RISING TO THE OCCASION
Homes & Gardens|December 2021
In this Aspen chalet, designer Sandra Nunnerley has honoured its surroundings while still imbuing it with a sophistication that is masterful
JULIET BENNING

SITTING ROOM

A fleece bench adds a touch of mountain style amid the modern forms of the furnishings. Floor lamp, RBW. Bench, 1stDibs. Bespoke chair, Sandra Nunnerley. Art, Zheng Chongbin

SITTING ROOM

Luxurious velvet upholstery in rich jewel tones brings additional character to this calm scheme where the view is the main attraction. Bespoke daybeds, armchairs and sofa, Sandra Nunnerley. Ceramic stools, Comerford Collection

There are few Aspen chalets more rooted in their magnificent surroundings than one of architect Alan Wanzenberg’s latest creations built into the side of a mountain. A change of heart from the original clients meant the nearly completed project was a blank canvas for the new owners, an Olympic yachtsman and American horse breeder, as well as their three adult children and grandchildren. They turned to New Zealand-born, New York-based interior designer Sandra Nunnerley. ‘I’d worked previously on their horse farm in Maryland, so I was familiar with their style and the way they live,’ she explains. ‘The project was only partially finished so it was like completing a jigsaw.’

Sport has always been high on her clients’ agenda. ‘They are an incredibly active family. They run marathons, play polo and love to ski. In fact, the house is at the bottom of some of the hardest pistes on the mountain,’ Sandra says.

The family, all of whom Sandra describes as ‘living comfortably around the world’, gather at the chalet for big get-togethers where days on the mountain are finished with long social evenings. ‘It was a priority to create a comfortable chalet that could stand up to the numbers of guests, but at the same time reflect my clients’ great sense of style,’ Sandra says.

Eager not to fall into what she calls ‘ye olde lodge’ trap, where too much cosiness can become twee, Sandra chose a refined scheme that still addresses the mountain landscape. ‘I have used hides and sheepskin, shearlings and antler, but I wanted to do this in a refined way so there is a reference to the surroundings without it being too overbearing.’

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