A year ago, we wrote a post on the features that make up a lodge. Like lodge, chalet is an old word whose meaning has evolved considerably over time. The word comes from the Indo-European root cala, which means shelter. For much of its history, chalet did not mean much more than that, usually indicating a dwelling that a herder lived in while tending to his summertime pastures. Eventually, the chalet became a specific style of home in Switzerland and Savoy.