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Alpine Adventures with Katharine Pooley

Join us as we sit down with the celebrated interior designer to relive her stories on the slopes.

By Faaizah Shah, Editor
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British interior designer, Katharine Pooley is recognised across the globe for her inimitable and enticing designs. Her studio of 19 years focuses on crafting interiors that are timeless and speak to the sensibilities of the space. From contemporary villas to mountain retreats, her work embodies a delicate warmth and distinctive sense of wonder. Her Alpine Ski Chalet project nestles beautifully into the snow-dusted peaks of Switzerland. Drawing on the traditional elements, the sculptural furniture and softly textured interiors define luxury chalet living. Pooley emphasizes the experience of the chalet as well as its first impressions. Her stunning scheme integrates impressive furnishings with modern amenities such as a wellness spa and home cinema. In our exclusive interview, Katharine retells her stories of the slopes and recounts her first experiences skiing as well as her most treasured chalet memories.

Alpine Adventures with Katharine Pooley | LuxDeco.com | Katharine Pooley
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On her first skiing adventure

“Skiing for me started quite late in life. I think I must have been 18. I wasn’t one of those early birds and the first place I ever went to actually was a place in Austria called Mayrhofen. I remember it very well. It wasn’t very great in those days, slow lifts, cold. My ski equipment was terrible. But later in life, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Alpine Adventures with Katharine Pooley | LuxDeco.com | Katharine Pooley
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On her favourite Alpine destination

“My favourite place in the world is in Telluride in Colorado, they say the winters bring you but the summers keep you. This is where the US Ski Team practises their moguls because the runs there are unbelievable. I used to own a house in Telluride because I absolutely loved it. There is the Sheridan Chop House, which is incredible. In fact, it was designed by Nina Campbell. But the restaurants in Telluride are off the charts. There are lots of them. It’s one of my favourite places in the world for skiing. At one stage in my life, I think I took three months out to spend three months skiing in Telluride.”

Alpine Adventures with Katharine Pooley | LuxDeco.com | Katharine Pooley
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On family memories made in the snow

“Since I’ve had kids, the only other place that I really love, and obviously being closer to home, normally around Christmas time, we always go to Lech, in Austria. It’s a very small town and we always stay in Lech Lodge. They are the nicest people and have a lovely lady that looks after you called Sabine. She cooks your meals when you come home in the evening, she puts the fire on and brings lots of drinks. It’s just such a luxury and the kids love it. We normally go for 10 days before Christmas and they call it millionaire skiing because there’s nobody on the slopes and it’s fresh powder. So it’s gorgeous and it’s very romantic before Christmas. There are beautiful horses and sleighs, and hot chocolates. And there’s the most amazing toboggan where you put a torch on your forehead and snow down which is great. The restaurants there are also gorgeous.”

Alpine Adventures with Katharine Pooley | LuxDeco.com | Katharine Pooley
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On the ever-lasting appeal of tradition and fun

“You actually have to take a tundra buggy. A Tundra buggy is a bit like an army vehicle up into the mountains. And it’s all very traditional, think old log house and cheese fondues. They’re all dressed in beautiful Austrian outfits. I get my boys to dress up still in Austrian outfits, and I do too. And I have to say, I love Lech because it is so traditional and has great shopping for me, perfect conditions.”

Discover more of Katharine's work in our Chalet Lookbook...

The Chalet Lookbook delves into the beauty of mountain retreats, showcasing work from renowned interior designers including Katharine Pooley and how they craft cosy yet luxurious atmospheres.

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