These clients have a home that was designed and built by us 15 years ago. As their teens grew they decided to add on a new public area for everyone to spread out in, butwhich would also double as somewhere for visiting grandparents to stay. They also knew, living near Loch Lomond, that it could be rented out to the holiday market. Our job was to make sure the space worked forall these purposes.
First, we made sure the extension had a separate front entrance to the main house for the privacy of potential holidaymakers. Yet, it also connects via a lockable to the interior of the main house. This means it works both as a large entertainment space leading from the main house, or a smart mini apartment for visitors.
As time has gone by the holiday rental idea has come into its own, and the space is frequently rented by Airbnb guests.
How we worked
We knew from the beginning this had to be a very flexible space – able to exist in its own right as a one-bed unit. But it can also be integrated into the main house, with flow going between the two when it’s used as an entertaining space or a smart spare room. Architecturally, the house sits on a sloping site, so to take this into account we lowered the extension floor by 450mm, to nestle it comfortably into the site. The drop in floor level also allows for a 2.7m ceiling height, which makes the room feel bigger and grander than it would otherwise. The drop also delineates the new room from the other part of the house. It feels part of it, but there is also a separation. More than 50% of the Airbnb guests are foreign couples, here to explore Scotland. They stay for a couple of nights and eat out locally where there are many options, so the extension only has minimal catering facilities. We also did all the interior design for the extension, and for this tourist market decided to use tartan subtly with high quality Anta fabrics. To integrate the two spaces when used together we matched the décor, with walls in both painted in Farrow and Ball ‘Mouse’s Back’ to unify the spaces. Ralph Lauren fabrics are used in both rooms, too, to cement a sense of unity. The north-facing bedroom to the back is decorated in Farrow and Ball’s London Clay which is a chocolatey colour which warms up the north light and feels cosy. We also added a west-facing veranda, which gives guests an option of outdoor living - to sit and enjoy a drink in the evening sun and feel that it is their space. We covered this area to allow for the occasional hour of Scottish drizzle!
Success of the project
This project has worked very well, due to precise thinking through of each situation the space would be used for. When it’s not booked out through Airbnb, it’s used as a party room for adults and teenagers, or for a large family Christmas with a long table away from the bustle of the house kitchen. A 1500mm-wide connecting door between the existing drawing room and the new drawing room helps the two spaces to flow as one when it’s in use in conjunction with the main house. However, this connection door is kept shut when Airbnb visitors stay, and when teenagers entertain it is firmly locked! In terms of décor the designer fabrics and smart colours give it a sense of homely luxury, which is often complemented by Airbnb guests.