Nicky Dobree has long been credited in the industry with setting the trend for luxury chalet residences. The British interior designer, famous for her elegant, award-winning interiors, started her own design business in 2002 with a philosophy to create a home that is comfortable and harmonious while retaining the soul of the building. So you can imagine that we were particularly excited when we were invited to take a look around one of these alpine palaces – her chalet, Ferme de Moudon, which featured on Grand Designs Abroad and was labelled “The finest winter house in the French Alps” by Tatler.
With an amazing vista across the valley to the snowy peaks of the Portes du Soleil, the rustic abode is located on the outskirts of Les Gets – an unspoiled resort that lies an hour into the French Alps from Geneva. Described by Grand Designs master Kevin McCloud as the “ultimate James Bond pad”, the five-bedroom ski chalet comes complete with woollen throws, furs, cowhide accents, a roaring log fire, a sauna and a luxurious hot tub.
Not keeping her secrets all to herself, Nicky’s design influence and style can be detected throughout the Alps – she has designed chalets for discerning clients in Verbier, Val d’Isere, St Moritz, Gstaad, Chamonix and Megeve, amongst others. Here, we chat to Nicky about her style and tips for creating a luxury chalet of your own.
La Ferme de Moudon is available to rent through winter and summer. For further information please visit www.fermedemoudon.com.
How and when did you get into interiors?
I have always loved interiors and having “a home” has always been important to me – particularly because as a child I travelled and moved around so much. I studied at Bristol University before going on to the London Design School and I have never looked back. I am incredibly fortunate to love what I do – so much so that it has just become a part of my life.
When and where was the first chalet you decorated?
The first chalet that I did was La Ferme de Moudon back in 2003.
How does working on the interiors of chalets differ from homes?
It’s very different. You are working with timber, which in itself is a challenge. Depending on the type or cut of timber used, it can totally change the look and feel of a space. Timber absorbs huge amounts of light too, which you need to be very mindful of when creating a lighting scheme. You also have the challenge of climate and location. The list is endless!
What is the most fabulous chalet home you have worked on?
It probably still has to be La Ferme de Moudon because it is so close to my heart and the setting is magnificent.
Can you describe your home style?
Classic contemporary, timeless, elegant and, above all, comfortable.
Where do you live and what is your home like?
I live in London in a gorgeous Georgian house with tall ceilings and big windows. It is very much an entertaining house and has an open-plan kitchen that leads onto the garden. It’s a family home where the interior has evolved over time and all of the items in it have been collected from our travels over the years. The house is on four floors with an open-plan living area, kitchen and dining on the ground floor; sitting room and library/study on the raised ground floor; and the bedrooms and bathrooms above.
What is your most prized possession at home?
I wouldn’t say that there was any one over and above another. What I love are the memories and stories that my possessions have to tell.
What can’t you live at home without?
What is your favourite at-home brand for decorating chalets?
What items in a chalet are essential to splurge on?
Fur throws and cashmere blankets.
Lastly, what does luxury mean to you?