Published on December 19, 2019

Ski chalets typically follow the same formula: soaring stone fireplaces + antler chandeliers + thick leather sofas = cozy-in-the-cold vibes. The new Le Coucou hotel in Meribel, France, designed by acclaimed French interior architect Pierre Yovanovitch, doesn’t abide by this equation.

It took Yovanovitch two (!) years to design the five-star resort, which spans 55 guest rooms and two private chalets. This timeline makes a lot more sense when you learn he selected more than 160 artworks for the project and had 130 pieces of furniture and lighting custom made (including items like his famous Papa Bear chair, an ultra-plush seat that is especially fitting in this setting). Then there’s the stunning fresco on the dome ceiling in the lobby, painted by artist Matthieu Cossé, a separate feat. 

Can’t make it to the Alps? Bring the mountains to you. Here are three genius design ideas we’re stealing from this colorful respite: 

Wallpaper in Unexpected Places

dark blue room with wood ceilingPin It
Photography by Jérôme Galland; Design by Pierre Yovanovitch

Exposed-wood ceilings are masterpieces on their own, but who says you can’t have some fun with them? Small strips of wallpaper are barely noticeable at first, but the blue, red, and green scroll design helps tie all the other elements in the room together. 

Pair Classic Navy With Black 

blue and black restaurant with golden sofaPin It
Photography by Jérôme Galland; Design by Pierre Yovanovitch

It might seem strange to put two dark colors next to each other, but Yovanovitch proves there can still be contrast as long as the materials are different enough. The grittiness of the stained black planks and smoothness of the blue wall in the hotel’s restaurant take the moodiness of the room up a notch—but thanks to the marigold velvet banquette, not too much.

Warm Up Stark Wood With Yellow

white walls with wood ceiling yellow doorwayPin It
Photography by Jérôme Galland; Design by Pierre Yovanovitch

If there’s anything we’ve learned from his past projects, Yovanovitch never takes painting too seriously. One of his go-to tricks? Add a dash of color to a doorway. In this case, he spruced up an austere white and wood room by adding a pop of mustard yellow (the hue also makes an appearance on the abstract sconce). The cure to winter blues is as simple as a brush and a can. 

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Prada’s Architect Transformed This 11th-Century Tuscan Watchtower Into a Dreamy Guesthouse

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