Nicky Dobree is an award-wining international interior designer with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. Having set the global trend for Alpine luxury, Nicky specializes in designing luxury ski chalets all over the world.
There’s no warmer feeling than curling up in front of a roaring fire in a cozy chalet so even if you’re not jetting off to the slopes this year, we’ve asked Nicky to share her top tips on how to recreate the luxury ski chalet look in your interior...
Use Local Materials for an Earthy Feel
Try to use local materials such as timber and stone which create a homey, earthly look and feel. I like to clad walls in reclaimed timbers and create a feature wall out of local stone. For a more low-key look, why not create a coffee table from surplus timber or use oiled wooden slabs as statement trays around the home?
Make your Log Fire a Focal Point
A roaring log fire is a must in any luxury ski chalet, so if you are lucky enough to have one, make it a focal point. I like to stack logs up the side to add interest or clad the chimney in stone or slate for total wow factor. If you don’t have space at the side of your fireplace, try stacking in small piles either side or decorate with fireplace accessories for a winter look and feel.
Invest in Large, Comfy Sofas
Opt for a large comfortable sofa to sink into at the end of the day, layered with a sofa throw and pillows in sumptuously soft fabrics. If space allows, I suggest choosing an oversize sofa but if space is at a premium go for love sofas or oversize single chairs that can accommodate two people but don’t take up the space.
Utilize Wool Throughout the Home
Wool is a great insulator and very practical, so why not upholster sofas, chairs, and headboards in it? Curtains drape beautifully in it too. Being a natural and soft material, it makes a space feel warm and cozy. If you can’t splash out on genuine woolen accessories, there are also numerous imitations available too to get the same look for less.
Cashmere, chunky cable knit throws and furs instantly create warmth and add depth. Throw in the odd sheepskin chair or cowhide rug too. They are not only stylish but practical too and handy for those chilly nights when you want to snuggle up and watch a film or read a book.
Mix it Up
Don’t stick to one material or era. Pull up upholstered high back chairs to a reclaimed wood table or layer mid-century seating with plush sheepskins. Don’t be afraid to mix textures and periods. It can look eclectic but with lots of natural materials such as timber and stone in the space, it works.
Invest in a Large, Extendable Dining Table
Be sure to have a large extendable dining table for everyone to gather around and recount their stories at the end of the day. Extendable dining tables are perfect for those occasions when several friends or family members visit without taking too much space in the meantime. Place throws or blankets over the back of the dining chairs for decoration and comfort and decorate the table with candles, napkins, and dinnerware to provide the ultimate dining experience a restaurant cannot compete with.
Don’t Forget Antlers
No ski chalet would be complete without an antler or two, real or artificial. Hang an antler chandelier above the dining table or use an antler as a wall light or decorative item. Antlers can also be used as a focal point on the fireplace, in the hallway or above the stairs. These rustic features always give a space a sense of belonging and are the most natural accessory to hang and use. If you prefer faux antlers, these create the same look and feel as the real thing.
Create More Sleeping Spaces with Bunk Beds
Bunk rooms are a wonderful place for children. I have designed dozens of bunk rooms for clients with up to six beds in one room. It’s a great space saving way to accommodate lots of children, and they are tremendously fun spaces. It’s the ultimate sleep over! Make them cozy even if it’s just camp beds or pop-up beds by adding tartan throws to the beds and curtains to the bunks or bed frames. Add spotlights for bedtime reading, even simple clip-on spotlights will do the trick if it’s a temporary bunk room used only occasionally.
Make the Other Bedrooms Havens
Make sure other bedrooms, particularly the master, are havens of peace at the end of the day to recreate the luxury ski chalet look. Choose the best fine linens where possible to enhance the feeling of wellbeing. Investing in the best bed linen you can afford means your bed will feel like heaven wherever it is. Think about adding a fur, faux fur, or cable blanket at the end of the bed which can be pulled up for those extra chilly nights. Adding another layer not only creates a luxury chalet look and feel, but it is also practical too.