Design Life: Contemporary Chalet: Chalet Tour (Ep. 19)

Design Life: Contemporary Chalet: Chalet Tour (Ep. 19)

Sarah: Coming up, we start a brand new reno.
Here we are! It’s day one at our chalet project. Tada!
I don’t know do you think we could do this in two months? A cowboy boot plaid
shirt stool… don’t be alarmed, this may not be here at the end, okay? I’m just
saying. To say that the island reno ended up being more than anyone expected
would be an understatement. But, I am pleased to report that at the end of last week the
crew was finally able to take their tools home and get off the island. I
can’t tell you that we’re completely 100% done, Alex and I have a few chores
left on our to-do lists. But after a weekend spent relaxing, which was really nice, an
island life- exploring, sailing, cliff jumping, friends, relaxing weekend, we’re
ready to dive back into things. The crew got half a day off and now, today, it’s
Monday, it’s sunny, it’s gorgeous and I am headed to our chalet project to take a
look at the befores and get the demo rolling. So let’s do this! Got my co-captain ready to go! Headed to the job site. Just taking a little scenic tour to get there. I’m Sarah and every day my life revolves
around design. This is my journal of what’s happening right now in my world as a creator, an entrepreneur, a partner, and a mom, and I’m sharing it with you. So let’s
go! Today is another chapter in my design life. It is a gorgeous summer day and here we
are! It’s day 1 at our chalet project. Tada! What’s amazing is it’s summer, the sun is
shining, it couldn’t be nicer, and right now the ski hill is grass. But pretty
soon it’s gonna be covered in snow. So our mission is to do a cosmetic
renovation on this chalet to take it from classic, country, cozy, to
contemporary chalet chic. Come on! Let’s take a tour. I know you want to see
it. It’s a great setting with beautiful trees. The chalet has five bedrooms, a
loft, and two and a half baths. My clients are a professional couple
with two kids. They love cooking, entertaining, and of course, skiing. Okay
come on in! Let’s check it out! Mind the squeaky door.
So what’s interesting about this place is there’s bedrooms and stuff on this
lower floor and then the living, the dining, the kitchen, and the living room
is on the upper floor. So mudroom here… we’ve got an original Mexican tiled
floor. Question is do we keep it, do we replace it? The good thing is with this
house we’ve got good bones to start with. We’ve got a really nice structure, we’ve
got lots of beams, exposed pine, and our mission will be to see how much of it we
keep, how much of it we re-stain, paint, retreat to do something different.
Check this out. Right off the mudroom- I think this was designed to be a guest
bedroom but my clients want this to be a kid’s playroom, a media room, hangout
space, and we’ve got a fabulous fireplace here. So we might actually consider
changing this out to a gas fireplace unit because that would allow us to get more
heat coming into this house. Interestingly this place is
heated with electric baseboard heat. Not ever known as the most efficient heat
source so we’re gonna investigate that. Out here we have… hot tub! Now, today not
really feeling like I want to dive in there; however, imagine after a chilly
chilly day of skiing how awesome this is? And the property backs on to a gorgeous
open field. We won’t be doing much with the exterior because really this is a
winter use space. So, okay that’s outside. Come on inside. Let’s go back inside.
Let’s go to where the magic is going to happen, shall we? In here… oh yeah a little tool room. I find this is a funny place for a
handyman room. And I’m gonna be totally honest, my client isn’t really about
being a handyman. He’s a lovely man, I’m just not sure he wants to be a handyman
so I’m tempted to make this actual proper storage, we’ll discuss that. Now
here we’ve got laundry and this is… right now, we’re talking basic. But I think what
we need to do is get some high-efficiency machines in here, work on
getting great storage in here, and freshen it up, change it up. But hey- who
doesn’t love a great laundry room right here, adjacent to all the bedrooms? And
quite honestly near the stairs so whatever laundry you’ve got from
upstairs? Throw it down the stairs! We got bedrooms, bedrooms galore! In this
one a king-sized guest room. That’s a nice way to be a guest, isn’t it? Look at
all these nice chunky beams on the ceiling. So often when you’re starting a
