Holiday Cottages for Style Inspiration
It’s often said that: “A change is as good as rest.” But what if your weekend break wasn’t just an opportunity to recharge but a chance to revitalise your own home? Whether your style is a traditional country cottage, a chic, contemporary, self-catering retreat, a rustic log cabin or a luxury lodge, there’s a holiday rental in Scotland that will send you home brimming with ideas on how to recreate the look for yourself.
Auchterarder 30, Auchterarder, Gleneagles, Perthshire
If you like to name drop, then you’ll love interior designer, Pat Renson’s Auchterarder pad which reads like a who’s who of the design world. Ralph Lauren, Andrew Martin and The Isle Mill are just a few that have been showcased to amazing effect. A special mention goes to Scotland’s own and very talented designer, Iona Crawford who was the main inspiration for the soft furnishings. This cosy but incredibly cool, one-bed, self-catering, town house is just a stone’s throw from Gleneagles and everything it has to offer. It’s a place where style and luxury come together perfectly. It’s also immensely practical as being a dog owner herself, Pat has ensured that whilst the cottage looks amazing, it’s also dog-friendly. For me, the highlight is the fabulous Aston Matthews bath which was painted to match the interior by Cait Whitson at Carte Blanche – that’s what you call attention to detail. And of course, this really is a holiday where you can shop the look as Pat’s design studio is just down the street.
Croft 103, Shore Cottage, Durness, North West Highlands
At Shore Cottage absolutely nothing is off the peg. This stunning, contemporary cottage is built on the shores of Loch Erribol near Durness and is also on the North Coast 500. Everything has been created with thought, intention and individuality in mind. From bespoke towel rails and door handles, to the wardrobes and 7ft bed which was a collaboration with artist/blacksmith, Sam Barlow. The pared back aesthetics in Shore give the property a stunning simplicity, and complement rather than distract, from the dramatic views outside. Deliberately built as: “a place in which people fall in love,” everything is about romance. And, if you want to get up close and personal to the wilds of Scotland and your beau, then just take a dip in the outside tub. It wouldn’t be easy to mimic the dramatic interior and exterior of Shore, but you can draw on it’s stark, almost brutal design for inspiration – it really does provide food for thought.
Springfield House, Carrbridge, nr Aviemore, Cairngorms National Park
Aviemore’s appeal to tourists knows no bounds but finding unique and stylish accommodation in the area isn’t easy. Springfield House in Carrbridge bucks that trend. Sleeping up to six guests and the dog if you wish, the traditional exterior belies a quirky interior with a distinctively vintage vibe. It’s a house that celebrates texture with exposed stone walls and wooden floors and is kept toasty with a generously-sized, wood burning stove. The dark, contemporary paint colours in the main living areas create a moody ambience perfect for lounging and listening to the turntable with vintage amp and a collection of classic vinyl that the owners have thoughtfully provided. They suggest: “you fill the house with music as you cook,” and why not? This is vintage style you’ll want to replicate at home.
Kyle House, Kyle of Tongue, Sutherland
So cool, it’s positively chilly, Kyle House showcases Danish design at its best. If you like life to be precise, even when on holiday, then this is place for you. Overlooking Ben Loyal and located at the southern tip of the Kyle of Tongue, this new Kyle House is a careful reinvention of a traditional Scottish cottage. Equal space has been allocated to sleeping, eating, living and bathing in this tailormade house that sleeps two (plus children). Stunning in its simplicity with a neutral colour palette, Kyle House demonstrates how easy it is to practice minimal living. Natural materials such as Caithness stone and Danish oak have been used throughout the property and on this base only the most necessary objects have been placed. Furniture and accessories have been pared back to their basic essentials proving that good design is all you really need.
Alpnhaus, nr Newcastleton, Scottish Borders
A luxury bothy with Austrian influences in the Scottish Borders – not something you come across very often but Alpnhaus is worth making a detour to visit. Cosy, rustic and romantic but with no rough edges, this is alpine living without the alps and with a wood-fired hot tub. Owners, Christa and Del have been collecting for the one bedroom, larch-clad chalet for nearly 10 years before it was completed in May 2018. As a result, every room, accessory and detail has been carefully considered. Antler towel rails, a river stone sink and sledges reinvented as bedside cabinets nestle alongside luxurious, German down duvets and the finest, Belgian, natural, bed linens. Alpnhaus smells amazing too. Del makes diffusers filled with Viennese essential oils and these are placed in the chalet and sold in the couple’s alpine lifestyle shop. Take some home, close your eyes and you’ll be back in Alpnhaus – almost!
No. 2 Braemar, Braemar, Cairngorms National Park
Let’s face it buying tester pots from Farrow & Ball and The Paint Library gets pretty expensive really quickly. Stay at No.2 Braemar and you can see a huge selection of fabulous paint colours and sumptuous wall coverings in the flesh before you buy. Asides from having a beautiful colour palette this four bed, stone-built traditional home which sleeps up to 8 demonstrates exactly what you can achieve if you take the time to search the internet and the High Street. There are blinds from Timorous Beasties, a chandelier from The White Company, a mirrored coffee table from Anthropologie, chairs from Cox & Cox, lighting from Industville and beds from Graham & Greene and that’s just naming a few. Owner, Catriona Elson maintains: “It’s an eclectic mix of what I felt worked.” It works indeed and if you stay in this hip abode and particularly like something, Catriona will be more than happy to tell you where she sourced it.
So, next time you’re thinking about a break from the daily grind why not look for a few nights away in a property that’s aspirational and unusual? You can find out if you really have a specific style and whether you could you live with it day to day, or it might inspire you to take a totally different direction. Ultimately it could even save you some money, but if it doesn’t, just imagine how great your Instagram feed will look!