When I think of a chalet, my mind goes straight back to the mid-1970s to a bold A-frame design, orange-toned timber, fleece rugs and cheese fondue. Not being a skier myself, the evolution of the chalet from rustic alpine lodge to chic weekend retreat had eluded me until I saw this 2019 project in Thredbo, from Sydney’s Briony Fitzgerald Design.
The brief was to create a cosy but elegant space (pictured) for an active and sociable family of five who ski in the winter and mountain-bike and hike during the summer.
The new building has a refined architectural precision, with large windows and an angular design softened by the interior scheme. “We responded to the clean lines of the building – a dual-level penthouse – with handmade tiles, smokey oak veneer joinery, textiles and warm materials such as leather dining chairs and rich velvet upholstery,” says Joanna Mitton, senior designer on the project.
The pièce de résistance is undoubtedly the massive, textured living room rug, which is just as much artwork as floor covering. “Hand-knotted in Tibet, the rug is tousled and shaggy, like the outside landscape,” says Briony Fitzgerald.