Whether you’re after inspiration for your self build project and fancy the idea of a beautiful chalet-style retreat, or just love browsing beautiful homes, explore some of our favourite case studies which have adopted this style of architecture.
From the daring angles and cantilevered structure found in a magnificent Canadian home, to the rustic effect of timber cladding (inside and out) in the Derbyshire woodlands, or even the introduction of glazed gables — there are design ideas for everyone.
Proof that a chalet is not just reserved for the mountains — they look just as striking in beachside settings too. What started out as a run-down 1960s bungalow in St Ives, Cornwall, has ended up as a striking contemporary chalet-style home thanks to the vision of homeowners Andy and Natasha Righelato, who were after a seaside retreat away from their busy London lives.
After being granted planning permission for a demolition and replacement dwelling, work began constructing the Douglas fir timber frame off site, which was then erected and filled with insulation on site. Thanks to careful planning and using a prefabricated building method, the striking new home was constructed in just four and a half months.
Outside, the external walls have been clad in burnt larch which blends into the landscape, and a slate roof with large glazed areas achieve a modern look, while the projecting angle of the front elevation not only lends to the chalet feel, but creates a spacious entrance hall on the ground floor too.
Due to its construction, there is currently a planning restriction in place meaning it can only be used as a holiday home. However, they are looking to overturn this, and in the meantime the house is available to let.
“I’d always enjoyed visiting Switzerland and spent time there most summers. I loved the idea of living in a traditional-style Swiss chalet and decided that it would be a dream worth pursuing,” says Doug Barbour, a retired commercial surveyor, who went on to build this stunning chalet-style home perched 700ft up on a 0.45 acre hillside site in Yorkshire.
Despite a heated planning battle and a recession, the result is spectacular, with no less than five balconies meaning the outside really is an integral part of the overall scheme, and the material selection – a mix of render, timber and stone finishes on the exterior and a pleasingly subtle display of pine cladding inside – creates a truly authentic feel.
Particular highlights include the 26ft-high entrance space, the first floor cosy living room based around a stove, and the huge first floor balcony which Doug admits to spending most of his waking hours on.
3. A Bond-style Mountain Pad
Looking for the ultimate chalet-style retreat after a day on the slopes? This jaw-dropping project by PATKAU Architects sits on the snowy mountain tops of Whistler, British Columbia overlooking the spectacular scenery.
Constructed from a hybrid of monolithic and framed systems, the slabs and walls which enclose the lower floor are concrete, while the upper levels are made of a composite steel and a heavy timber structure with wood frame infill, and the exterior clad in Ipe. The roof form has been designed in a way to shed snow from the roof to appropriate areas on the site.
Internally, the main level is essentially one large space with living, dining and kitchen areas and an outdoor deck, all of which open up to the valley view. A bridge crosses the staircase on the upper level connecting the master bedroom suite and study.
On the lowest level are the more intimate spaces housing guest bedrooms and a second living area, as well as a large service space. Accessible directly from the garage entrance to the house, this service space supports life in snow country with space for removing and washing wet clothes and a place where skiers can store all the paraphernalia of their day’s activities.
Exposed timber, projecting gables, dormer windows and a low sloping roofline all add to the chalet feel of this oak frame self build in Powys, built by Welsh Oak Frame.
Designed to make the most of the stunning natural surroundings, the house allows for principal rooms to open up to the outside through glazed doors.
On the ground floor, an open plan kitchen diner opens up on to a veranda through folding sliding doors, then the separate living room has a large cosy fire, built into a stone feature wall, for an indoor retreat. On the first floor, the master bedroom has an en suite and two balconies with glass balustrades for uninterrupted views down the valley, and across to the mountains.
If you go down to the woods today you’re in for a big surprise — in fact, you’ll stumble across this beautiful log cabin built in just 59 days on a woodland plot in Derbyshire.
The homeowners went to Log Cabin UK (LCUK) to discuss designs, and they opted for one of LCUK’s off-the-shelf designs and made sure it was under the 187m² limit that planning had dictated.
Looking every inch the rustic log cabin that wouldn’t look out of place on a mountain slope, the property was constructed using a prefabrication method by importing ready-cut redwood pines (along with made-to-measure doors, windows and insulation) from Latvia.
The homeowners were so taken by the look of the logs, that they chose to clad the interiors with it too, creating a cosy home with a distinctly North American lodge vibe. What’s more, their speedy build meets and surpasses eco requirements and will cost them very little to heat and run. Not bad for a build cost of under £200k!
Proof that you don’t need to build from scratch to achieve a chalet design, this former rundown 1930s bungalow has undergone an extension and remodel to create a striking modern family home — and it certainly looks the part.
Adding a new storey to the low-profile design of the existing structure, the rear elevation now boasts a dramatic full-height glazed gable which features a timber clad sheltered balcony, onto which the master suite breaks out. A high vaulted ceiling in this room adds to the sense of space. Meanwhile the rest of the property has undergone a contemporary makeover with white walls and a feature woodburning stove lending to a Scandinavian style in the open plan ground floor space.
For more on this transformation, click here.
Designed and built by architect Roderick James and his wife, Amanda Markham, this rustic lodge in Argyll & Bute offers laid back style in abundance.
Built as a prototype for adaptable living, the home is square in plan, with a pyramid roof, and was built with a masonry ground floor, banked with earth, and a green oak frame on the first floor. A central two-storey starter core of accommodation measures five metres by six metres, and other ground floor rooms radiate off in wings from this core.
Adding to its rustic cabin-style charm, the house has been designed with corner verandas to provide sheltered outdoor seating areas below the overhanging eaves of the lower slate roof, and the exterior has been clad in timber, painted blue. Internally, white timber floorboards help bounce light around the room, while the walls have been finished in a brush-finish plaster which creates interesting textures when the wall lights are lit at night.