Traditional ski lodges - and even the more avant garde – heavily feature natural materials, notably wood and stone. So, make the most of integral features such as wood floors, beams, stone or wood hearths and fireplaces. Ditch glass or chrome furniture in favour of wood (‘raw wood’ dining tables and chairs have a particularly ‘chalet’ feel), with wool or leather finishes for sofas and upholstery.
You should decorate with an equally natural colour palette to complement these materials. Light whites and creams are generally used, reflecting the snow, as well as other neutral shades of browns and greys.
Natural materials also feature heavily in chalet style soft furnishings, with fur, fleece and wool adding texture and ‘’hygge’ style cosiness.
Use reindeer or sheepskins for chair or bed throws to add softness and warmth, while larger hides can be used as floor coverings. Otherwise, add chunky knitted woollen or tweed cushions and throws to your sofa.
You can also add more visual interest using classic ski lodge patterns such as Fair isle, Scandi-style snowflakes or tartan. Deer-themed accessories, from cushions to candle-holders, are also popular mountain motifs and are also readily available at the moment.
Antlers or even a stag’s head (real or otherwise) provide the ultimate Alpine focal point for a wall. Contemporary versions are made from metal or even card. If you have the space and height, an antler chandelier would make a real statement.
On that note, ambient lighting is key to help create a cosy atmosphere. Even if you do install an antler chandelier, use table lamps for a softer light – you can find lamps with antler or stag head bases. In addition, you could make further use of Christmas fairy lights by draping them around a mirror or fireplace – top tip, choose ‘warm white’ rather than bright LED bulbs for a softer glow.
Open fires are synonymous with cosy après ski evenings. Wood burners are also an increasingly popular method to provide heat and warmth. There are an estimated one million wood burners in the UK – although the Danes still lead the way, with a third of the population owning one.
If you have no space or desire for a fire or burner, you can use candles. Two or three hurricane lamps grouped together with flickering candlelight will add to the Alpine atmosphere – and can then be used in an outside space when the weather improves.
For the authentic if retro feel, buy or dust off your fondue set for a meat or cheese feast…vin chaud optional!
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