Journal

The luxury chalet that was supposed to remain a secret

05 Aug 2018

Ferme de la Corderie was never supposed to be a luxury ski destination, at least, not one that you or I would ever know of.  It was an extensive renovation project undertaken by one family. They took their time over the restoration, years in fact, ensuring every square meter was utterly perfect. The eclectic collection of furniture that now fills the chalet was sourced from around the globe, every item hand picked; from lighting installations to sumptuous sofas, every tap faucet, bed throw, fork, knife and spoon. They are design choices that amount to the thousands. 

They never waived from their vision. They never once changed their mind. Except on one point. They agreed, after meeting The Boutique Chalet Company, to share their luxury home with the rest of the world. Welcome to the secret that is Ferme de la Corderie.

 

I remember the moment I first saw Corderie...


We were on our way to look at another property and I saw this completely derelict structure in this incredible position. I wistfully asked the agent ‘Can we buy that?’ but we were told an unequivocable, ‘Non! and whisked away to look at a series of other properties. Every time we visited Les Gets we saw it. Every time I asked the same question. But Corderie had already been bought by developers who planned to convert it into townhouses. ‘Such a shame’, I thought. The location was incredible. It’s impossible to find such a large, original old farm within walking distance to town (key for us with young children). And those jaw dropping views across the mountains … we had not seen anything else that came close.  One day I decided to drive up to the site and call the developer whose telephone number was on the side of the building. On the spot I asked him if I could buy the whole lot. To my surprise, he immediately said, yes. I then had to phone my husband back in the UK and break the news that I had just bought the family an enormous derelict old farm and that we were about to embark on a very very long project!  He said he wanted nothing to do with the renovation so I delivered it to him 5 years later as his Christmas present!

 

“Space is an important measure of luxury in ski chalets, making this capacious, expertly converted farmhouse one of the finest in the Alps.”


The Telegraph



 

My dream with Corderie...


Was to create a sanctuary where my family and friends could come and recharge. Everything was designed with only our family and friends comfort in mind. Every detail was carefully considered.  For my husband it is the only place he truly relaxes and unwinds. We spend every Christmas here and have created many, many special memories.

 

When we undertook the restoration...


It was imperative to me that we retain as much of the old structure and feel of the building as possible. We were also adamant that we wanted to keep the sense of space we encountered when we first viewed the wonderful derelict old building.  Many chalets try to put in as many bedrooms as possible but I wanted all of us to have space to breathe, to play, to make a mess! On this point our architect thought we were mad. Choosing fewer bedrooms over more space. Wanting every bedroom to enjoy a luxurious spacious bathroom, and dressing area, as well as a generous bedroom. He was gobsmacked! But given the views that can be enjoyed from every bedroom it was important to us that every room had a place to sit and daydream.

Each bedroom...


Was individually created, then tailored to ensure our family and friends had everything they needed at their fingertips.  I wanted to ensure each bedroom had space so people had somewhere to retreat if they wanted some quiet. Each room has satellite television, somewhere to do hair and makeup and plenty of space to hang clothes. I personally love a big bathroom and so it was very important that our bathrooms were big and airy, after a hard day skiing you want to come and relax in the bath or shower in a big space, not a little cupboard.
Ferme de le Corderie

The Mothership – nominated as World’s Best New Ski Chalet in the World Ski Award, Ferme de la Corderie, Les Gets

My style…

Is very much mixing new and old. My passion is sourcing decorative items from around the world to make my homes unique but also true to their original style. As such furniture and antiques were purchased from across the globe over a 5 year period. Many items were bespoke, unique, made to make Corderie a true home from home. Such as the antler chandelier in the sitting area. This was made in America to my exact designs and unlike many commercially available antler chandeliers, even the light bulb holders are made out of the antlers –  no nasty plastic!

My husband…

Often works when we are at the chalet and he was keen to be able to do this whilst sitting on the balcony enjoying the view. This can be a bit of an endurance test in the midst of winter, hence we put in a heated balcony system, to allow him to work out there but in a warm and luxurious way!

The outside space…

Was equally important to us, particularly as we have a young family. We put in a very large terrace which has seen many snowball competitions (not just the children!) and sledging off the terrace into our field. More recently we converted the mazot in the garden into an outdoor sauna with a relaxation space outside, somewhere to come and hide if you need a little peace and quiet.

Over the 5 year restoration…

Every decision was made with our family in mind, to make the chalet work as a luxury space, a true mountain retreat, The hard work was worth it. As soon as we open the front door at Corderie we all instantly relax. This is a house that seems to ‘wrap you up in cotton wool’ and soothe away your worries the moment you enter. Despite its size it still has a cosy feel, and it’s the little touches that I think create that feeling, the design choices that were the most important to me.

 

As a family…

We spent a few years enjoying Corderie before we decided to collaborate with Boutique. By  this point we had reached a certain point with the restoration and we were, as a family, really happy. Certainly, the chalet was finished, and we were enjoying every part of it, as much as we had dreamed we would. But there was a niggling sense that perhaps it had more to give. No where was this more apparent than when meeting with The Boutique Chalet Company.

They brought with them extensive experience, incredible vision and an insatiable passion for luxury spaces.

It felt like the possibility of collaborating with Boutique could take Corderie to yet another level. In many ways it felt like sending our baby off to university!  Boutique gave Corderie the final shine and took it into a lime light it really deserves. This culminated in 2017 when Corderie was nominated in The World Ski Awards as World’s Best New Ski Chalet. It was the most wonderful accolade and recognition, for my family, that our humble beginnings with Corderie (which was certainly love at first sight), and our vision for raising it up with the most considered and loving restoration had been realised.

Want to take a walk around Ferme de la Corderie?

Enjoy a virtual reality tour, right now.

Author: Claire Garber



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