Mad About . . .

10 Beautiful Rooms

24th April 2017
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Killiehuntly Farmhouse - Scotland. photo Martin Kaufmann

We’re going to Scotland for most of our 10 Beautiful Rooms this week. These are images from Killiehuntly, a farmhouse hotel and cottage in Scotland, which was bought by a Danish couple in 2011 and has been given a stylish Scottish/Scandi makeover.

Killiehuntly Farmhouse - Scotland - photos by Martin Kaufmann

The main building dates back to 1603 and is still a working farm – much of the menu comes from their own organic produce and the furniture is a mix of locally sourced sheepskins and Orkney chairs alongside Danish classics such as Gubi.

Killiehuntly Farmhouse - Scotland. photo Martin Kaufmann

Now, the owner, Anders Hoch Polvson, is quite rich. He’s a billionaire who owns the second largest land portfolio in Scotland, but he and his wife have worked wonders on these rooms which are the opposite of millionaire’s bling and there’s not a tartan in sight. Although make no mistake, this understated look can be expensive to pull off.


It’s a mix of soft paint shades, old wooden furniture and natural textures. We can all do this within our own budgets and it works particularly well in our rain-washed climate too. But never mind my own house, I suddenly feel the need for a Scottish holiday….

Killiehuntly Farmhouse - Scotland - photos by Martin Kaufmann

The architects who worked on the project were Groves Raines and they have followed a similar aesthetic on these two rooms below. One is Liberton House, built in the late 16th century and lived in by the Groves Raines family who later used it as their offices before moving to Lamb’s House, seen below.

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 12.12.05

This classic farmhouse look will never go out of style and is easy to update. Imagine painting the cupboards black or green and removing the traditional blue and white plates. The key is the scrubbed farmhouse table that works so well in any setting and is just much more inviting than a modern one. You can imagine wanting to sit round this and chat for hours moving from water, to coffee to wine as the hours slide by.

lambs house by grovesraines.com

Finally, a slight change of pace but a set of rooms which I like just as much. If you dropped in last week you will remember I featured House Curious, a location house in London that also runs workshops and an actual shop selling lovely stuff. This is the sitting room with its black walls and huge plants.

And this is the same room with the ceiling painted black. I know people find painting ceilings scary (my husband certainly does) but I thought this was a brilliant example how well it can work. Yes, it’s a light room with those large doors at the end but I’m not saying you should do this in every room. Just don’t rule it out if you have a space where it might work.

A final look through the internal glass doors at the other end of the room which remains pale grey and is so simple and elegant with the navy blue chairs and cushions. I might hire this house as a location and never move out. What do you think of this week’s selection?

Trinity Rd

house curious image by matt clayton

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  • Marcella 26th April 2017 at 6:49 pm


  • Denise 25th April 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Gosh. Love them all (but am absolutely with Nicola about the animal skins. Gross. If you need a bloody sheepskin to make the chair comfortable, buy a comfortable chair in the first place. If not: then don’t be gross. And yes, I am a vegetarian.)

    I am with The Mad Husband on the painted ceiling. I thought that the House Curious room with the white ceiling was striking in black. With the black ceiling – I found it oppressive to look at. I’d love to see this “in the flesh” somewhere though. I do wonder if it would be fab in reality, but that it isn’t captured (for me) in a picture.

    In the meantime, I’ll have either of the kitchens shown. Love, love that scrubbed table and chairs. Scones and a nice pot of tea…I can feel my backside getting fatter just at the thought of how much time I’d spend in one of those chairs at the ends. With a cushion, but no animal skin.

  • Nicola 25th April 2017 at 12:21 am

    I love them all this week but especially the hotel. For me it is perfection and I wouldn’t change a thing – except perhaps the liberal use of animal skins over chairs which is gross in my opinion. But the overall look gets a big thumbs up.

  • Sandra 24th April 2017 at 12:25 pm

    There is a saying here in Sweden -” taste is divided – just like your bottom”. (it sounds better in Swedish). I must say that I love all of the rooms above. Such a nice way to start the week. I just wish I had another house to decorate. Ours is relatively new and pretty well as we like it (well, for the moment anyway!) I just love the Danish furniture, by the way.

  • Julie Searles 24th April 2017 at 10:50 am

    Hi Annie, thanks for the advice, I’m in Manchester but will try Culmax.

  • Annie 24th April 2017 at 9:43 am

    Love the first few images, that is my ideal farmhouse kitchen look – traditional bones but modern finish. My tastes are more modern but I think in a farmhouse like that a more traditional look is perfect.

  • Our French Oasis 24th April 2017 at 9:19 am

    I want to book my flight to Scotland now! And I want to stay in that hotel! I love farmhouse kitchens but I do like them to have a modern twist. But what captured me the most were the chairs in the second photo, I have completely fallen in love with them, are these Danish Gubi?

  • Julie Searles 24th April 2017 at 9:18 am

    Hi Kate, love these rooms today. What do you think of the sliding doors out to the garden instead of bifolds, as in the House Curious image. I know you can’t pull them all the way back but less frame?

    • Annie 24th April 2017 at 9:42 am

      We have sliding doors and they are WONDERFUL! Personally I love them. You can do clever things depending on your walls etc where they can slide fully or partially into the walls so that you see less of the frame and glass when they are fully open, although we didn’t have that option. Personally though, in our British climate, the doors are mostly closed or only partially so we prefer the minimal frame and large expanse of glass. I recommend Culmax if you are in London, they do beautiful sliding doors with very slim frames, possibly even those in the House Curious image (or at least they are very similar).

  • Edwina Sutcliffe 24th April 2017 at 8:48 am

    I find the Scottish ones cold and impersonal, horrific choices with the light fixtures

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