Transform Your Dwellings into an Après-Ski Fantasy
As colder weather approaches, are you missing your trips to the mountains for skiing and other winter pursuits? What if you could make your home look and feel like a chalet getaway? You can achieve it with inexpensive décor items or renovate to lean even further into the chalet vibe.
Simple Decor Tips for Chalet Vibes
The fastest way to transform your home into a rustic-luxe chalet is by changing up your home décor. Here are some suggestions but see where the mood takes you!
Large Cozy Pillows
When it comes to pillows, we believe the bigger, the better! Aesthetically relevant and completely functional, big comfy pillows are ideal for curling up on the couch, preferably near a fireplace. They should be soft and fluffy, covered in fabrics like faux fur, lambswool, or velvet.
Lots of Blankets
You’ll also want piles of blankets to snuggle under on the couch. Again, soft materials like wool, velour, or faux fur are the way to go.
A huge, thick rug covers the chilly floor and keeps toes toasty as you pad around. It also absorbs and muffles sound, making any room feel cozier.
Candles and Lanterns
Even if the power never goes out, you can burn candles and use lanterns for soft, warm light—a throwback to the days before cellphones and Netflix.
If howling wind rattles your windowpanes, draw your thick noise-and-draft-blocking drapes closed and ignore it in favour of a hot cup of cider and a game of cards.
Electric/Gas Fireplace Inserts
Wood fires are lovely, but they give off smoke and sparks and require a constant supply of wood. An electric or gas fireplace insert offers the same warm ambiance – just flick on the switch and settle in.
Stick to Earth Tones, Linear Shapes, and Rustic-Meets-Modern Styles
A warm, subdued colour palette of earthy tones like burgundy, rust, brown, cream, sage, and gold instantly ups the cozy factor in any space. Choose clean-lined furniture that could have been made a century ago or just last week, since chalet style is timeless.
Chalets often have high vaulted ceilings with exposed beams perfect for showcasing a gorgeous chandelier. Wrought-iron or candlestick-style lights give a classic feel, or lean harder into the huntsman look with one made from faux or real antlers.
Speaking of antlers, animal-based décor items strongly suggest a chalet, whether it’s a stag head over the fireplace, a hide rug, or animal-themed artwork.
Select furniture and decorative pieces made from natural materials like wood or stone. You can also bring some nature indoors with live plants or foliage-themed art.
Since chalets are meant to be headquarters for outdoorsy pursuits, why not add to the feel with antique skis or snowshoes or some sporty artwork?
An indoor hammock is about as cozy as it gets. Choose one in natural fibres and colours to blend in with the space, tuck it into a corner (on a stand or suspended from sturdy beams) and load it up with comfy pillows and blankets for the ultimate in chalet relaxation.
More Significant Upgrades
If you’re serious about chalet life, and you have time and money to invest in refashioning your home, here are some of the best renovations and upgrades to achieve the chalet look and feel.
Chalets often have huge floor-to-ceiling windows to showcase their amazing views, and with some help from a contractor, you can, too. (Extra points for wood frames.)
Wooden Ceilings, Exposed Beams, Wood Trusses
You can panel any ceiling in wood or add decorative exposed beams or trusses to a vaulted or cathedral ceiling. Voila: instant Swiss chalet.
Large, Rustic Wooden Floors
Wide beams of worn-in, uneven wood evoke a chalet floor. Get the look with reclaimed or recycled hardwood, or have existing floors refinished in a rustic style.
Sliding “barn” doors, made from panels of wood and hung from wrought-iron rails placed above the doorframe, are both decorative and functional, saving floor space and acting as art pieces.
A Deep Soaker Tub
After spending all day out on the slopes (or wherever), the best part of the day is a long soak in a huge tub of hot water. The bigger and deeper, the better.
Après-ski Cocktail Bar
Did we say the bath was the best part? We meant the bar. Sure, you could mix a cocktail at the kitchen counter, but it’s so much cooler to do it at your built-in rustic wood bar.
Other Tips for Chalet Vibes
Even with all the right renovations and furniture/décor pieces in place, there are a few final touches that really drive home the chalet feel.
Natural Light is Key
Remember those huge windows? Part of the reason for them is to let in tons of natural light, which is warmer and softer than artificial. Consider adding a skylight if your home doesn’t get good light from the windows.
Keep the Lights Low
For a cozy chalet feel, stick with low-wattage lamps and task lighting rather than harsh overhead fixtures.
Part of the fun of visiting a chalet is seeing how they’ve personalized it with antiques and local thrift-store finds or souvenirs. Scour nearby antique stores or buy from local artisans for a chalet look that’s authentically yours.
Extend the Mood to the Bathroom
Every room should echo the chalet feel, including the bathroom, so keep that earthy colour palette and add some chalet-inspired décor items.
If everything is soft and cozy, it’s like living inside a marshmallow. Mix it up with wood, stone, and metal to contrast wools, velvets, and furs.
Set Up Your Living Room Around Conversation, Not a TV
The most memorable nights at the chalet are the ones where you stay up talking around the fire until late, sipping a drink, and definitely not watching the game on TV. Arrange your living area to help you focus on the conversation.
If you’ve always dreamed of running away to the chalet and just staying there forever, why not bring the vibe home with you? It’s easy to make it happen with a little attention to detail.