An update from our project in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The Retrouvius Design studio are doing the interiors of this rare Georgian building that looks out over the southernmost peninsular on the Isle of Harris.
Although we emotionally crave Spring, we still have a chance to indulge in the warmth and cosiness of indoors. Here is a family home we helped make a few years ago.
Improving the layout was crucial to get this home working. It needed practicality, in terms of how when you come in, there is not that awful sense of squeezing down a long corridor. By removing a wall we immediately opened up the space and at the same time tried to create a welcoming atmosphere through the use of a bold colour palette.
In homes, particularly those with children, we like to give a space for toys, shoes, scooters, school bags and the general clutter that inevitably accumulates. An original deco velvet, very much pre-Missoni but with all that marvellous zig-zag chevron, is made into a pair of curtains that screens the hallway and offers easy access to hidden storage.
We often introduce sliding walls with small window inserts, or pairs of glazed doors - not only for light flow but also maintaining visual connection to the rest of the home.
The main family areas needed to be indestructible so that children can be totally at ease and comfortable, but at the same time transition into adult evening time. The kitchen table can become everyone's happy breakfast moment, without the worry of porridge splatters but can also be a smart-ish setting for dinner parties.
As with the living room, it needed to be chic and elegant for evening cocktails but also comfortable and accommodating.
Bathrooms in family homes can be sociable spaces. Here, we re-used sea oak as benches for two to sit - ideal for a chat. We all refer to it as the vagina shower.
The childrens' bathroom uses a pair of salvaged Crittal doors that completely open out onto the rest of the first floor space.
When re-using sano our advice is to use new taps. The UK is one of the last countries to still use separate taps, however mixer taps are much more environmentally friendly as less hot water is wasted.