The transformation of this winter home in the hills has a fairytale quality to it — a dowdy rustic condo magically made over into a glamorous French country castle.
When the owner of Luc Crawford Design first set eyes on the chalet, a corner unit in a row of holiday homes at Mont Tremblant, he saw a practical sleeping and eating spot with little attention paid to style. “It had great views of the slopes, but I felt like I was in a cottage — it was so old-fashioned and dark,” says Crawford. Having worked with the owners on their Glebe home and their summer cottage, he knew their tastes and was given free rein to re-envision the space. “I saw right away that it could be elegant but comfortable — that’s where the French castle idea came from.”
His first order of business was to resurface the cathedral ceiling in the great room with wood, adding massive 200-year-old reclaimed beams for a “great hall” effect. A fireplace surround of river rock was quickly discarded in favour of a classic hearth made from Italian limestone. Custom furnishings, including a luxe sectional sofa and an Afghanistan-made rug, completed the look. Avid skiers, the family visits the six-bedroom retreat every winter weekend, says Crawford, explaining that it had to be both luxurious enough to entertain clients and cozy enough to offer comfort for large family gatherings.
The revamp of the kitchen saw Crawford install a bold glass-and-marble backsplash, pairing it with an unadorned quartz counter. Reverse coved ceilings in both the kitchen and the adjoining dining room add visual interest to the space while also hiding the electrical wiring for the pot lights and chandelier. When the dining-room curtains are open, the owners look out onto their spacious balcony. At night, when they’re drawn, the room is enveloped in a soft beige glow.
Construction began early in 2013 to ensure the chalet was ski-ready for the upcoming winter. Because of the distance, Crawford could not be on-site daily, instead stopping by every few weeks to check on the progress. “It was amazing, because so much would get done when I wasn’t there. It felt like every visit was a ‘reveal,’ ” says Crawford.
Today, the owners and their friends stave off the winter blues by embracing ski culture — knowing that at the end of a long day on the slopes, they can curl up by the fire in their very own castle retreat.