Text description provided by the designer. After a three-year stint abroad in Amsterdam with their two young kids, our clients had big dreams of a small chalet! Their time abroad informed their decision making and influences for the home. The active family wanted a low-maintenance weekend retreat that would “give us energy and not take it away”. The starting point was a three story structure by Keystone Architecture built by Ethan Beck Homes with a sloping roof that could shoulder snow load, much like ski chalets sited above the treeline.
The reverse floor plan (living room + kitchen on the top floor, bedrooms in the middle and garage and entry on the main floor) allowed unobstructed views of nearby Skibowl from the living room couch and an abundance of natural light where the family spends most of their time. Snow banks get so high in the winter the snow often covers the windows on the first and second floors. On the top floor, windows surround the space on all four sides. A large, stoic fireplace is balanced with a not so basic Ikea sectional covered in a playful, funky print designed by Casework, based off of a 16th century Dutch painting.
It’s actually not a true black it’s softer than that. Casey wanted a color that was a little more faded since the chalet has such a modern silhouette. She felt that a true black would be too stark, True black tends to show dirt and dust quicker. Casey pulled out her brushes and paints and blended the perfect black that has the softness she wanted to achieve, a color that didn’t look freshly painted. The color was extended into the interior in a gloss sheen on the trim, doors and window frames.
Our client spent 3 years living in Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum was near their home, which was a favorite spot. The Rijks offers free hi-res downloads of their masterpieces and we wanted to incorporate something Dutch. After sifting through paintings, Still Life with Flowers, by Jan Davidsz de Heem was the favorite. Casey downloaded and went to work photoshopping the vase and adding flowers to create a bouquet. Once the bouquet was complete, she created a repeat and had it printed on heavy weight canvas, that was UV treated (because all of the windows on the top floor) and stain treated (because life). It was upholstered on a naked Ikea Sectional. Now it is a unique element that reminds the family of their time abroad.
To emphasize the high ceilings and huge windows, a simple color palette of a custom black, white and whitewashed wood were incorporated, along with calculated hits of color and pattern. Through layered textures, like Moroccan rugs and printed bedding, a high contrast palette and unconventional design elements, this ski chalet is anything but ordinary.
Architect of Record: Keystone Architecture Planning, Blane Skowhede
Builder/General Contractor: Ethan Beck Homes
Structural Engineer: Associated Consultants, Inc., Babrak Amiri
Location: Portland, US