How chalets became a millionaires’ must-have

Filed in: Press


Chalet Pow Pow has recently been featured in The Telegraph in their article “How the goat herder’s humble ski chalet became a millionaires’ must-have…” (except below). You can view more images and read more about Chalet Pow Pow in our Portfolio.

From rustic shelters for goat herders to trophy homes for the global jet set, the Alpine chalet has come a long way in a century. From the moment the first ­catered ski chalet ­appeared in 1932, their slow ascent ­upmarket had begun.

Twenty years ago, French chalet ­interiors were full of fabrics in jaunty Alpine vignettes from the Parisian company Pierre Frey, with more stag antlers than you could wave a ski pole at. Then came a slew of cow hide and animal furs, before a hot tub on the ­balcony was the latest must-have.

An avalanche of wealth pouring into the big-name mountain resorts since the turn of the millennium has driven the demand for properties with all the sorts of bells and whistles that are also found in their owners’ homes. The 21st-century ski chalet has sumptuous ­master suites, a private spa, layers of wireless technology, plus the sort of colourful art and playful features that make it perfect Instagram fodder.

“Today’s buyers are younger, busier, and want to move into something that instantly reflects their lifestyle, which is lived through the prism of social media,” says Jerôme Lagoutte, who heads Savills estate agency in the top-tier French resort of Courchevel 1850. “The amount spent on interior design has tripled in the past 20 years; in a €10 million (£8.8 million) chalet, it is now around 10 to 20 per cent of the budget.”

The simple wooden refuge, evocative of “a gentle, pure and pastoral life” in the words of 19th-century critic John Ruskin, is now in many cases a high-value, income-generating asset that needs to compete with the rest in ­attracting the ever-growing international elite enjoying winter sports in the Alps…

Styles vary between the opulent – such as the project with a £30,000 staircase of “melting icicle” glass spindles against a backdrop of beaded faux shagreen (ray skin) wallpaper – to the supremely practical.

One property, Chalet Pow Pow, has playful features including children’s bunk beds made of brightly coloured Corian, an acrylic composite normally used for worktops, and an old chairlift sprayed white and used as a bench in the entrance.

You can read the full article on The Telegraph’s website.

To view more images of Chalet Pow Pow you can view our portfolio, or for more information about us or to discuss a potential project please get in touch.