The Style Files No. 30the most beautiful Scandi house...on the Scottish borders
Hello interior addicts, it’s that time of the week when we embark on a grand tour of yet another beautiful home. Last week we had a good peek at Rebecca’s Mancunian Airbnb (if you want to learn how to use yellow properly, check out her house here), but this week we’ve ventured further north to the Scottish borders. And oh boy, do we like what we’ve found! Nestled in the countryside is this huge, light flooded home owned by Malika and her husband. Malika is a journalist and social entrepreneur and her husband’s job takes them all over the world, so every summer they enjoy some rural tranquility by escaping to the house with their three boys. On this house tour you can expect vast, wood-clad Scandi spaces, cosy nooks and crannies and one of the best picture windows you’ll ever see. Take a look…
What’s the inspiration behind your home?
A mixture of the work the architects had done before, and an idea we had of a clean, modern holiday house that you could open up and make warm after a long drive at the flick of a switch. As I was putting the recycling out one Sunday night I saw a cool house on the front of a supplement of the Sunday papers and that’s how we found our architects. It was a similar project – an old Scottish ruin into which they had inserted a new wooden house. We called the practice up and met them a few weeks later onsite. It was Susie, the architect’s first proper project.
Was there a design process behind your home?
We met the architect and she came up with a design which we then passed back and forth endlessly, readjusting for budget and rejigging our expectations. We were living abroad at the time so we were really far away in every sense, which made it harder. It’s a holiday house so we try and remind ourselves that it should be different in feel to our London house. I love the fact that we can’t get phone or TV reception there and that there’s no internet either!
What’s your best advice for creating a home like yours?
However abstract it all seems, do sweat the small stuff. Even tiny things like light switches are important- I didn’t realise how much when I kept receiving long detailed messages in Turkey about which towel rails we wanted. The light switches we have are placed too low (a disability requirement for new builds) so my toddler is constantly playing with them. But they’re also really noisy switches which annoys me last thing at night when I’m locking up!
Much more importantly, really think about how you’re going to use the spaces – many people overlook the fact that the kitchen is the place people spend the most time. Bedrooms are less important and it really doesn’t matter if they’re small in a holiday house. Be honest and think about where you will spend most time. Noise is another thing – it’s all open so it’s quite hard to watch a movie without the whole house hearing!
“Bedrooms are less important….be honest and think about where you will spend most of your time”
What do you think is the single most important thing to remember when decorating a room?
Comfort. And dusting/cleaning! Our architects chose light fittings that are very cool but you can see the dust on the top of them at eye level!
What is your favourite spot in the house and why?
It depends on the weather. If it’s rainy outside it’s the view of bread proving in the warm utility room. We all love looking out of the picture window whatever he weather. Outside the bathroom is a lovely seat which covers a laundry chute – the children love to sit there looking for hares and I love seeing the full moon in the early hours from there.
How would you define your style?
A mixture! But it changes all the time. The ikea toy kitchen will go quite soon, with any luck! We have 70s rugs from Turkey, donated furniture from relatives and quite a Scandinavian feel from the plywood walls – which were a last minute cost-saving device. That is a huge part of the house’s feel.
Check out Malika’s social entrepreneurial project by following it on instagram here.
Have you got a house worth shouting about? Don’t be shy, we want to know! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org