Shall we chalet?

Warm wood, human-scaled spaces, and ethnic charm fight back against plain shiny multi-purpose spaces.

 

Original dining room of a 1906 house designed by Myron Hunt. The charming bannister has Alpine-style cutouts. (Photo: Shade Degges)

Original dining room of a 1906 house designed by Myron Hunt. The charming bannister has Alpine-style cutouts. (Photo: Shade Degges)

Orlando is full of houses with large open interiors, often white, with slick finishes, little detail, and minimal texture. White drywall with taupe/grey basic furniture leaves me uninspired. Where is the joy? This look has led to a craving for smaller more intimate spaces, the warmth of wood, intricate details, and dreams, at least for me.

Typical interior in new Orlando homes. (Photo: Zillow)

Typical interior in new Orlando homes. (Photo: Zillow)

An Arts and Crafts meets Swiss Chalet in California is a perfect antidote to the three-white-rooms-in-one look.

Seeing this weekend house by Studio Shamshiri was thrilling.

The lovely shade of green, the tree scenes added to the banquette, and cafe curtains all add up to serious charm. The edgy brass lighting adds a touch of style. The reference for this house was the idea that Wes Anderson bought a Swiss chalet located in Southern California with Yves St. Laurent as a guest.

The den’s Turkish carpet and sleek coffee table ensure this house isn’t mistaken for a dowdy country cabin.

Dining room with a flouncy chandelier and constellation art. (Photo: Shade Degges)

Dining room with a flouncy chandelier and constellation art. (Photo: Shade Degges)

Entry turned mudroom. (Photo: Shade Degges)

Entry turned mudroom. (Photo: Shade Degges)

La Datcha, built in the 1980’s, evokes longings for weekends in the Russian countryside.

The salon with pine paneled walls and antique stained-glass doors recalling Morocco. (Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

The salon with pine paneled walls and antique stained-glass doors recalling Morocco. (Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

The ultimate country cottage is of course La Datcha, an outbuilding of Château Gabriel, YSL and Pierre Berge’s Normandy country home. For this fanciful space, Grange combined three passions of St. Laurent: France, Morocco, and the Ballet Russes. The Wall Street Journal recently featured a breakdown by Dorothée Bossier on achieving this spectacular space.

Jacques Grange imagined the log datcha inspired by 19th century lacy wood country cottages. (Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

Jacques Grange imagined the log datcha inspired by 19th century lacy wood country cottages. (Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

(Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

(Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

Close up view of the fireplace and horn chaise longue. (Photo: Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris)

Close up view of the fireplace and horn chaise longue. (Photo: Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris)

Peering into the powder room and its 19th century Austrian horn chair. (Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

Peering into the powder room and its 19th century Austrian horn chair. (Photo: Pascal Chevallier)

Vintage Tudor home in Winter Park, Florida. (Photo: Kelly Price and Associates)

Vintage Tudor home in Winter Park, Florida. (Photo: Kelly Price and Associates)

Recently a 1930’s Tudor style home came onto the market, now sale pending, in Winter Park. The charming home is a candidate for this style of exotic chalet made of dreams. Wonder what the new owners will do.

To read more about Studio Shamshiri and the California cottage see here.

To see additional photos of La Datcha see here.

If you are uninspired by the current white slick trend, Casa V can bring some exotic warmth to your home.