A fireside sofa draped with soft blankets to sink into, the heat from the custom-designed fireplace enveloping you in warmth and glow as it reflects off pinewood-bedecked walls, elegantly contrasted by the contemporary dining space and state-of-the-art wine bar, and the panoramic view of the snowcapped mountains...welcome, to the luxurious and indulging lifestyle of Après-ski in sophisticated and chic ski chalets.
Our head designer, Angie Wetzel, recently escaped to the snow-covered Rocky Mountains in Vail, Colorado and was reminded of both the art of an inspired chalet design and the unabashed feeling of comfort and serenity that it invokes.
In this Design Journal, our high-end interior designers explore the historical context of Aprés-ski and how the alpine-chic style has evolved with contemporary architecture and design trends.
The Humble Beginnings of Après-Ski & Chalets
Translated from French, “après -ski” most simply means “after skiing”. The history of après-ski gives notice back to when skiing began, somewhere around 3,000-4,000 BC in Scandinavia. One of the earliest carvings at Rødøy in Norway’s Nordland around this time depicts a skier holding a pole and wearing skis.
When first designed, chalets were more functional than inspirational. Initially, chalets were alpine buildings used by cattle herders to store milk and butter during the summer months. When winter came, the chalets were left unattended. As more outdoor enthusiasts took interest in exploring untouched regions in the early 1900s, the herders offered up “the first Air BnB's” to these adventurers, sheltering them from the cold.
Following World War II, as commercial skiing increased, modern après-ski design snowballed in popularity. Chalet house parties began to flourish with après-ski - the social activities and entertainment that took place after a day of skiing.
The Modern Chalet & A Sense of Adventure
From humble beginnings to chic getaways, chalets have come a long way from only offering simple luxuries such as clean water and protection from the elements. These spaces have always been abundant with the energy of adventure.
Modern luxury chalets should embody an adventurous spirit while reflecting the serenity and untouched beauty of a blizzard.
InterLux Interiors envisions a design that suits a glamorous winter holiday with the following:
Welcome the Wilderness Inside
Lavish rustic lodge interiors incorporate the exhilarating influence of the outdoors.
Unfinished or natural woods
Furs & thick, cozy blankets
Intentional, functional décor
Textures or materials that call upon alpine beauty will soothe the imagination.
Consider the Style and Size of Architecture
The idea of a ski chalet can conjure up a variety of images, from tiny houses to mountain mansions. The size of the space will undoubtedly impact the interior design choices. Ski chalets come in a variety of styles (all of them chicly cozy):
Swiss style mansions
A castle may call for traditional shapes and wrought-iron antiques while a smaller space may be complemented by minimal lines and crisp neutral color palettes.
Don’t Fear Color
While the outdoors may be blanketed in brilliant white snow, that doesn’t mean your space should exclude color. Throwback to 80s retro ski suits for an example of how epically color hits the snow.
Take a look at Le Coucou, Pierre Yovanovitch’s ski-in ski-out masterpiece nestled in the French Alps. This five-star hotel exquisitely blends playfulness and sophistication for an après-ski experience full of childlike wonder with plenty of pops of pastels and vibrant tones.
Warm Up by the Fire
Is it really a ski chalet if there isn’t a spectacular, blazing fireplace?
No matter what style you’re inspired by for your resort, a fireplace will likely be the heart of your Après Ski-inspired interior.
At the Four Seasons’ first European mountain property, Pierre-Yves Rochon incorporated real log fires framed by understated yet high-quality stone.
Our designers at InterLux Interiors have the expertise and the connections to create a stunning fireplace that fits your space and your personal style. Inquire now to start the process.
Embrace the Views
When designing your stunning chalet, emphasize the beauty that is already on location by installing floor-to-ceiling windows to frame the breathtaking mountain views.
In this Aspen, Colorado bedroom, Victoria Hagan ensures the eyes are immediately drawn to the stunning natural peaks by keeping the furnishings and lines clean and crisp.
After a Day on the Slopes, Unwind in Luxurious Style
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to designing a luxurious ski chalet, but when you work with InterLux Interiors, we’ll be sure to exceed your expectations. After long days in the cold beneath the harsh mountain sun, you deserve a calm and tranquil environment to call home.
If you’re ready to escape into the mountains, contact InterLux Interiors to begin designing your dream après-ski oasis.