Alpine style has gone off-piste
‘The Alpine look is rapidly permeating beyond Verbier, Megève and St Moritz’
LITTLE more than five years after the release of Chalet Girl (St Anton’s answer to
Jane Eyre), the interiors already look as dated as a dirndl. Habitues of schmanzier chalets will know that the Alpine look has evolved beyond all recognition in the past few years—less scrubbed pine and woodburning stoves and more black walnut and underfloor heating. Now, the style—all capacious L-shaped sofas swathed in wool and cashmere and Minimalist open fires—is rapidly permeating beyond Verbier, Megève and St Moritz.
‘More than any kind of home, the mountain chalet offers a retreat from the urban world,’ says Nicky Dobree, a leading proponent of the look, who designed the £30,000 a week Klosters chalet of The White Company founder Chrissie Rucker and her husband, Nick Wheeler, creator of shirt retailer Charles Tyrwhitt. Such are its attractions that she isn’t surprised that it’s spreading beyond ski resorts.
The key ingredients in Dobree’s schemes are touchy-feely fabrics: heavy linens, wool, cashmere and sheepskin. ‘I use wool in many of my interiors— not just in the mountains, but everywhere. It’s cosy, hard-wearing and upholsters beautifully. For the Klosters project, I chose lambswool for the curtains as it’s warm and hangs beautifully. It also looks and feels fantastic.’
Perhaps inevitably, there is a distinctly Alpine feel to many of the new fabrics at London Design Week currently taking place in and around Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour SW10. Highlights include Zinc’s Bonheur collection of textural weaves that have a slightly retro, fashiony feel as well as a new fabric from Rubelli that is so soft it’s simply called Cuddles. Both would look as at home in Kensington as they would in Colorado.
A sofa upholstered in a textural weave from Zinc’s Bonheur collection (www.zinctextile.com)