Finding those houses…..

It is hard getting houses into a magazine….but lovely houses do find their way in eventually….which magazine though?

The mainstream magazines are all real favourites: Ideal Home, House Beautiful, 25 Beautiful Homes. We can all relate, because the editors work really hard to ensure that there is something for everyone. They are very informative and helpful, if you are undergoing any kind of project you need these titles for ideas and to find out about products and costs.

Titles like Living Etc, House and Garden and Elle Decoration are more about inspiration – something we all need, but we do not necessarily relate to them that closely. We would all love to have houses suitable for these publications, but unfortunately, most of us do not live in a loft apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour or a wooden cabin in the middle of a forest in Sweden!

A lot of us probably have children – either toddlers, who love wiping their hands on furniture and wallpaper or even more challenging, teenagers, who often seem to have large groups of friends who really like hanging around our living rooms or kitchens, certainly not cleaning up after themselves, leaving us with little time for creating lovely shabby chic flower arrangements….

Your Home and Style at Home are aimed at people on a budget – which quite frankly – we all are at some point! There is going to be a moment for everyone when ways to freshen up a tired bathroom for less than £1k is just really useful.

Period and Country titles have a special charm. Old buildings are special and the rural way of life is precious. It is really important that traditions are preserved. Interior design is not just about fashion…history and context are really important when it comes to making choices for our homes.

Helen Lyon

Have you ever dreamt of running away, hiding in the far north of the Highlands…..?

That is exactly what Scott and Helen Lyon did…However, far from burying themselves away, never to be seen again, they got absolutely stuck in, building themselves a beautiful, beautiful house…overlooking the sea….involving themselves totally in the local community…They are both keen curlers and the moment they moved up, from their family home in the outskirts of Chester, they had one of the harshest winters on record – all the lochs were frozen – Helen and Scott were never in! And they certainly were seen again, by the endless stream of visitors….arriving from Chester, who will be really missing this lively, fun couple!
Helen is an interior designer with a flourishing practice up there now. Taking her inspiration from the stunning scenery she is surrounded by: sea blues and greys from the biggest skies you can imagine, pebbles and stones, sand and bracken, heather and golden sunsets….it is all there…inside and outside her lovely home…..

Sbrinz, Scott and helen’s beautiful Bernese Mountain dog., asleep on the porch

The entrance hall
You are greeted by the stunning driftwood lamp and mirror, turn around to the beautiful soft curved staircase, lined with the ‘Thistle’ wallpaper by Timourous Beasties

The generous, open living area.

….open to the cockpit – centre of operations….complete with a compass and a mesmerising view to the Lyon’s private beach…coffee and the Sunday papers…inside or out?

Helen’s ‘Horny chair’ in the corner of the dining area….

The living area is also open to the kitchen at the other end…

…..behind this generous island unit, beside those gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows…

Who wouldn’t want an Aubergine Aga??

Interestingly the Lyon’s architects were Anta…

The kitchen is by a local craftsman Gavin Robertson. Gavin is known as the ‘Linley of the Highlands’.

The Original Chair Lady

This lovely Victorian terraced house in Perth is home to Kate Mackenzie the owner of The Original Chair Company.


Everywhere you look there is a beautifully upholstered chair…..

Oh – there’s another one –

And another….. can just see the back of it!

And another!

This time covered in a beautiful striped velvet.

The living room has a stunning footstool…another leg to Kate’s flourishing business. Adorning it is a tray laid with cups and saucers and some very appetising….errmm…actually I think that is some shop bought chocolate brownies…Apparently Kate has a very naughty dog – a black lab – who loves eating – he is living in the right house, because Kate’s husband, Stephen is a trained chef, who, especially for the shoot baked a beautiful tray of scones…the moment their backs were turned, the dog scoffed the lot…unfazed, Stephen just as quickly whipped up another batch….he is a professional after all! Apparently Doggie scoffed them as well!

I think at that point, hubby just gave up and nipped out for some chocolate biscuits..!

The McKenzies

Kate and her daughter Poppie

Pedlars – The Gladstone Experience

A hell of a lot better than the ‘M&M’s experience’ that my children dragged me off to last time I was in London….if you are after some Christmas shopping ideas you simply cannot do better than click on….or visit one of their gorgeous shops.

Doug had the wonderful experience of actually photographing Charlie and Caroline Gladstone’s home in the Highlands…inherited from a great, in many ways, grandfather….they really do live the Pedlar’s dream…their home is not crammed with stuff from Pedlars however…it is not a showcase…it is a real family home, where their six children muck about with friends, make a mess and generally grow up (much too fast, if they are anything like mine….)

Getting snowy....

Getting snowy…

A bust of great grandad….resplendant in a fire chiefs hat…

A traditional dining room....made fab, fab, fab by the LOVE print on the mantelpiece

I am sure the LOVE print on the mantelpiece is by my lovely old school friend – Rose Bamford (nee Gibbs) joint owner of wonderful T-shirt and poster company – Her Indoors loves Dandy Star….

Lovely black and white family photos line the walls.....hang on - is that another LOVE poster....!!

Cool isn’t it?

Charlie and Caroline also keep a blog….do have a look….I think they are slightly busier than Doug and I, with their hugely successful mail order business, retail outlets opening up all over the country, an organic farm, a Christmas tree business, homes in London, Scotland, France….all over the place…not to mention their six children and a menagerie of animals, dogs, horses…etc…mind you, we do have two chickens as well as our two cats…and I am doing the scenery for the village panto…..


Scotland is an often forgotten corner of the international design world – ridiculous when we invented tartan!! But seriously, it has come a long way since the days of Rob Roy, on many levels: architecture, interior design, culture and fashion, with companies like Anta leading the way.

Lachlan and Annie Stewart met at Glasgow Art School as young architecture students and when they left they had the absolutely brilliant idea of updating the whole ‘tartan thing’ and making it tasteful….they brought it straight into the twenty-first century, skipping the twentieth, even though it was in the 1990’s when they started their business.

They also managed to renovate an ancient castle in their spare time, as you do…..creating a stylish and comfortable home for themselves and their children.

The kitchen…the beautiful fruit bowl will be very familiar to all discerning wedding gift buyers…!

Living room

Master bedroom


Spiral staircase – imagine making your way up these every night?!!



Taking their inspiration form the Scottish landscape, using a myriad of heathers, greys, sages and ochres, textures that we will never tire of, such as tweed, linen and mohair…their products are a constant reminder of the beauty of our countryside, it’s landscape and the innate sense of style of Scottish people.