Windows onto the wilderness

Window treatments from Blinds by Peter Meyer closed out the design of Chalets at Blackheath, an eco-project near the Blue Mountains, where both the natural world and “hygge” – the Scandinavian concept of comfort, conviviality and contentment – reign supreme.

When the team at Blinds by Peter Meyer got the call from Sydney-based Mina Staples Interiors regarding the window furnishings for Chalets at Blackheath, they knew the end result would be breathtaking. 

Constructed on 17 acres of bushland, Chalets at Blackheath form an eco-resort located next to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park, from which they take their inspiration. 

For Mina, it was a challenge to ensure that the window treatments at Chalets at Blackheath were specified perfectly. Critical elements that needed consideration were truth in material, elegant simplicity and allowing the natural surroundings to be honoured. 

It was crucial for the designer to maintain a strong visual connection to the bush, while ensuring the window treatments were tailored to a multitude of lifestyle and climate requirements. 

Architecturally, the cabin exteriors are enfolded by charred timber and speak of the legacy of bushfires, which had decimated the whole area a few years previously. 

The cabins’ burnt timber cladding – also known as Shou Sugi Ban – acts as a reminder that nature reigns supreme, with the buildings a place to reconnect with the natural world and explore. The selection of materials has been kept organic and tactile to denote that connection.

The interiors incorporate a fusion of modern Australian aesthetics, with two global sensibilities, both strongly connected to defining elements of Mina’s design vision. 

“The Japanese notions of wabi sabi – ‘beauty in the imperfect’ – and Scandinavian hygge and minimalism without sacrificing beauty, create this chalet’s unique ‘Je ne sais quoi’,” she says.

The project brief for the window treatments was to provide blockout and sheer options with layered visibility and flexibility. 

With expansive double story windows on three sides, the stunning architectural feature also created challenges in the form of tricky corner junctions. The steep rake of the roofline also added an extra layer of consideration when determining optimal window treatments. 

“We wanted to create an atmospheric, dreamy space in which to relax and unwind; for one to reconnect with nature, be inspired to explore and enjoy the breathtaking wilderness on the chalet’s doorstep.” 

The challenge was to create a “hygge” yet expansive feeling within the chalets without compromising on these core elements. The solution came in the form of 86mm custom painted motorised cedar Venetian blinds, as Simon Meyer – Managing Director of Blinds by Peter Meyer, explains.

“We use only the highest quality timbers with specially selected 4.2mm thick blades that have been custom stained in our very own paint booths, where we have control of every stage of the production to guarantee the best possible end product for each client’s needs,” says Meyer.  

“Assembly is by hand, with every slat meticulously checked at every stage. The cedar specified has full PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certification, is completely sustainable and sourced from Canadian government regulated forests, with three new trees being planted for every one tree removed. 

“This is particularly important considering the blinds would be featured within an eco-resort. The cedar is old growth sustainable, ensuring the fine grain and consistent finish designers like Mina Staples have come to expect from Blinds by Peter Meyer.”  

The wide width dark cedar venetian blinds provide a myriad of benefits; importantly, light, flexibility and privacy. When the blades are open they “disappear” and draw the landscape into focus. 

Motorising the venetians was also a must; the weight of the blinds and the sheer scale of the windows being covered required the use of strong and reliable motorised blinds. 

Motors from Somfy are fully concealed within the venetian blinds and the smooth, controlled operation ensures both maximum functionality and a longer lifespan – of particular benefit given that the property will also host guests. 

“With a simple press of a button, chalet guests are able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the bush or retreat into their inner sanctum of privacy inside the stunning chalets. They have complete control over the quiet, sophisticated automated blind system.“ 

To finish off the windows, Mina added a sheer billowing curtain. 

“Allowing light, it filters vision whilst dancing in the wind,” she says. “A lightweight curtain always finishes off a space, as it conjures that delicious holiday escape vibe – it’s like a visual sigh. It represents beauty in its simplest form.”

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