Words by} Sarah Cairns
Photographs by} Adam Johnston
I arrived in the magical town of Chamonix Mont-Blanc and into a private home “Le Lustre” – a new style of Alpine living, from London three months ago – I was immediately in awe at the beauty of not only the town but of the surrounding views from Le Lustre. Chamonix indeed has so much great history including hosting the first Winter Olympics in 1924 and now today is known as the capital of all-mountain skiing.
Le Lustre was conceived 7 years ago says Georgia May, the very talented interior designer behind the project. “I was captivated by the “what if” before the realistic nature and expense of the project was even imagined. Having lain dormant and unloved for many, many years the 1928 Chamonix town central building was in a state of ruin and with no roof top access. My vision was to reflect the period of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s internally and keep the integrity of the original features”.
The first 24 months were spent acquiring additional adjoining spaces and taking the whole construction back to bare bones. This involved removing an existing roof construction on the upper floor and designing a new mansard roof structure, clad in double pinch pleated copper surrounds, to take in the 360 degree views of Mont-Blanc.
The result, a humorous juxtaposition of art-deco meets contemporary-modern and includes a pneumatic lift which fits perfectly with the original art deco staircase.
There are many other fabulous and quirky design elements that pay homage to that romantic Art Deco era; a hidden speakeasy with vintage trap and bar; restored ironwork, handcrafted wooden doors to the carefully curated tiles and mosaic in all bathrooms.
Even its name Le Lustre is a play on words (taken from one of the original speakeasies on Chicago’s Lustre Street) — mixed like its own cocktail with the lustre of sunlight on snow – like ‘moonshine’ – prohibitively lucky to own..!
Perhaps 2021 is looking at projects like Le Lustre and venturing out of city life and into quiet community living – somewhere glorious and peaceful….maybe that’s the dream!