project you’re trying to get character into it. Well, the great thing here is
we’ve already got character and what I like is the architectural elements are
good, we’re gonna keep them, we’re going to embrace them, and then strictly
through a cosmetic renovation we can make some really dramatic changes. We can
take this from country to contemporary. Next on our bedroom tour… the double
bunk room! Because ski life and weekend life is
about getting families together. It’s cousins, it’s friends, it’s sleepovers,
it’s lots of kids and so I think we’re gonna split up these bunks but this is
gonna be a bunk room for our client’s son who is super excited about having his
first set of bunk beds. Okay then we have a queen-size bed in here… currently
lacking the creature comforts called a mattress. This room feels a bit darker. I
think overall one of the main things we really need to focus on – whoa that’s like –
that’s like the interrogation spotlight and I did not do anything wrong!
I think one of the main things we’re gonna need to focus on here is getting
great lighting, because what you don’t want is spaces to feel dim and dingy and
right now that is exactly what we’ve got going on. If I turn this light out, it is
a lovely day, you just saw it’s a lovely day outside, yep.
I can’t find my socks mom! One of the things I’m struggling with is
this is a very strange use of space. For me it feels like something needs to
happen here cause let’s be honest, nobody, but nobody, is gonna sit and read
a book over here, right? This is like, this is filler decorating. Why is this here?
Unless I’m maybe waiting to use the bathroom, you have your choice of the
rocking chair, or, get a load of this one! Check this out – left by the former owners… a
cowboy boot plaid shirt stool. Don’t be alarmed- this may not be here at the end,
okay? Just sayin’. Come on in. So then, there’s a bathroom. This is the guest bathroom, but
not only is it a guest bathroom, it’s also… a sauna! In addition to the sauna, we
have a shower, and the shower is in this little enclosure. Terrible lighting,
terrible! I didn’t realize before how terrible the lighting is. The lighting in
this place is horrible! We’ve got pretty low ceilings and I think this is from
plumbing in the kitchen above but what we’ll do is we’ll capture all of this
space to make this a shower. And keeping in mind that we’ve got a bathroom that’s
gonna be shared maybe by multiple people and while people are in the sauna, I
think what we’ll do is we’ll put an opaque door- a little privacy, please. And
then we have a water closet here, and we have a double sink, and you know the way
this is laid out right now, everything is in the right place. Except… maybe not this.
I’m also not sure if this guy’s still gonna be around at the end, but we can
discuss that. Do you want to vote on this? What do you think? Fun? Cute? Charming? Or creepy? Uhhh… I’m on the latter. He’s creepy for me. But anyway, let’s go take a look
upstairs. Come on! Okay, lots of great stuff happening. I like the placement of
the staircase but I got to say this is one of the key things I want to work on.
I feel like there’s just way too much wasted space here that we do
not need for the staircase, that we’re not taking advantage of for the stair,
and that we actually really need for the living space on either side. Now, isn’t this great? Look at this space. We’ve got some furniture left over by the previous
owners… continuing with the cowboy boot theme, please notice this ottoman unlike
anything I have ever seen before. If line dancing is your thing, that might be your
ottoman. So we’ve got a really great big living room here. We’ve got all of the
exposed timber frame construction. Question is, how much wood we want and
need when we’re all done. That’s gonna be a TBD we’re gonna talk more about that
later. But we’re gonna make this maximum seating, really simple, clean lines. Right
now the whole space to me feels super warm, right? It’s warm woods, it’s rusty,
buttery tones. My clients like a cool, contemporary palette, so we’re gonna move
to grays and blues and whites. Why do I love these clients? Because they have the same sense of style that I do! How fun is that? Dining area here- call me crazy but I
feel that this chandelier might be a little bit over scaled for the size of
the table below, right? Anyway, we’re gonna redefine this dining area. We can’t
change it, we can’t make it bigger, but overall my clients want a much crisper
vibe. So I think we may be, I think we may be selling some of these pieces to raise
