Winter Chic: Creating the Ski Chalet Look at Home

For many in New England, the winter months can only mean one thing: skiing.

Whether you enjoy racing down the slopes or prefer the après ski rituals of good food, drink, and company, there is much to love about ski culture. Perhaps that’s why so many people wish to imbue their homes with the essence of ski chalet interior design.

Whether you own a weekend ski getaway or simply aim to bring some winter coziness to your primary home, here’s how to embrace the ski chalet look in your interior design.

Ski Chalet Interior Design Elements

When you think of a ski chalet, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s an image of your family gathered by the fireplace with a board game. Maybe it’s your friends assembled around your kitchen island, enjoying warm seasonal beverages and each other’s company. Or it may be a group heading out to the slopes, with family and friends tumbling out the door, all ski poles, helmets and thermal layers.

No matter what your individual image of a ski chalet looks like, all luxurious winter dwellings share some common elements.

A fireplace is a must, preferably one with rustic stone and exposed wood beams. Open, airy spaces for gathering are also essential. Ample seating in leather or tartan upholstery and shearling-lined anything immediately conjure a sense of place.

And of course, there’s the need for storage. Winter sports mean lots of gear, and an efficient, well-designed mudroom helps make your ski chalet-inspired home immediately feel welcoming.

Certain design elements say “ski chalet” in any room. Substantial furniture with weighty fabrics, knobbly wovens, with upholstery tacks and tufting help ground your ski chalet space. Antique, patinated pieces add warmth and depth. Accouterments like antlers or taxidermy, when used in moderation, immediately evoke the feel of lodges in Aspen or Zermatt.

Ski chalet interior design distinguishes itself from other cozy design styles, like hygge, with its bent toward the rustic. Unhoned stone surfaces, natural wood and a focus on bringing the outdoors in combine to create a warm space that’s uniquely ski chalet chic.

Ski Chalet Color Palette

Just as ski chalet design as a whole is inspired by the natural world, so too is your ski chalet color palette.

Fortunately, the world beyond our doors is rich with hues and shades to incorporate into your design. There are dark natural tones, such as midnight blue, terracotta red, and slate gray.

Allow nature’s palette to be your guide when selecting colors for your ski chalet-inspired design.

You may choose to draw your color inspiration from fauna, with camels, tans and taupes that evoke buckskin and leather. Or perhaps you turn to flora and opt for a forest green, birch white or rich cherry wood tones.

See our guide for selecting paint colors to help you find the perfect shade for each of your ski chalet-inspired rooms.

Ski Chalet Design By Room 

The ski chalet look will manifest a bit differently in each room of your home. Here are some of the ways to incorporate ski chalet style into each of the main spaces around the house.

The Ski Chalet Bedroom

Is there anything more peaceful than waking up on a quiet winter morning to find your home blanketed in a soft, white snowfall? Embracing ski chalet interior design in your bedroom allows you to tap into that sense of calm year-round.

An essential component of ski chalet bedroom design is sumptuous multi-layered bedding. Select luxury sheets in a crisp white to mirror the landscape beyond your window, then top them with an overstuffed duvet for extra warmth. Add layers of pillows for a bed you’ll look forward to burrowing into on chilly nights.

Incorporating rich, heavy fabrics throughout the bedroom is another way to invoke the ski chalet aesthetic. Drapes in a heavy tartan, a tufted upholstered headboard, and a shearling throw blanket for your bedroom reading nook instantly transport you to the Alps.

The Ski Chalet Living Room

A living room inspired by ski chalet interior design should be focused on creating a cozy space ideal for gathering with loved ones.

Your fireplace will be the focal point, with natural stone running up the length of the room, flanked by wooden beams. If your home has a brick fireplace, refacing is an option, or you may add a rustic wood mantel to better serve your ski chalet vision.

Clusters of seating are also essential, and selecting pieces in warm earth tones or worn antique leather beckons guests to curl up by the fire for hours.

An exposed-beam ceiling completes the ski chalet look in your living room, enveloping your guests in the pastoral space you’ve created.

The Ski Chalet Kitchen

Another room made for gathering, the ski chalet kitchen presents an opportunity to create a space your guests simply won’t want to leave.

Start by grounding your kitchen design with natural stone countertops; a dark soapstone is a perfect choice for your ski chalet design, but an engineered quartz provides you the flexibility to choose from an even wider range of colors and styles.

If you opt for a lighter countertop color, consider darker cabinetry, perhaps in a midnight blue, slate grey or rich stained cherry.

Create seating at a kitchen dining table or around your island to encourage lively chatter over warm drinks and comfort food after a day outside in the blustery New England weather.

The Ski Chalet Mudroom

The final essential room in any busy, functional ski chalet home is a well-designed mudroom.

Winter sports call for layers, mittens, gloves, hats and accessories, all of which need a place to live. An organized mudroom helps your family quickly get suited up for a day outdoors and ensures there’s a place for everything when you return in the evening.

Above all, your ski chalet mudroom must have dedicated storage. Providing each family member with a cubby and hooks all their own helps keep clutter and confusion to a minimum.

This mudroom, with ample vertical storage in each cubby, leaves plenty of room to tuck away snowshoes or ski poles. Photo by Joyelle West.

A bench where your family can don snow pants and lace winter boots is also essential. Consider a sturdy, stain-resistant fabric for your upholstery, or opt for a stained wood to ensure your bench is ready to stand up to the wintery elements your family may track indoors.

When considering shoe storage for your ski chalet mudroom, take into account larger footwear items that come with winter sports. Ski boots, snow shoes and other bulkier items might require additional storage options to keep your mudroom floor clear.

When New England winters bring colder, shorter days, a home filled with comfort provides you with the perfect balance. A smart and functional ski chalet-inspired design invites your family to enjoy the thrill of winter sports and return to a cozy space that warms them up in body and spirit.