March 2014 – Chalet Style

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Well March has been an amazing month both from the perspective of the arrival of Spring, the arrival of some new exciting projects and embracing a skiing holiday! πŸ™‚

I have started 2 new projects – one new build of 13 flats – first priority will be a show flat and the finish options for the further 12 flats following. The other project is in Islington for micro apartments – 70+units.

The micro apartments are an interesting and exciting design challenge to make sure that they meet the practical needs of the business people who are going to be using them as well as being aesthetically pleasing. They are a great concept for people who want to rent somewhere to stay in London during the working week and then head back home at the weekend. I will keep you posted on how these progress – the show β€˜apartment’ should be available in the next 2 months.

Skiing – we are here in Meribel! The weather has been amazing – beautiful sunshine every day so far and we have been loving skiing the three valleys – there is such a huge amount of skiing to be done here – 600km in total – it is just incredible. The kids are having a ball and already skiing pretty fast! πŸ™‚

Cosy chalets and bars perched on the edge of the mountain with table top aprΓ¨s ski dancing are quite inspirational …. on a number of different levels … clothes were optional J. I can imagine that wonderful warm log fires (not actually required due to fabulous weather at the moment) make these places especially inviting. The interiors of the chalets have inspired me to think again about how to create a really cosy space – I have attached some inspirational images – lots of texture .. fur, wool and natural resources – mainly wood. This makes them all really warm, inviting and comfortable. The light here is also really amazing – the bright white light that reflects off the snow and sharpens everything and then the light at dusk with some lovely warm yellow light that softens everything. Given the UK can be dull, grey and rainy – we could learn a lot from the use of soft, yellow light and texture to create a similar feel (at least when the curtains are shut!).

I have attached two pictures that I particularly wanted to draw your attention to. Firstly, the picture that shows the lovely warm yellow light against a back drop of wood – which emphasises my point about soft lighting. The texture of the wood is reinforced by the pattern that the wood has been arranged in down the two horizontal walls – the yellow light gives the warm texture of the wood a lovely glow. There is nothing more appealing (and romantic actually) than this combination of wood and yellow candle light. I am sure we would all look gorgeous and younger in this soft light – or maybe I just speak for myself! The use of some wonderful tiered ceiling lighting with lights that look like candles are perfect in this environment and are illustrated in a picture attached. Look at Kevin Reilly lights for something similar.

The other picture is the picture of the chalet with rustic wood walls with the very symmetrically arranged furniture. The juxtaposition of the natural, textured wood with the very formal arrangement of furniture (softened with fur throws) makes for an interesting space, but it is also reinforced by the careful arrangement of the wood in horizontal and diagonal lines which means that the space has an overall coherent feel to it. The lamps at the end of the room that frame the fireplace draw your eye to that key focal point. Whilst this space is relaxing and easy on the eye – in my view it could be made more dynamic and inspiring by a colourful, perhaps slightly surprising picture over the fireplace.

The pictures of the bedrooms make me feel I would probably not want to get up in the morning – having said that the view out of some of the windows may give me some incentive …. but certainly a coffee in bed enjoying the view would have to be a pre-requisite to getting up!

So …. I am leaving Meribel feeling revitalized from the amazing mountain air, refreshed by lots of active skiing, inspired by beautiful interiors, and hopeful that maybe I could aspire to owning a chalet that combines some of the aesthetics from these images at some point in my life time. It would be a wonderful feeling to come here, collapse with special friends in front of the fire with a glass of red wine and work hard on the slopes in the day – what more could you ask for?


Love Sara xx




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