Atmospheric spaces high up in the mountains
Polje is an Alpine village surrounded by the verdant forests of Upper Carniola in Slovenia, a couple of hours’ drive from the capital Ljubljana. Here, among pastures, alpine lakes and wooded valleys, the practice JVB Designworks renovated an old chalet and converted it into a holiday home. The aim of the project was to restore charm and functionality to the run-down interior of this historic building and create the ideal place to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of the Slovenian landscape and open air living.
“It was for precisely this reason that I abandoned the frenetic pace of life in London for Slovenia,” reveals architect Jade van Baaren, creative director of JVB Designworks, which she founded with her husband in Ljubljana, where she now lives with her children. “I fell in love with the beauty of Slovenian nature and wanted to share this emotion with my clients by renovating homes and creating spaces that would combine comfort and atmosphere. That’s how my adventure in this country began.”
The Polje chalet perfectly sums up the Anglo-Slovenian team’s design vision, particularly the relationship between interior and exterior which is underscored by solutions that serve to expand the view of the landscape. For example, the decision to open up a larger window in the front façade gives the living room a splendid view of the valley, while the addition of a patio on the opposite wall creates a kind of transitional space between interior and exterior, allowing the home to extend out into the garden. The designers also decided to build an extension to make a larger and more functional kitchen, a kind of annexe that reproduces the form and materials of the existing building but on a smaller scale. This mini-chalet looks out onto the surrounding landscape through ribbon windows running around the walls, while skylights in the double-pitched roof allow light and air to flow into the space.
But above all JVB Designworks focused on details to create atmospheric spaces. “That’s our secret,” the architect explains. “In the new kitchen, for example, we opted for ceramic tiling to give the room plenty of personality without sacrificing the warmth of tradition. The Arabesque Satin series from Tonalite proved the perfect choice in terms of pattern, texture and colour, as well as the high quality of workmanship, an aspect that is essential for us,” she concludes.
The interior design project centres around items of furniture that are warm and reassuring in terms of both their style and the choice of fabrics and materials. Wood enjoys pride of place coupled with natural mats, while grey softens the total white look of the walls and ceiling without creating excessive colour contrasts. The idea was to maintain a soft, relaxing and almost monochromatic palette while giving centre stage to the landscape seen through the windows.
Tonalite, Arabesque Satin
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 3%
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): >22 N/mm2
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme