How to….decorate with Alpine style

Forget wooden clogs, gingham tablecloths and channelling your inner Heidi – modern Alpine style is all about traditional with a twist. Think beautiful bare wood, open fireplaces, fur throws and colourful rugs to get the look right. Here’s how:


The secret of an Alpine look is wood, wood and more wood, as textured as possible. In fact, the key to pulling off this look is using really strong textures such as rough grain wood, fur, wool and linen to stop the result looking industrial.

For authenticity, the walls of the room should be covered in rough wood cladding. For most of us, that’s expensive and impractical (although it does help keep the heating bills down!) – to get the look at a fraction of the price, how about this woodland timber cladding wallpaper from Colours at B&Q?It’s recommended for bedrooms, living rooms or dining rooms and comes with paste the wall technology for easy hanging and removal. It costs £15 for a 10m roll.

If a wood look on the walls seems a bit much, then introduce the wood theme with plain white walls and wooden furniture. Think rough, weather beaten and aged rather than smooth and polished – we like this Ritz refectory table, £641, from Sweetpea and Willow, made from reclaimed timber.

Ritz refectory table from Sweetpea and Willow, £641

It has a simple classic style along and a weather washed pine finish, and at almost 2.5 metres long is perfect for seating a group of friends for fondue or raclette after a day outside.

Another piece that will work well is this Boston Kavita chair, £104 for two from Harley and Lola.

Boston Kavita reclaimed wood chair, £104 for two from Harley and Lola

It’s also made from reclaimed wood, so the carbon footprint is reduced. Each piece is handcrafted by local artisans and unique.

Wooden floors are another must for the Alpine look. If a real wood flooring isn’t an option due to cost or other considerations, there are some excellent laminates on the market that look almost like the real thing.

If you have pets and are worried about the practicality of a real wood floor, how about these clever vintage wood tiles? They have a authentic worn look to add character and style to any room. Shades and patterns vary from a pale grey right through  to light and dark browns, to create that all-important textural effect. Tiles measure 150mm x 600mm and cost £1.62 each from Tile Mountain.

Soft furnishings

With bare wood as the room’s access, it’s time to soften with fur, wool and strong textural fabrics to give a cosy effect. For a sitting room, choose vivid plain colours for sofas and armchairs, in velvet, velveteen and plush.

Add faux fur rugs to floors, and lovely, luxurious faux fur throws and cushions to sofas. Pick out some colour accents with bright woollen blankets – keep a selection folded onto a chair or low table as a focal point.

We like these gorgeous fake fur throws, blankets and runners, handmade in England. They come in a variety of designs and sizes including ermine and lynx, and are made from 80% acrylic and 20% polyester for practicality. Prices start at £250 from The Fine Cotton Company.

Luxurious faux fur throw, from £250 from The Fine Cotton Company.

To get the look for less, how about this 60cm square faux fur cushion from Bean Bag Bazaar? Was £34.99, now just £20.99.

These faux fur cushions from Bean Bag Bazaar are a great budget buy.

Add a splash of colour while staying well away from gingham with this cosy throw, made in Yorkshire from pure Merino wool. With its dotty reversible design, it’s two looks for the price of one. It’s also available in light blue, pale grey, and navy blue. £92 from Ville et Campagne.

By Sara Walker

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