Chalet chic

Alpine style has gone off-piste

Country Life Every Week - - Interior Design The Inside Track - Giles Kime

‘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)

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