Decorator Sandra Nunnerley explains the creative process behind this low-key mega-luxe family getaway
decorator sandra nunnerley on how she achieved an interior that’s low-key and luxe in aspen
The setting is undeniably amazing, the way it is set into the mountain. I absolutely love that, and it really served as the starting point for me. My studio is known for infusing projects with beauty and elegance but never at the expense of comfort and livability, and that was really what we wanted to achieve here: a design that was both site specific and could cater to the homeowners’ highly active lifestyle. I mean, we’re not going to put a new York city-style apartment into a ski chalet in aspen.
This is the second project that I’ve done for the client, a former olympic sailing champion and his wife and their two young adult children, the first being a horse farm in Maryland. There is an absolute synergy between our creative visions, a very global appreciation of design (the homeowners have lived all over the world, and that has really informed their personal taste).
We worked in conjunction with architect alan Wanzenberg on the project, tweaking the house and adapting it to our clients’ lifestyle. We knew that this would be a home geared towards friends and family. after all, when you own a ski chalet, you always have tons of guests so it was designed to function well with that in mind.
This is a house that’s really about texture and warmth. There’s a rich profusion of flannel and felt, cashmere
‘You see more in a room that’s been refined in its design than one with tons of things in it’
throws and lambs wool rugs. It’s very luxe.
I am in no way a minimalist but
I do like a space to be pared down. You see more in a room that’s been refined in its design than one with tons and tons of things in it. There are a lot of subtle details in the house. I mean, just look at that beautiful casework. also, the house is infused with colour, specifically warmer tones, as I didn’t want it to feel too cold or sterile, and it all worked beautifully with the joinery that was used throughout in both the architecture and the finishes.
I think that, being a ski chalet, it had to be comfortable and livable. That’s the conversation that runs throughout the project, and with each project that I do I try to bring a sense of uniqueness but also one that really situates itself in its environment. It could be a ski chalet anywhere in the world, which I think is really what speaks to that international style. after all, great design never sleeps.
The dining room, kitchen and sitting room are all combined, so it becomes the central space where everybody comes together. as I said, it’s played out in a very relaxed manner; there’s no great formality to it. It’s comfortable and
easy to use but still manages to maintain a high sense of style.
For the living room, I wanted the sofa looking out at the incredible view but, at the same time, I didn’t want the back of a sofa being the first thing you saw as you entered. so, I designed it with a wood back that would give it architectural detailing. now your eye goes to something interesting and not a bulky mass. The two chaises in the living room are also in a great spot, perfect for reading or taking a nap; they’re comfortable and intimate. I don’t like to design rooms that people don’t use, so the home has these zones that accommodate different living scenarios. The house was then finished off with a selection of ceramics from a local gallery as well as pieces from the owners’ collection that really give the space a feeling of tranquillity – you could even call it Zen. Sandra Nunnerley Inc. n 8 nunnerley.com
right a large artwork by Zheng Chongbin hangs in a Corner of The living room The furniture in The dining room was designed by sandra
opposite page the homely openplan kitchen the home’s palette of wood and blue is introduced in the entranceway. the console, rug and mirror are all custom. the vase under the console is by Éric astoul from the 1980s
above the main bedroom’s palette matches that of the rest of the house. graphic art and cosy textures add interest to the room
left the main en-suite is a luxurious space in neutral hues with a focus on texture