There’s no doubt that a chalet is one of the most idyllic places to be, but why? Is it the roaring fire and sumptuously soft sheepskins that embrace you after a day on the slopes? Or is it the unbeatable views on a balmy summer morning, when the snow is long gone? These elements are certainly key, but we would argue that it is the chalet itself that perfectly epitomises that holiday vibe; everything about them caters to being relaxed, welcomed and, most importantly, in-tune with your surroundings.
Granted, it’s easy to be at one with nature when you’re nestled in a breath-taking alpine valley, but there is something about rustic, laid-back spaces that creates a sense of calm, which we can certainly take cues from at home.
When we think of a chalet, the first thing that comes to mind is wood. From floors to furniture, these cosy abodes are always designed with pine or oak aplenty. Whilst blending in with the landscape when you live in a city apartment isn’t quite as key, natural textures and materials should still lead your design. ‘Weathered’ wooden floors are a must; they translate equally well into city or country living and look beautiful when layered with goat hair rugs. Exposed wooden beams create a rustic feel; pair with fresh white walls and metallic fixtures to strike a balance between industrial and elegant. Stone also works well here too, create a dramatic feature wall or opt for a cobbled terrace.
Contemporary chalets are the epitome of sophistication. Rather than the chalet designs of the 70s, often akin to a sauna, modern chalets have more of a barn aesthetic. Whilst wood should definitely be a big feature, it shouldn’t be the only one. Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials and styles to bring your own character to the space. An excellent starting point for a chalet scheme is a chunky wooden dining table, which plays into the natural aesthetic whilst providing a blank canvas for the rest of the room.
Chalets typically have big windows to let in plenty of natural light, so if you’re designing a home from scratch, ensure they are the focal points of your scheme. Working with a relatively neutral backdrop such as wood means you can afford to bring in statement lighting; an elaborate wall sconce or antler-style lamp would work well in this setting. A chalet wouldn’t be a chalet without plenty of candles and lanterns either, they add so much ambience.
Layering textiles ensures that your space will be inviting from season-to-season. Well-chosen rugs, cushions and throws tie a look together and are incredibly beneficial when creating that homely chalet vibe. Choose items in luxurious, tactile materials, such as velvet, wool and silk, to bring a refined feel to your relaxing space; our Cria Throw and Chyangra Cushion Cover fit the bill.
Come summer or winter, chalets ultimately exist so we can make the most of being outdoors. So, bring this idea into your home as well and make sure that your garden or terrace is optimised. Heaters or log burners will see you through chillier months, whilst floor cushions are perfect for picnicking.
For even more ideas, have a look at the chalet one of our Founders, Sue Jones, designed in Aspen.