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A Light-Filled Chalet in the Italian Alps, Updated for a Young Skier

Italian Alps Apartment Windows

A 23-year-old mountain enthusiast and skier engaged Davide Gratteri and Marta Lavezzari of multidisciplinary Milan design firm Jab Studio to update his dated, chalet-style condominium in the Italian Alps. He lives full time in the space, a top-floor unit in a circa 1970s building, which has the wood beams, pitched roof, and mountain-framing windows. To update the 500-square-foot home for the young outdoors enthusiast, Jab mixed elements from traditional, wood-filled Alpine style with a contemporary floor plan and modular solutions for maximizing the small space.

Photography courtesy of Jab Studio.

The bright interior has natural pine floors and custom furniture, plus a birch plywood kitchen and ceilings. The remaining surfaces are white, including the laminate countertops, Vola faucet, and painted walls and radiator. The slightly darker wooden ceiling beams and window frames are original to the unit.
Above: The bright interior has natural pine floors and custom furniture, plus a birch plywood kitchen and ceilings. The remaining surfaces are white, including the laminate countertops, Vola faucet, and painted walls and radiator. The slightly darker wooden ceiling beams and window frames are original to the unit.
In typical chalet style, the windows frame mountain views.
Above: In typical chalet style, the windows frame mountain views.
The apartment is filled with few decorative objects; all the furniture (except for the mismatched dining chairs and the sofa in the den in the next room) was designed by Jab.
Above: The apartment is filled with few decorative objects; all the furniture (except for the mismatched dining chairs and the sofa in the den in the next room) was designed by Jab.
Jab used only three materials in the compact space—light wood, white  fixtures, plus black metal accents in the ceiling lights, railings, and bath fixtures.
Above: Jab used only three materials in the compact space—light wood, white  fixtures, plus black metal accents in the ceiling lights, railings, and bath fixtures.
The pine floorboards are installed in alternating directions “in order to underline space divisions,” according to the architects. At right, a folding wood door transforms the living room/den into a spare bedroom for guests.
Above: The pine floorboards are installed in alternating directions “in order to underline space divisions,” according to the architects. At right, a folding wood door transforms the living room/den into a spare bedroom for guests.
When not in use, the custom dining wood table tucks against the kitchen island to save space.
Above: When not in use, the custom dining wood table tucks against the kitchen island to save space.
Three matte black Lampe Gras ceiling lights—a favorite of architect Le Corbusier—hang above the dining table.
Above: Three matte black Lampe Gras ceiling lights—a favorite of architect Le Corbusier—hang above the dining table.
The compact gray sofa is one of the few furniture pieces not designed by Jab.
Above: The compact gray sofa is one of the few furniture pieces not designed by Jab.
For the kitchen drawers, Jab had handles partially milled out of plywood to expose a darker ply inside.
Above: For the kitchen drawers, Jab had handles partially milled out of plywood to expose a darker ply inside.
The stairs to the sleeping loft are made of unfinished pine.
Above: The stairs to the sleeping loft are made of unfinished pine.
The lofted sleeping space makes use of the condominium’s pitched roof. The solid pine bed, a Jab design, has drawers embedded for extra storage.
Above: The lofted sleeping space makes use of the condominium’s pitched roof. The solid pine bed, a Jab design, has drawers embedded for extra storage.

The architects wanted a mix of wood in the space, so they lined the ceilings in birch plywood; “the result, in our opinion, is more complex and smart,” they say.

A perforated white screen obscures clothes storage in the lofted sleeping space.
Above: A perforated white screen obscures clothes storage in the lofted sleeping space.
 The materials palette extends to the bathroom, with a matte black metal mirror and pine open shelving.
Above: The materials palette extends to the bathroom, with a matte black metal mirror and pine open shelving.
A bathroom wainscot of rectangular ceramic field tile.
Above: A bathroom wainscot of rectangular ceramic field tile.
The shower stall is lined in a grid of white square tile.
Above: The shower stall is lined in a grid of white square tile.
The top-floor condominium is 46 square meters (almost 500 square feet) in all.
Above: The top-floor condominium is 46 square meters (almost 500 square feet) in all.

For more Italian idylls, see:

Pastels Go Rustic in an Italian Farmhouse

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