Chalet style is a unique look which is found almost exclusively in mountainous or lakeside chalet homes. Instantly recognisable by its prolific use of heavy timbers, fur upholstery and double-height windows to capitalise on nearby vistas, the style prioritises the interplay between the natural beauty of its surroundings and its interiors.
Elements such as exposed beams and wood and stone cladding (as in Jeff Andrews’ recent Lake Tahoe project and also characteristic of loft style) are incorporated into the design aesthetic readily. Distressed and aged finishes such as limed and fumed woods make up the style’s most original look, although it’s not uncommon to render the style with a luxurious twist by using more polished finishes á la Nicky Dobree’s inviting space (above) complete with tuxedo silhouettes.
Image Credit: Spinocchia Freund
Considering the typically grand scale of the homes it furnishes, chalet furniture tends to be generously proportioned and robust. Casegoods and occasional furniture are particularly sturdy so as to not feel inconsequential in chalets’ grand spaces and amongst such imposing natural features. Their large dimensions also appear much more robust to their environment’s harsh elements.
Rich brown and natural-hued leathers or tartans upholster inviting armchairs and spacious lounge sofas in chalet interiors although modern chalets might opt for grey or cool leathers as a contemporary update. Fur throws and cushions dress chalet spaces, providing a cosy respite from the cooler climates of chalet locales. Animal hides decorate the floors, providing a comfortable, layered look whilst antler horns (along with cast iron) are used for chandeliers, wall decor and mirrors.
Often large-scale wooden mirrors and artwork pull double duty by filling chalets’ vast wall spaces whilst reflecting the beauty of the surroundings.
To learn more about popular design styles, read our Interior Design Styles 101 article.