some funds for some furniture. Now we’ve got the kitchen. Crazy thing for me is- I
think this kitchen is super small. I think sometimes people who have chalets
think that it’s just about putting a casserole in the oven.
My clients love to cook so my mission here is if I can’t make the kitchen much
bigger can I make the kitchen live a bit bigger? That’s my goal. We have really
limited storage here. I mean, look at this. Because of the way this place is built –
here’s the beam right here – and this is a very small amount of storage for anyone. So everything
here is compact, we’re gonna have to make the most of it, but we will re-outfit
this entire kitchen and think about how we can make some good solutions. Maybe if
we can reduce the size of this stairway enclosure, we can increase the size and
function of the kitchen. But that’s a question for another day. Okay now we
have a powder room. Mad for plaid in the powder room!
Super handy to have, so there’s the powder room. Well this is – this is a
traffic flow issue, people! Traffic jam! I can’t get into the living room. So I
really want this space to flow better. And if you think about it, how awesome to
be able to live in this big lofty space? This is the advantage of putting your
kitchen, living, dining on the upper level is you get great light, cloud-scapes, and
you have amazing views everywhere. I think this, this, I mean let’s admit it.
This is great space now. Can you see it? Can you imagine how great this is going
to be when we’re done? And you’re wondering when are we gonna be done? Well… I don’t know do you think we could do this in two months? We have to be done
before ski season. We have to have to have to be done by ski season that is
a mandate from our clients. And we could have started earlier, but the crew was
kind of busy, they were working on this little island project that got out of
control, got kind of tied up, got a little bit delayed, so… yeah we’re starting about
two months late. But that’s okay we’re gonna make up time. This is the principal
bedroom and this is a nice space, look at this beautiful vaulted ceiling. It’s
great that we’ve got a king-size bed. We have a dire lack of storage, which is a
bit of a concern for me. And I find it kind of funny when you walk in the space
and having the bed over here. So I’m thinking, one of the things we could
consider doing here is – what if we took the bed and put the bed on this wall? And
then we could eliminate these doors with a Juliet balcony
that nobody is ever gonna use and we could just change this to a transom
window above. Then we could actually build a closet on this wall and I think
that’s really important. Last stop on our tour- this is the principal bathroom. So
this is a little bit tricky because this beam can’t be moved.
My clients are both tall and so what I really wanted to do was I wanted to put
the vanity in this whole space so that you get the natural light but they’re
gonna clock their heads and nobody needs a concussion. Our agenda here is we would
like a larger vanity, we need a shower stall, we need a bathtub because there’s young kids and visiting nieces, nephews,
babies, you name it and so we just have to think about how to make this cute.
This like standing in here now looking at the ceiling it almost looks like a
dollhouse. This is a fun little space, this is a fun little cabin almost and we
need to think about how best to tackle this to make the most of the space. Also,
saloon door entry to the bathroom isn’t really my jam, and… hold on a second.
Are you kidding me? Please note there is not a latch, not a handle, not a knob,
nothing to give you some privacy. So let’s just say you’re just trying to get
ready and suddenly this is what happens! No, bad idea. We’re gonna change that. Oh!
And there’s one little hidden space that I haven’t actually even seen yet. You
lift this out… Oh there’s a mattress up here! Okay. Cute little kids loft. So overflow
sleeping or kids play area we’ll have to think about that. I think we’re gonna
need to get the kids involved in coming up with some great kid-friendly ideas.
Although the perspective of standing here and looking down the staircase there… not my favourite perspective. So I’m just gonna come on down. Come on down! Okay gang,
that’s it! That is the tour. That is our chalet project. Are you as excited about this as I am? I want you to follow along. I’m gonna ask
for your opinion and I want you to get involved. I want you to join me on this
adventure and in about five minutes we’re gonna start the demo.

