French mountain retreat gets the expert touch
Sybille de Margerie has earned an honoured place among the elite ranks of great interior architects. In her new book she reveals the inspiration behind spectacular designs for private residences and luxury hotels, including a stunning Alpine home
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a palatial setting – for many years, my family owned the Hôtel de Crillon, one of the finest luxury hotels in Paris – and was familiar with these remarkable places, where service of the highest quality and a distinctive savoir-faire are of the utmost importance.
When I decided to become an interior architect, I naturally delved deep into my memories to recreate the sense of wonder I felt as a child.
My aim has always been to associate this intimate knowledge of tradition with an innovative and creative outlook.
Every project is a new start for me, an encounter with a client, with a place. I approach each one with an open mind, challenging conventional codes and immersing myself in unfamiliar cultures.
I embrace challenges and enjoy exploring innovative technologies and discovering new talents. I like to design entire spaces, relishing the constraints imposed on me.
I love the language of fine materials and colours. For me, my work is a quest for comfort that delights the senses and pursues the highest quality in the most minute details.
I am committed to exploring a feminine sensibility, in my pursuit of elegance and refinement, and my work is inspired by a search for magic.
Architecture should serve as a setting for the expression of deeply felt emotion.
That is the key to design that will withstand the test of time.
Wintry elegance in Courchevel, by Laure Verchère
Sybille de Margerie has designed numerous private chalets in Courchevel, combining her expertise in hotel design with attentiveness to personalised detail.
She knows how to structure her projects within the natural environment, right down to their rocky foundations, and she ensures complete harmony between a house and its setting.
This spectacular chalet was built in 2014; its owner contacted Sybille following a stay at Cheval Blanc.
The house is a force of nature, seemingly emerging from the earth like an underground spring.
The dark waters of the pool cast a spell like a mountain lake, but the temperature is warmer!
In the salon, a few steps up, you’ll find raw stone, swamp oak, patinated bronze, cashmere, and fur in beige and brown tonalities – materials that allude to the sometimes harsh conditions outdoors.
A fire in the hearth brightens the mood, along with brilliant red textile accents and cosy accessories such as throws and embroidered pillows.
The adjacent dining room boasts a table of petrified wood designed by Jérôme Abel Seguin that seems to be emerging from a state of hibernation.
Each bedroom has its own personality, boasting sophisticated harmonies in colours ranging from pink to grey, together with orange, plum, and neutral tones.
Get the look
We browsed the French high street, homes stores and online to track down items that mimic Sybille’s luxurious taste – but for a smaller price tag... Prices and availability correct at time of going to press.
On auto Pilotis
Copy the stunning Milan-designed Pilotis armchairs seen in the Courchevel chalet with a similar looking fauteuil in cream.
This Scandinavian-style Dantes model suits both retro and modern bedrooms and costs €75 from www.menzzo.fr
Top of the glass
With a glass nightlight you can let the natural colours of your room’s decor breathe a little.
This embossed lampe de chevet with a gold coloured base costs just €49.99 from www.laredoute.com
Lift your guests’ dining experience with an elegant napkin ring.
These stainless steel “Pyramide” ones are designed by Georg Jensen and sold on the culinary website www.cuisineetcocotte.fr, €42 for the pair.