Magic mountain – design tips on saving space in an Alpine retreat

A 1970s Alpine retreat is a lesson in how to make a small home feel larger

Perched 550 metres above sea level in the Swiss resort village of Arosa is a three-bedroom ski chalet that proves that a small space can feel expansive – and that, sometimes, a dated interior doesn’t need ripping out.

Built in the 1970s, the house was bought by its owner, Zurich-based interior designer Claudia Silberschmidt, in 2016. It hadn’t changed in that time, and was filled with 70s fittings and furniture, including wall-to-wall beige carpets, dark orange tiles in the living space, and a striking wood-panelled suspended ceiling. She and her husband spent their visits that winter soaking up the chalet’s dated ambience while deciding how they might transform it.

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