100 thoughts on “Design Life: Contemporary Chalet: Chalet Tour (Ep. 19)

  1. this place is amazing Sarah!!! You are going to take what is now great to out of the park fabulous!! can not wait to come along on this one!!!

  2. Mexican tile needs to be retired…lol. Ski doll was extremely "chuckie creepy"….and I can see an open, glass sided stairwell. The floors should be changed out as well…maybe a cement overlay?…Love all the wood, maybe just paint all the existing walls an off=white…and a darker blue/green in the bedrooms.

  3. Ditch the tile, reduce the stair case and get rid of all the cowboy stuff and yes, that ski cowboy guy was creepy.

  4. Saving energy saves money on utilities month after month. The Climate Crisis needs all of us to make changes in our lives that make us more energy efficient and closer to carbon neutral. How about doing a net zero home remodel or a passive house standards remodel
    Air sealing, super insulating, triple pane windows, set back thermostats, energy efficient appliances, LED lighting, energy efficient furnace and air conditioning, solar panels, battery storage and an electric vehicle chargeror 220 v outlet in the garage all need to be considered as part of any new build or remodel. Solar panels would help with the cost of the electric base board heating system.

  5. Great looking chalet, can't wait to see what you do with it. The floor tile is too dark for the space, especially if you are going contemporary. I would imagine it was added so that it wouldn't show dirt. The lower level needs more natural light, or light of any sort. If it is in the budget, I would move the staircase somewhere else and use that space to expand the kitchen. Island or long peninsula with lots of storage below, stools on the other side for children to sit while snacking. I have often wondered what one does with that much wood. Too much brown for me. I would end up white washing some of it. As to the baseboard heat, I had it in a house I lived in while I was living in Maryland and it was quite warm. But it might not work in such a big house. Forced air in such a big house would be very expensive. Is there room in the budget to find some newer technologies to use? Or set up something that the owners can add to as they live there in the future. I would also look into solar panels if it is a sunny area.

  6. Oh my! That loft ladder is so scary! I would never let me kids play there. One playful push will get you a broken spine.

  7. Great video once again Sarah. You have so much energy, it makes me smile. Ditch the floor tile, stool and weird ski man. There's quirky and then downright odd……. Can't wait to watch this new journey you are on and to see the cottage!! Cheers, DEBBIE T (NZ)

  8. Find a way to put in a forced air propane furnace (maybe in the handyman's room) or you may not ever be warm enough

  9. Replace the flooring! Glass panels up staircase. Move access to the loft so people don’t die climbing that ladder! White wash all the pine, pine overkill!

  10. Wait, I need a tour of the island Reno!! We didn't see the finished product! Sarah you're keeping us in suspense!

  11. Should be natural wood on the outside not on the inside. Mexican tiles in the mountains?!? Where are the enchiladas! Hijole! Nice wood floors should be the order of the day. Bathrooms are weird. Can the floor be lowered if the engineer and budget permit? Desks under the stairs (tech space) or make storage under the stairs. It's so dark in there. Expand the kitchen into the dining area. Hang the chandelier over the stairs (painted white of course) dining area can be off the living space. How exciting!

  12. Wow! Talk about some real challenges. Challenges are opportunities! Go for it. Ditch the stool n Mexican tile. Seems like previous owners were from YeeHaw state. Easy recover on the Ottoman and the ski-man would make a playful piece somehow for a kids space unless it would give them nightmares! Along for the ride. Can't wait to see reveals!

  13. Sarah, Your video's are great! Did I miss the one where you tour your finished island home? I don't think I ever saw the completed room. The chalet looks neat, definitely get rid of the old spanish tile, it's too dark and 70's looking. Maybe keep the antler chandelier but put a large round table under it??? Anyway, thanks, I really your videos!

  14. I think the mexican tile should be replaced. And what is with all the cowboy stuff? 😂 But I'm so excited to see the transformation of this place! Thanks for bringing us along for the ride ❤️

  15. I just love chalet projects, especially when starting out with “good bones”. Oh that tile has to go and there is waaaaaay too much wood!! Kind of like that humongous antler chandelier, maybe in a more cavernous space? I hope it doesn’t become too contemporary, but is a mix of modern, country and maybe some antique thrown in. Lots of open shelving in the kitchen, that horrible Mexican tile replaced with some wide plank wooden floors. And some really interesting rugs all over the place! Can’t wait to see what you do – you are the BEST, Sarah! XO

  16. Thanks, Sarah! Obviously all those items need to be tossed. 🙂 Can the dining and kitchen be swapped? Can't wait for more!

  17. Firm no to the Mexican tile. It exacerbates the warmth issue. The grout is toast and tile is just a bummer where lots of water, grit, mud, and snow are involved… Such a sweet space, totally following 🙂

  18. Replace the Mexican tile with slate – hard wearing for salt, water, etc. Excited to see what you do with the place, sure needs updating!

