Weekend Cabin: Megeve, France

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This cabin was erected in 1870 in the Haute-Savoie, France, 40 years before the nearby town of Megeve was built in direct response to the popularity of skiing in St. Moritz, a planned ski community designed to cater to French aristocracy, and it was swanky from the get-go. The cabin, or chalet perhaps, since its size is better suited to an extended family rather than hunkering down in cozy smallitude, is anything but glitzy. A two-year renovation replaced the roof and remodeled the interior, but kept the split-wood naturalism you’d expect (and want) from a 143-year-old dwelling.

The decorating is another story. Whether it works or not is up to you to decide, but there was a method to its eclecticism: The owners charged Belgian interior designer Lionel Jadot with putting together a collection of items that reflected their various travels. There are what look like Japanese screen prints, a Chinese dragon, some Moroccan motifs, and hints of Indonesia. And then there’s the tiled kitchen, which resembles a yellow snake skin. All that color definitely add vitality to the simply organic larch walls and floor, but is it of a piece?

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

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{ 4 comments…read them below or write one }

  • Chris

    “Of a piece”? What it looks like is LIVED IN, and the decor and furniture can actually tell a story about the people who live there. After the decor sterility in the last few Weekend Cabin’s, this is a welcomed difference. I’d rather see a home that looks like this than some of the “modern” interiors I’ve been seeing instead.

    But I’m really intrigued by the concept of taking an older cabin and renovating it (or using it to shell) into a livable structure. I have a list of saved Weekend Cabins to review when my wife and I are finally ready to build one for ourselves.

    • steve casimiro Post author

      My point isn’t whether it looks lived in or like a show home, but whether the mix of styles works.

  • jared

    H A N D S D O W N my favorite installment of weekend cabin. It seems lived in and wild, while not skimping on style. All the the others are also beautiful, but sometimes too delicate for the way I would want to use my retreat.

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