the project

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.