All projects are demanding, exciting and different. Some are more stressful than others and some take more head scratching to work with space, time and money effectively. Some, however, have made me have to pinch myself because they are just too good to be true. This bedroom in a ski chalet in Val D’Isere, a beautiful resort in the French Alps, is just a part of one of those projects. When a long standing client and friend asked us to design and fit a purpose built apartment in France for him we were delighted and of course only too happy to agree. He wanted something both cosy and luxurious; something which was contemporary but traditional. It was an apartment in a purpose built block, had plenty of space and being new build didn’t present us with the usual questions around re-purposing existing spaces – we could contribute to the structural plans in advance meaning that the initial ‘I really fancy one of these’ conversations were able to be realised without too many headaches.
The first issue was how to create something traditional in the Alps that didn’t look like an over grown sauna – all orange pine and velux windows. We opted for carefully placed faux beams to give the large and potentially imposing space a sense of cosiness. They also gave us plenty of options for fitting the down lights which were connected to a Lutron operating system for complete control over atmosphere. Other touches of ‘tradition’ were leather handles and door knobs as well as a slate floor in the bathroom and smoked timber fitted wardrobes. The flooring everywhere else was dark timber which contrasted beautifully with the range of fabrics for the soft furnishings. Natural linen cushions, wool curtains and a chenille sofa stopped the dark stone and wood from being harsh and helped to make the chalet both luxurious and welcoming – the perfect place to unwind after a day on the slopes.
One of the less obvious touches was a Sonos surround sound system with hidden speakers set underneath the ceiling– including a set in the bathroom. The bathroom was quite deliberately huge – with an over-sized bath and an equally huge separate walk in shower. We added enormous soft fluffy towels and robes as well as gorgeous scented candles to complete the bathroom ‘experience’. The spa-like qualities of the bathroom seemed appropriate in the dramatic setting, both in beauty and scale.
Our client wanted his not inconsiderable investment to be timeless, warm and inviting; somewhere to enjoy a bit of apres with friends that was amazing, but not intimidating. The fact that we started with a blank canvas meant that we had to be careful with our freedom – not that I’m complaining it was an amazing project from start to finish and the end result is one which I am especially proud. We all wanted it to be perfect. I am happy to say that the brief was met….and then some.