We’ve seen HGTV Canada designer
Sarah Richardson tackle off-grid farmhouses, rental cottages, and country escapes and now she’s just completed her most expensive project to date for the new show: . She and her team overhaul a classic alpine-style chalet called Haus Heidi in Whistler B.C. The house is a dated 5,000-square-foot chalet formerly used as a B&B. The premiere of the show airs tonight on HGTV Canada, but we wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of the rooms you’ll be seeing. Scroll down! Sarah’s Mountain Escape
When it’s finished, Haus Heidi will serve as a four-season luxury rental. We sat down with Sarah for a chat about what makes for a functional, beautiful getaway that will host a major crowd. Plus, see some of the dreamy spaces audiences of the show can expect to see!
“Haus Heidi is a local landmark, everyone knows it,” laughs Sarah. “It was built in 1978 and it’s special to Whistler.”
“I just wanted to bring it forward into present day with a fresh outlook,” says Sarah. She met the original painter who embellished the exterior of Haus Heidi with Bavarian-style tendrils. “She is 82 now and she came back and repainted it for us. She’s so special, we’re happy we kept a few little whimsical touches.”
Sarah and her husband Alexander Younger are avid skiers. They were attracted to the idea of creating a luxury rental chalet for groups wanting to come experience that natural splendor of Whistler B.C.
“We live in a modern house in the city and I love historic architecture. Plus whenever I’m designing, I want to think about the house’s surroundings, and how I want to feel when I’m there. In this case, it is about the beautiful views of tall pines. I always like to feel connected to the landscape. Every window has a mountain vista and it’s just amazing.”
One example of this is the Landing Lounge on the third floor that connects two bedrooms with enviable mountain views. The digital art by West Coast artist
Stacey Bodnaruk is made from metal. “She layers together multiple photographs to create these really unique pieces. We tried to work with local artisans and craftspeople to feel rooted in the location.” Sarah replaced the old railings with a version that has stylized tree cutouts.
This house looks over Whistler and Blackcomb on an acre of land set high on a knoll. Of the four bedrooms on the top floor, Sarah notes: “We wanted all the bedrooms and bathrooms to be suites, with amenities for the guests’ comfort. The vaulted ceiling runs all the way through the third floor and it gives us some great ceiling height.” The bench is made from two terrazzo side tables with a new top, and the vintage travertine side tables are topped with marble remnants.
Products: Blind fabric, Thibaut
Film was applied to this bathroom window and then layered with a mirror. “In the afternoon it gets this incredible dappled light through the pattern of the trees so it’s like an illuminated window box. The pebbled floor tiles have an indoor-outdoor feeling. I love the way it feels underfoot and it’s durable in a high-traffic area.”
Products: Counter top, Caesarstone; pyrite knobs, Anthropologie; mirror, CB2
This is Sarah’s favorite room in the whole chalet. “It’s really unique and feels special. I love a banquette — there are three different banquettes installed in Haus Heidi.” She used leftover white oak floor boards to create the banquette in this octagonal lounge. “It’s a great spot for morning coffee.”
“In a rental you don’t know who’s going to be staying there so you just want to create as much space and breathing room as possible. This is just a little home office for anyone who wants to get some work done. I personally love a desk in front of a window where you can enjoy the view and the natural light — and in this case you can get a view of the chair lift.”
Products: Wood pulls, Lee Valley.
This shiplap bedroom, dubbed the Nimbus, was inspired by a helicopter trip up to Brandywine Mountain. The blue lights are by Sarah’s brother’s New York company,
RBW. “The color of the clouds in the sky and the crispness of the snow inspired this room.” The fractured wallpaper has an icy, glacier quality.
Source: Sconces, RBW; side tables, Ikea; wallpaper, Brewster
The bathroom for the Nimbus Suite riffs on grey and white with accents of blue for a cloud-inspired look that feels totally at home in the mountains. “The pendants are by
Color Cord Company. I love their work because you can configure your own lights and choose the canopy and socket, as well as the cord and there are hundreds of colors to choose from.”
In the Boulder Suite,
Brenlo moldings are applied to bunkbeds to mimic real logs and topped with a coat of sage green paint. “We harnessed the color of granite boulders with really vibrant moss growing on them. They are trimmed in panelling from Brenlo, which is super cool and installed like shiplap,” says Sarah.
“The wallpaper in this powder room is from Brewster and it’s just fun because it’s got that hand-drawn feeling.” Zebra marble on the flooring mimics the sharp, graphic quality of the floating vanity.
Watch the series premiere of
on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada. Sarah’s Mountain Escape
Products: Wallpaper, Brewster; vanity, Lowe's
Author: Wendy Jacob