronze lamp. This accent of bronze can also be found in the wall lights and ironmongery which has been used throughout. Above the dining table hangs an antler chandelier with linen shades, a nod to the hunting heritage of the region and a blue modern abstract painting adorns the wall beyond.
The master bedroom is high up under the eaves and feels as if you are on top of the world. Clad in timber and sitting under the large ceiling beams you feel cocooned as if in a nest. Cream wool carpets add to the softness and cosiness underfoot while a pair of armchairs, each with its own bronze reading light, create the perfect reading corner next to the windows. A place to rest and dream. Downstairs in the guest bedroom, built in wardrobes sit either side of the bed. A fur throw and sheep skin rug add cosy comfort to this room too.
Up in the eaves, the en suite guest bathroom is clad in timber and stone with traditional deck mounted English tapware from Barber Wilson, a request from the client, which adds to the sense of familiarity and home. The bath was positioned so that you can still enjoy the view even when you are bathing. The white plastered wall behind the bath creates lightness and is the perfect spot for the clients large black and white mountain print. A recess was made at the corner of the bath to store towels and a discrete wall light perfectly placed for reading in the bath. Beyond is a guest bedroom with twin beds and wardrobes built in under the eaves.
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How did the project go?
The Project went well. We have been designing and installing chalets in the Alps for over 15 years so we have come to know the pit falls and be able to pre-empt them!
What was your favourite room or part of the project and why?
The sitting room is my favourite. The colour palette is very calming and just invites you to curl up on the sofa in front of the fire and look out at the stunning mountain views beyond.
Were there any issues or problems you encountered during the project?
As with any project there are always issues to overcome. With chalets location, climate, language and logistics are all part of the challenges of designing abroad and at altitude.