Once upon a time a girl stood at the top of a snowy mountain, half exhilarated, half terrified, she breathed deeply and swoosh, she fell in love… not exactly, I was a wimp learning to ski in her late twenties… I spent an inordinate amount of time on my backside while my husband merrily whizzed by. However, I did fall in love with the quiet, the myriad shades of white, vistas of still, icy perfection and the late afternoon retreat to the cosiness of a chalet, fires, fur, throws, hot chocolates and vin chaud. With my background in interior design I adored the natural geometry of snowflakes, the fluffiness of snow-like bedspreads, warm woods and natural stones – simple, natural and purposeful materials.
A few dreams were born on this trip to the Mzaar region in Lebanon; the first was starting a family; the second was building a home in the mountains. The former resulted in a baby girl, whose namesake has inspired Chalet Mirabelle and the latter was put on ice…but we still talked about a build project somewhere majestic and mountainous, somewhere to escape to as a family; phones off, fresh air, quality time. Fast-forward a couple of years and the idea was still firmly planted in our
heads. Now, as a family of four, we had taken a few ski trips, and felt that there was a real opportunity to provide something in the way of a beautifully designed family chalet; a destination in itself when one is not in the zone of ski all day, apres all night (though there is room for that too!). I found myself pouring over plans for new builds and looking around chocolate box mini-chalets but a small development of chalets with, importantly, a family-run company caught our eye.
For the chalet interiors I began to brainstorm how I wanted it to feel – these were the highlights: contemporary, cosy, warm, polished, family-friendly, snug, organized, calm, comfortable, eclectic, inviting. I wanted clearly defined elements of formal vs. informal, wow-moments for older and younger, and ‘yes’ places for children (where you don’t find yourself saying ‘No’ every five minutes!) places teenagers could slope off to and places that felt completely indulgent for adults. Practicalities for families have been well thought out at Chalet Mirabelle; as a mother of two young children, I often found myself on trips where I was missing things that would make life just that bit easier, or travelling with what felt like the entire kitchen/bathroom/nursery in an effort to minimise the feeling that this ‘holiday’ was less convenient than staying at home.
Then, in the midst of the design and build (as often happens in life) a curveball was dealt. A bout of serious ill-health brought wellness at the chalet to the fore. At Chalet Mirabelle, in every facet, we endeavor to use sustainable, recyclable, eco-friendly, no-nasties products, from toys, to cleaning products, kitchen-ware and spa products. Our catering options have an emphasis on local, organic, seasonal produce. There are a remarkable number of restorative spas and centres in the area, then, quite frankly the mindfulness provided by the great outdoors, physical pursuits, family time and Mother Nature can take care of the rest! I hope you find as much sanctuary and joy at Chalet Mirabelle as we do.