Dorothée Simon transforms a meagre mountain cottage in the French Alps into an opulent chalet

DEC 27, 2020 | By Shree Vrinda Agarwal
View of the kitchen and its flooring from Tailored Gres Cerame; Photographs by Gilles Trillard
Products such as Mutina tiles by Patricia Urquiola, Dornbracht taps, Alape sink as well as accessories from Bette, Aesop, Oyoy, Goodmoods, Atelier Mauduit-Biard and Cielo mirror are placed here; Photographs by Gilles Trillard
The bath and bed is clad in Oack walls with light fixtures from Marine Lights and Davey Lighting. The Dedar Milano cushions and throw rest on the Mybed Sofitel alongside vintage artworks from The New York Times and Image Republic; Photographs by Gilles Trillard
Another view of the room showcases Dedar Milano duvet and curtains as well as accessories from Porcelain Pendant, Original BTC, Madame Stoltz, a Thonet Vintage armchair and a Eric Bompard throw; Photographs by Gilles Trillard
This bedroom features products from Trine Andersen of Ferm Living, Dedar Milano, Dorothée Simon, Mybed Sofitel, Flamant and Branco Sobre Branco; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

Turned from a waning mountain farmhouse into a cosy family home, this serene chalet in the French Alps spans 4,300 sq ft across four floors.

The 29-room mountain house is transformed by Dorothée Simon and her architectural team, who completely reimagined the place to every detail, giving each space its own character while maintaining coherence and circulation throughout.

Set down on a green haven in the heights of Evian, the interiors of this French home rest in harmony with the natural surroundings. From a billiard table to a state-of-the-art fireplace in Zimbabwean marble by Simon herself—this traditional Savoyard chalet comes packed with modern utilities.

Inbuilt niches in the living room house a variety of artisanal products and tomes; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

Influenced by the great outdoors, each room brilliantly showcases a specific aspect of nature…powdery snow, rock, autumn and moonlight.

The dining room uses a Toulemonde Bochart rug, The Conran Shop table and Ethnicraft Dining Room Chairs (and armchair). The pendant lamps are by Sepoo Koho for Secto Design, while vases are from Sophie Cook; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

With a mission to rehabilitate their rustic wood house, the clients initially reached out to Simon with the desire for a small and cosy home but were convinced to expand the cottage into the uber-luxe chalet after seeing Simon’s plans.

The living room on the mezzanine uses Broste Copenhagen pendants, bespoke table by Simon, cushions by Dedar Tissue and Ridley’s Games from Wild + Wolf; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

Located just outside the town of Evian in France, the chalet still possesses the authentic architectural elements of its former construction before Simon worked her magic. The wood facade is incorporated with large glass panels. Meanwhile, the traditional wooden fireplace is turned into a marble eye-candy but still remains true to the original aesthetic.

On the Tailored Gres Cerame flooring is a bespoke Zimbabwean marble kitchen worktop by Simon, tap from Dornbracht and ceiling lights from Delta Light; Artwork and photographs by Gilles Trillard

The living room features a plunging view over the valley, with its delicate shades of blue, grey and beige. Depending on the interaction of wood and daylight in the rest of the house, the palette goes from neutral to vivid. Simon says she “subtly integrated more modern aspects into the design to create a contemporary mountain chalet”.

A custom-made bench and table by Simon and Anita Legrelle make up this nook. Also pictured are Serax crockery and cushions from Dedar Milano; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

While we #wishwewerethere, we asked the architect to walk us through this whimsical mountain home. The creative points to the chalet’s cloakroom, which lies just beyond the main entrance to the chalet. From here, a corridor leads to a bedroom with ensuite facilities and further down, to a large, open-plan area with a living, dining and kitchen setup.

Under the sloping roof is a bed from Mybed Sofitel, throw from Flamant, hanging light by Trine Andersen of Ferm Living, blinds and cushions by Dedar Milano, a bespoke wall bench by Simon and a Branco Sobre Branco armchair; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

Simon continues, “On the mezzanine is a games room just off the landing with a billiards table, table football and a bar, making this the ideal entertaining space! Next door is a bedroom and an ensuite facility. All the boudoirs—including the ones on the lower level (below the living area)—have cleverly designed bathrooms to maximise the space.”

Against the Oak walls in this bedroom is a Sofitel Mybed with pillows from Dedar Milano, lights from Atelier Mauduit-Biard and Modelec, and a Flamant throw; Artwork and photographs by Gilles Trillard

“The lower part of the chalet is designed as flats, which can become independent whenever needed. While the level above is designed to be a communal space around which the other rooms are organised,” the maverick says.

The chalet is nestled in the scenic French alps; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

Talking about her favourite room in the cottage, Dorothée says, “Each room and each piece of furniture was thoroughly researched and became an exciting new mission. But if I had to pick one, it would probably be the grey bedroom, where the bath acts as a decorative element of the bedroom rather than a segregated space!”

The kids’ bedroom features lights by Broste Copenhagen and Atelier Maudit-Biard, made-to-measure bunkbeds by Simon, as well as duvet and pillow covers from Yves Delorme; Photographs by Gilles Trillard

While concluding the chat, Simon leaves us with her go-to design philosophy, saying, “I like to create unique spaces using simple forms and complex details, through a bold combination of materials, textures and light. I always focus on emotions and ensure that each space tells its own story.”

Scroll down to see the rest of the images from this chalet done up by Dorothée Simon…

Another view of the minimalistic dining area; Photographs by Gilles Trillard


The entrance features dainty light fixtures by Jason Miller for Roll and Hill; Photographs by Gilles Trillard


The cosy setup highlights the point where the living and dining areas connect; Photographs by Gilles Trillard


Top view of the decadent lounge; Photographs by Gilles Trillard