A rustic chalet in a French alpine village boasts a luxurious interior.
In a dazzling French alpine village steeped in history, a newly built chalet’s rustic facade encloses intimate, luxurious interiors.
This page Seen in the Adnet mirror from Gubi, the ‘Artichoke’ pendant lamp by Louis Poulsen illuminates the dining area with table commissioned by Maison Hand from St-Paul Home. Lema chairs and side table. Vases by Wonderable. Opposite page ‘Flag Halyard’ chair by Hans J Wegner. ‘Clessidra’ hourglass stool by Riva 1920. Serge Mouille ‘Lampadaire 3-bras’ standing lamp. Rug by Kasthall.
These pages Sofa from Living Divani. Quartet of tables from PMco. Custom rug by Kasthall. Basket from Best Before and throw from Society Limonta. The oak-clad island bench is topped with a black marble slab. Stools from Living Divani. Copper pendant lights from &Tradition. Vessels by ABC Atelier Belart Création.
Bent on establishing a ski resort to rival SaintMoritz in neighbouring Switzerland, Baroness Noémie de Rothschild, wife of the fabulously wealthy nancier Baron Maurice de Rothschild, made plans to open a grand hotel in the ancient village of Megève in the French Alps, facing Mont Blanc, near the Swiss and Italian borders. War intervened but her glamorous guesthouse conversion opened as Hôtel du Mont d’Arbois in 1924 and began to draw well-heeled Parisians to Megève’s cobblestoned heart. Writer, artist and lm director Jean Cocteau dubbed the village ‘the 21st arrondissement of Paris’ in the 1950s for its rollcall of avantgarde a cionados, among them actor Brigitte Bardot, crooner Charles Aznavour, chanteuse and dancer Josephine Baker and writer Françoise Sagan.
More than 90 years later the area remains a favoured escape for the French elite and Hollywood stars alike seeking a glamorous hideaway as well as skiers in the know. Ultra-chic chalets in this luxury holiday destination command jawdropping rentals, with the choicest nudging six gures for a one-week stay in the height of the season.
Located in south-eastern France’s Haute-Savoie area in the Rhône-Alpes region under the sparkling shadow of towering Mont Blanc, Megève is home to some 4000 people with a oating population of many more drawn to the seasonal playground. Famed for its winter sports, the area is entree to a massive 450 kilometres of ski slopes, 95 kilometres of cross-country trails and a multitude of other snowy activities, among them polo, golf, ice-skating, snowshoeing and dog-sledding. In spring and summer the slopes become carpeted in wild owers, and the ski trails turn into paths for walkers taking in the mountain air and spectacular views. Other open-air pleasures abound, such as thermal pools, shing, horse-riding, golf or hot-air ballooning. And, of course, the cobblestoned village offers opportunities to indulge in luxury shopping and ne dining.
But the picturesque playground is not the only legacy of the Baroness de Rothschild. She carved another fortuitous alpine alliance when she briefed Henri-Jacques Le Même to craft a mountain farmhouse in the 1920s as her own private retreat, setting the edgling architect on a course to later construct more than 200 chalet residences in a style maintained to this day. The town remains free of the kind of unsympathetic developments that have marred some other ski resorts and alpine villages.
So, when Lyon-based Maison Hand was briefed to completely rebuild a chalet retreat on the site of a dilapidated farmhouse, they designed a building in keeping with Megève’s heritage values and the tastes of the owners.
“The owners wanted something warm, comfortable, useful, elegant and chic – but without any shiny things,” says Maison Hand designer Pierre Emmanuel Martin, who chose everything for the chalet right down to the smallest details, such as the linens and tableware.
For the traditional interiors, he opted for reclaimed oak which was aged into a rich deep tone using a customised heating process. To the basic chalet design he installed luxury features such as heated decks on the upper two oors and soaring glass doors and enlarged windows to better
This page Bed from Caravans. Bedside table by Riva 1920. Living Divani chair. Opposite page, clockwise from top A guestroom opens to the heated balcony. ‘Tabby’ chair from Lema. Maison Hand selected textured bedcoverings and soft linens from Society Limonta. ‘Ovo’ and ‘Organique’ mirrors by Sarah Lavoine. Serge Mouille lamp.
» Lyon-based interior designers Maison Hand were briefed to rebuild a ski chalet in the French mountain village of Megève. » A deep, earthy palette and natural materials such as leather, linen and wool add cosiness to the rustic elegance of the reclaimed oak interiors. » Ultra-comfortable mid-century furniture from iconic designers add sophistication. » Other luxury details include heated decks, a stylish kitchen and a sleek black marble spa pool and steam room.
drink in the expansive views over the village and the alpine slopes. The Maison Hand designers brought their contemporary urban sensibility to the decor while maintaining a rustic charm, choosing a subdued earthy palette inspired by the environment to add a sense of cosiness. As a foil to the exposed oak ceiling beams, wood-panelled walls and timber oorboards, they chose sophisticated mid-century Scandinavian furniture classics or customised pieces created to their speci cations by artisans, such as the dining table by St-Paul Home and the made-to-measure studded bedhead.
On the ground oor, a large but cosy open-plan space encompasses the dining, kitchen and living areas. Maison Hand installed a sleek contemporary kitchen with an island bench for relaxed meals which is lined in raw oak boards and topped with black marble.
The designer says he is most pleased with the generous living space, “where you can cook and speak with friends at the bar or sink into the sofas facing the replace. Everything is open. And the views are really amazing,” says Pierre.
Bedrooms are housed on the upper oor, and match the chalet’s cosy intimacy with contemporary luxuries such as bedding by Society Limonta and oor rugs by Kasthall, supplied from Maison Hand’s own boutique in Lyon. Deep in the basement hides a nod to the chalet’s Scandinavian origins with a black marble spa pool and steam room – just the place to chill out after a vigorous day’s activity in the alpine air.
For more go to maison-hand.com.
“The owners wanted something warm, comfortable, useful, elegant and chic – but without any shiny things.”