Feb 3, 2022
“A combination of modern elegance and rustic tradition” is how Frances Stringer describes the interior of Landscape Lodge, her beautiful mountain retreat in the French Alps, and it’s the perfect summary of this knockout spot.
Every inch of the characterful and cosy space has been carefully considered and thoughtfully designed, with a firm focus on combining the property’s traditional wooden finishes with pops of modern luxury. And that’s where we came in…
Frances used Bert & May tiles to give each of the lodge’s five bathrooms a distinct identity that would still fit with the overall scheme. While her tile choices ranged from our super-modern Alalpardo to our classic reclaimed collections, the overall feel is totally harmonious. It’s a great example of how we love to see our tiles used: working seamlessly together, despite their differences.
Here, Frances reveals the design story behind the Lodge, and the secret to creating interiors where opposites attract…
Full name: Frances Anne Stringer
Occupation: Fashion Designer
Style and location of the property: Traditional Alpine Chalet in the Portes du Soleil region of the French Alps.
What was your overall vision for Landscape Lodge?
I'm passionate about the great outdoors and connecting with nature, so my vision was to create a mountain retreat - a home from home for my family and my guests to escape to and reset. We wanted to add warmth and character through a carefully considered colour palette, textiles, and artefacts to create a luxurious and cosy space for all.
Tell us how you achieved it…
When we bought the chalet, it had the typical traditional but dated chalet interior. All the wood from the walls/floors/ceiling to the furniture was heavily lacquered. Every surface was a bright, shiny orange colour. It felt very heavy and made the space feel small, so we immediately started sanding to lighten up the space.
The wood turned out to be a lovely blonde colour, so we left some surfaces as they were and others, we painted using a soft neutral palette to accentuate the cosy-cabin appeal.
Each room and ensuite we approached slightly differently, giving them their own identity, but the overall philosophy always remained the same - to create spaces with elegant, modern finishes and unique, traditional touches. And although each room is individual, they are all punctuated with natural materials (wood, jute, canvas, and linens) and feature French antiques sourced from local markets.
Which Bert & May products did you use?
We have five bathrooms at Landscape Lodge and we wanted each one to have its own character, but still feel harmonious under one roof. In order to achieve this, we decided to work with the cement tiles only so that the size, feel and texture remained cohesive, but the pattern and colour could be unique to each room.
On our top floor we kept it quite modern working with a mix of patterned Alalpardo and plain tiles. The Alalpardo meant we could create different geometric patterns within each room, from diamonds to diagonal stripes. We then added a plain tiled wall or floor using the same colours that were featured in the Alalpardo, which added warmth and softened the room.
On our middle and ground-floor bathrooms we used Bert & May reclaimed tiles. We went for tiles that complemented the neutral paint tones and natural wood colours such as warm browns, rust, and ochre.
What do you think the tiles add to the space?
They add personality and charm. The natural material and craftsmanship add warmth and authenticity, but they also have a modern look and feel. They really are the perfect fit for our overall vision.
What led you to use Bert & May?
I was introduced to Bert & May by my good friend, interior designer Louise Curnuck. I asked Louise to collaborate with me on the project as I wanted to bounce ideas around with someone I knew and trusted. When we discussed the idea of each room having its own identity, she immediately knew Bert & May would be perfect for Landscape Lodge.
What makes Landscape Lodge so special?
Landscape Lodge is a sanctuary from the speed of life. It cleverly balances outdoor activity with rest and retreat. When your energy is high you can head out to ski or hike the mountains, take bikes off-road or swim in the lake. On slower days you can stay indoors, try the famed local cheese for bubbling fondues and devour a beloved book by the fire. The magic of nature is present at the Lodge all year round as the landscape changes from season to season which is why our tagline is “A place for all seasons. A space to reset”.
How would you describe the lodge's overall look and feel?
The interior is a combination of modern elegance and rustic tradition. It’s stylish, textural, warm, and eclectic. Throughout my design career I’ve always played on opposites - in fashion I love to combine the masculine with the feminine. Everything too polished or too worn has never appealed to me, I much prefer a combination of the two.
Photography Nicolas Mathéus and The Landscape Lodge