Periodically we sit down and discuss our company and how to make shep&kyles design even better for our clients. With Covid-19 still raging around the planet we are all living in complicated and difficult times, and our hope is that, once the pandemic is over (fingers crossed – soon please!) we will be back to doing what we love, unhindered by the present complications of illness, quarantine and escalating prices & lead-times for products. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, but even so, occasionally we get cabin fever!

We are extremely proud that we have managed to fulfill all of our commitments and our incredible build team has honoured pre-Covid quotes, taking a huge hit on the spiralling cost of materials, but it has been a very stressful period.

We have looked carefully at our projects and how we can improve the company for the benefit of all, and have decided that, moving forwards we will only undertake projects that are within 40 minutes of our office.



There are several reasons for this decision, but they come back to our USP as a top-level design consultancy seeking to offer excellence to our clients. Nowadays our projects rival those of major international design agencies – designing some of the most beautiful and luxurious chalets in the Alps. What sets us apart is that we live and work in the mountains year-round, and therefore by limiting our work to properties that are local to us, we can capitalise on this advantage, and ensure that our services remain unrivalled.



We have lived and worked in France for over 20 years (Shep for even longer!). We speak French fluently, we understand the customs and working practices, and embrace Savoyard design and patrimoine. We were married in the village where we still live, our daughter was born in France and goes to the village school. We are a small company that cares passionately about this corner of the Alps.



Most of our trades and suppliers have worked with us for many years – we know them well, and they understand us and what we expect from them in terms of design detailing and high quality workmanship. This is crucial to high-end projects where there are hundreds of bespoke design details.

We undertake new-build chalets and renovations, but (due to planning restrictions) the majority of our projects nowadays are renovations such as La Maison or Chalet Le Bercail. For these, a regular – sometimes daily – site presence is required in order to ensure the best and most cost-effective solution for our clients. Despite comprehensive design documentation, questions always arise on site, and knowing that we are only a few minutes away means that we can visit site at short notice. This level of detail in both design and construction is what makes our company so valuable, and we want to increasingly orientate ourselves towards this, one of our greatest strengths.



All our projects have weekly site meetings, and whether as consultants working alongside the lead architect on a turn-key project, or managing a bespoke renovation when we are more intimately involved, we always attend and document these meetings. This ensures that we can manage all the details of the project, large and small. On a new-build, although the architect’s team manage the programme, they are mainly centred on organising the trades, controlling budgets, and masterminding the build process. This means that communicating with the clients and replying to various queries can take some time. As the client’s representative, with English as our first language, we are always available for our clients as well as the trades, therefore avoiding “lost in translation” problems.

On all projects we take immediate action on our client’s behalf when they have a query or request, and simultaneously translate both language and concepts to bridge the cultural gap. We have a great deal of knowledge and experience of what it takes to build a beautiful chalet, the likely pitfalls, and the best solutions available to overcome problems. We keep clients regularly updated: verbally, with transcriptions of weekly site-meetings, and photographically. In essence, we take the hassle away from the client, ensuring the owner is always in the loop, and his or her interests are part of the solutions implemented on-site. As a result we save our clients stress and time, and add real value to the final product.



Our home is in La Cote d’Arbroz, a small alpine village just a few minutes away from Morzine, and most of our projects are based in Morzine, Les Gets, Montriond and Avoriaz. It is a beautiful area – the Portes du Soleil is the largest international ski-area in the world, and the villages are also buzzing in the summer with summer tourism including annual events such as the Spartan Race and World mountain-bike championships, as well as the famous Tour de France as a regular visitor.

If you are considering a project in this area please feel free to contact us – even if it is just an idea – as we have close links to local estate agents and often work with our clients prior to their purchase of land or a property!



Photography credits: Jacquie Cutler, Stéphane Gautier and with kind permission of The Boutique Chalet Company  –  thank-you, as always!