  19. The large arched window dates the exterior and interior right? That must go, right? Necessity right? Can’t wait to see what you do! ❤️

  20. You should definitely keep all of the plad, the wood, the tile, then bring in the moose for a party!! 😂😂😂. Can not wait to see the transformation!

  21. If the snow gets several meters deep there in the winter, it might make sense to have the living space on the upper floor? So looking forward to this new project!

  22. I love how you can look at that space and see potential – when you showed us the beam in the bathroom I would have been out as a buyer! Can the drywall above the beam be moved to make a tub area feel airier? You can’t put anything else there because knocking your head on the beam is a real concern.
    We just put a Juliet balcony (just doors with a metal railing across) in our master & we love it. Have had the doors open all spring and during the cool nights in summer – we sleep so well from the fresh air & I feel like royalty looking down at my yard from the bed 😉. I would move the bed to the long wall as I think you could still get storage along the one wall.
    Can’t wait to see where you go with this project!
    Oh and ditch the tile, sell the creepy doll, the weird stool and the covered ottoman – there are people who love that stuff! (Not me!)

  23. Excited to see what you do with this place!
    I'm looking at a similar style house with all the yellowed pine ceilings & beams — I'd feel guilty to paint it all white — but not sure how to make it work with my style (very similar to yours!)

  24. Ok love the show and the wonderful things you do.that loft is not safe. Can we use that for bedroom cathedral ceiling? No carpet.thanks for sharing you talent.

  25. Skier doll is definitely creepy!! Love Mexican tile, but not with a cool color scheme. The ladder is terrifying. Love the antler chandelier though. Might be interesting chromed.

  26. I am excited to watch you brighten this very dark place. Love the colour choices of blues, gray and white. My three favorite.

  27. Half a day off😂 I love it!!! I think you need another design assistant named Natalie!!! I'll even work full days… I live in Nebraska so it's going to be quite the commute 😬

  28. Hey Sarah!! Are you going to put the chandelier in the living area? Maybe you could paint it to make it more contemporary or it would pop from your back drop?

  29. So excited!!! That place is amazing… going to be incredible when you're done… keep some of the tile by the front door and get rid of the creepy!!!

  30. Hello from High Point, NC! Not a designer but I do at times have some good ideas. Why not flip the kitchen and dining spaces? Would that give any extra space for the kitchen? Reduce the upper part of the stairs opening. Also, I would put french doors in the middle of the window wall in the living space and build a big beautiful deck out there. Last but not least the ski guy is weird, perhaps repaint him? Make Tommy do it. Haha! Excited to see what you do with this chalet. I also cannot wait for more of the island. Have a great weekend!

  31. Love your work Sarah! My input is : Change all the tile. Change carpeting to wood. Check if beams over kitchen ceiling are structural. If not then remove loft area to open up and add light to kitchen area. Open up wall in powder room to add bath tub. Move vanity in master bath to new wall where tub was. Add window or skylight/solar tube to new master. Move stair rails to inside support beams and close up unnecessary floor openings around stairs. Add storage or coffee bar where hutch is in the dining room. White wash or paint as much wood as possible.

  32. Who are you and what have you done with Sarah? Clearly you’ve had some down time since completing your island project, and are now energized and super happy! Really enjoy following your channel, Sarah! You are an amazing designer!👍🏻👍🏻Your fam is pretty cool, too!😘

  33. Great project!! The stairs do steal a lot of space in the middle. Some of the yellow pine has to go!The master bathroom is a tricky one with that beam. I wouldn't have any trouble as I am just 5'2" tall : )) Looking forward to the transformation of this chalet and the reveal of the island cottage.

  34. Did I miss our tour of your completed update of island cottage? Please give us at least a 5 minute reveal, as we deserve no less having worked so hard to get there! However, can understand your leaping forward (such a gal of action) to engage us with your newest design challenge. Can’t wait to be along on this re-do from Gunshot At The OK Corral to Sleek & Chic Ski Chalet. You never disappoint and always entertain! Thank you, Miss Dynamo, for these posts…from a devoted California groupie!

  35. The only thing I like about this place is that gray stone fireplace. I’d play off that by painting a lot of those beams gray. I actually like the naturalness of the salteo tile though too.

