Design Notes Archive

Alpine Style

Alpine Style

New years are always full of ambitious resolutions and lengthy to do lists. After what can be an exhausting round of holiday entertaining it can be a good idea to get away and recharge your batteries before diving in to the year ahead. Last spring, Balineum’s founder Sarah Watson headed east to the Dolomites for a few days of quite reflection – and skiing of course. Design ever on her mind, she was surrounded by quintessential wooden chalets and kept her eyes out for bathrooms swathed in pine.

It was this photograph Sarah snapped of the restaurant at Berghotel Ladinia that captured my imagination. We talk about adding depth to a room and this is a great example. Wood paneling almost always feels warm and cozy but the addition of chalky blue fabrics and painted accents truly make it sing.

On the Swiss side, take this stunning alcove bath in a Gstaad chalet. Designed by Laurence Rouveure of London-based Ardesia Design, her brief was for a modern minimalist scheme but I can just imagine a woolen tartan shade popping out against the Austrian timber. Cross over to the French Alps and a soak in this roll top bath in Megève must be enchanting. The room can be booked at Les Fermes de Marie, a luxury hotel comprised of original alpine farmhouses that were rescued from the surrounding mountainside and relocated, beam-by-beam, to create the resort village. It’s a magical place designed by Jocelyne Sibuet and I can envision a hint of handpainted tiling, like our Listelli trims, adding a lovely folk element to the space.   

Back in the UK, it’s easy enough to inject a bit of alpine style with a traditional Tyrolean chair. Look for antique versions or try Casamina’s La Dina chair for a modern twist. Ralph Lauren’s glass-fronted pine bookcase also speaks to the mood and is ideal for housing bath linens. 

Photograph © Les Fermes de Marie, Sarah Watson, Ardesia Design