Summer Chalet

The Chalet is More Than a Winter Place

Most of us think in terms of snow and skiing when we think about a chalet. Snowy winter days, curled up on an overstuffed sofa and wrapped in a cozy blanket are what it's all about. We imagine relaxing and sipping cider while feeling the warmth of the fireplace as we look outside the big window at the white world around us.

And that's part of the picture - but only part.

Chalets need not be abandoned in the warmer months. While there is no snow around, there is still plenty to do out-of-doors, and the chalet can become a summer haunt where wildflowers gathered in the woods adorn the windowsill of the open kitchen.

Changing of the Seasons

How do you switch the feeling of your cozy, warm, winter chalet to a spring and summer hideout in the hills? Let's take a look at the masters to find out what they do. The French and Swiss Alps, along with the many other wonderful mountains of Europe, are home to chalets which are nestled deep in the woods. Flowers grow wildly everywhere, and the view from the windows is lush, green, refreshing and restorative.

When preparing the Chalet for the warmer season you do not need to change the furniture; after all, we don't need to move it out. But, accessories will change to bring in the great outdoors. The heavy blankets are packed away, as are the cozy throws, and we move to lighter weight and lighter colors for the warmer season. Throw pillows in floral prints and bright spring colors can replace the darker winter coverings, and bouquets of flowers add color to the room. The Swedish Country style of decorating really works in this kind of situation. Bedroom windows can be covered with fine white muslin curtains or by lightweight fabric in small floral print with matching bedcovers. Pack the sheepskins and use woven throw rugs in stripes to create the feeling of Switzerland.

Bringing the Outside In

Grow an herb garden in the kitchen and put a bright, summery tablecloth on the table. Place a bouquet of wildflowers on the table and bring the outdoors in. Potted, flowering plants lined up on the deck and by the entry ways make the chalet welcoming and summery. You can take the theme all the way to the washrooms and use light towels and floral prints with light throw rugs on the floor.

A Barbeque and Natural Accessories and You're on Your Way

It's always a good idea to have the barbeque primed and ready to go. Put it on the deck with some great deck chairs and a table where you can relax and enjoy a good meal. In Europe, when spring comes, the doors are thrown open and everyone is outside in the sunshine. Nature is brought into the house in the form of flowers, rocks, driftwood and potted plants. Including these elements in your decorating will truly give your chalet the finishing touches as you transform it into a summer getaway.