  36. Saltillo tile needs to go, maybe slate or something lighter depending on the flooring throughout the space; definitely paint some of the wood surfaces to get the brighter feel.

  37. I like wood, but sheesh! I'd stain some of the wood as you did at your place. The chandelier is kinda kitschy; it can go. The kitchen isn't small, but the space is poorly utilized. That staircase is humongous for no good reason – shrink it!. I wonder how changing the french doors in the bedroom to something smaller will look on the exterior of the chalet…

  38. Don't lose the french doors in the bedroom! I know contemporary white and grey is the look of the day, but this is a winter only space. I hope you warm it up with the fabrics.

  39. Presently this is a lovely chalet, but I am so interested to see the spectacular retreat that only you and your team will make it.

  40. OK.Keep the creepy wood skier but change the paint on it. Lose the stool and upgrade the ottoman. Re purpose/Upscale the armoire …maybe. Build a waiter dummy for the one who must haul all the groceries up to the kitchen! Looks like a fun project. I will be following along!

  41. Fun to play the "if it were me…"
    No need for the Racetrack surrounding the stairwell on either floor!? Great opportunity for better rooms downstairs by closing in around the staircase and moving doorways; Sauna uses the (e) bath door as its own vestibule… new door to the bathroom… move wall of Bed 1 to the staircase, new door adjacent to Sauna making the "reading area" part of Bed 1 = huge Bunk or King… Move Bed 2 wall to the staircase with new perpendicular door = King or Queen or bigger Bunk? Reduce Mudroom so Media isn't so far removed + open up the Entry area?
    Upstairs: close off the Kit to Powder for Max Refrig wall, nice island, new offset/alternating staircase behind, starting adjacent to Powder w/ floor to ceiling protection from "the Pit" (kids love these odd stairs), new wall closet bumpout from bedroom (where the random hutch is shown) maintaining the size of the Principal/keep french doors (symmetry for exterior)/rotate bed to short wall??
    Or not… Surely you're well underway and making it incredible! Looking forward to your design!

  42. I love the idea of selling some of the items. I'm sure the cowboy boot ottoman will find a good home. I'll take the antler chandelier!

  43. Sarah, What an amazing project!! Thanks for bringing us along!! But But we need to see the finish island cottage!!!!! Please!!

  44. Toss, toss, toss! Yikes … those things are all hideous.
    Can't wait to see how gorgeous you make that low-ceilinged master bath.
    I hope lots of that wood gets painted!!

  45. Ohh, I can't wait to see this done in a contemporary style!! It really is going to be lovely
    All of that wood is killing me 😞

  46. If I weren't gay and you weren't married…I love you Sarah Richardson! Been a fan since you first started sharing your life with us. Keep on keeping on.

  47. Turn the bath in the principal room into a walk in closet, extend the bathroom out further into the bedroom to get more space.

  48. Found you on you tube and watched you for hours. You have been my favorite decorator for years. We got rid of TV a long time ago. It is a joy to be able to watch you do your magic.

  49. Ooh, exciting new project! Can't wait!! My vote is to toss the "skier" (agree creepy!), ottoman and shirt stool plus replace the flooring. Looking forward to this adventure!

  50. Definitely get rid of that loft! Not only does the ladder look dangerous so close to the stairwell but those windows are too low and I can just see a kid crashing through them. Open it up to higher ceiling

  51. Whatever you do, it will be fabulous. I've missed seeing your shows on tv and was happy to find all these episodes😊

  52. High Efficiency washing machines are a joke. The most efficient thing you can do is use those Kenmore machines until they break. But, this is Sarah, so, let's buy new!

  53. Sarah; you are the reason I am now an Interior Designer! Thank you so much for all you have shared over the years. I love learning from you.
    I know you're going to work some magic with this new pad …. and can't wait to see the safe solution you come up with to stop kids falling off that mezzanine ladder down the lower stairway!
    How cool would it be to work a slide into coming down from that space?!! Completely impractical, and it's not McDonalds, but it would be very cool.
    Sending you love from New Zealand x

  54. EXCITED, now plz get rid of Mexican tile, boot stool and the other thing with cowboy boots on it and finally the voodoo doll skier! And we can begin!!

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