MEGÈVE

A rus­tic chalet in a French alpine vil­lage boasts a lux­u­ri­ous in­te­rior.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Pho­to­graphs FELIX FOR­EST Words JAN­ICE JONES

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.

SPEED READ

» 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.”

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