Living room progress

Doing up our own home includes a number of challenges. Firstly our house is quite odd. It is just not ‘off the peg’ in any way. Neither a classic modernist design, nor a period beauty, it is a unique 1970’s house that we love, but feel was never given quite enough thought. The living room is very long and narrow. We solved this when we first moved in by placing a large room divider a third of the way down to create seperate living and dining areas.

This worked well, but I always felt the room divider was a bit too big and robbed the room of light. Doug built it for our previous home where it sat against a wall. It was designed as a storage unit and we persisted in using it as such so, inevitably, it was a bit cluttered. We never quite brought ourselves to remove the books and records and simply place beautiful objects on it, as we had not made it for that purpose.
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A Spoonful of Vintage

For the second time Doug has photographed the home of retro lifestyle duo Helen Monaghan and and Ian Hughes. Together they run a business called Vintage vendors selling their wares at vintage fairs. Living and breathing 1950s style, this uncompromising couple have recently bought a 1950s apartment on the seafront in Edinburgh and, of course, have furnished it in impeccable period detail.

1950s living room


Racks of collectable vintage crockery and bric a brac are on display throughout their home.
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Adding colour to your home

I know, I know, I am obsessed… one minute I am suggesting you add colour to your garden, next minute, your home – it is summer! I see over and over again homes that stand out and it is often for the same reason: a bold use of mouth-watering colour:


Just look at this bedroom! It really is some blue isn’t it…? Nothing to be scared of. A beauty by Edinburgh interior designer Claire Barlas.

An apple green ‘Snuggler’ chair?


Or a mulberry’ sofa? This room is by Dundee designer, Lynne Duffus. Her website is a cornucopia of Lovely Things
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Anyone passionate about mid-century furniture should make a point of visiting Lair, either onlne or the recently opened atmospheric and intimate Edinburgh shop at 17, Dundas street. The owner, Xanthe Weir moved to her home, an elegant Georgian terrace, in Edinburgh in Autumn 2013 after many years in London working for fashion brands, most recently Paul Smith.

Living room


Her interest and passion for mid 20th century furniture began about 10 years ago and she has been a collector since. Always interested in design and craftsmanship many of her favourite pieces are almost sculptural where the relationship between fashion, and form fuses into one.
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Cotterell home

Love the colourful and eclectic home of Lorraine Cotterell, which Douglas photographed for House Beautiful magazine recently. Lorraine is co-director of Cotterell & Co the well known lighting and furnishings design store, with branches in both Glasgow and Edinburgh and a growing online presence as well.


Lorraine’s home was her family home where she was brought up, which her and her husband, Graham, have beautifully updated recently.


kitchen seating

Hallway mirror


Dressing table


child's room

Lorraine and her Graham’s youngest child is a beautiful little girl from Thailand, this very welcome addition to their family has prompted them to use Eastern touches throughout their home. Lorraine’s natural flair for colour combined with her sound knowledge of design trends has ensured that the results are absolutely stunning.

Family portrait

Dear Santa,

I have been very, very good this year and I would really like a doll’s house. I write about Interiors and when I was a child my dolls house was my absolute favourite toy…Hmmm…I wonder if there is a connection??

Eva dolls house

My daughter has a dolls house and I have loved watching her build it up and collect for it. Because we live in a relatively modern house, we deliberately bought Eva a ‘Period Property’- it has an Aga, an orangerie..lots of things we can’t really have in our slightly severe, 1970’s house. However, I have found it rather frustrating to be honest: it is her dolls house and she sort of has to get to choose everything…torture for me to be honest…a bit like back street driving for some people…will name no names…


I have privately promised myself that one day I will buy myself a dream dollshouse, like the one above and ‘do it up’ myself…quite an expensive indulgence, both in terms of money and space…unfortunately, we just do not have a spare corner where a huge dolls house would sit comfortably.

qubis haus in front of fire

However…this could solve that problem…I saw this absolute beauty in an email alert about a forthcoming design exhibition Home London open 13th-15th jan at Earls Court…a coffee table that is also a modernist dolls house: the Qubis, the dolls house that doubles up as a coffee table!! Designed by Amy Whitworth, a former designer, now a mother of small children / toy designer.

qubis - eve playing with table

Qubis Design


Beautiful shoot in the latest 25 Beautiful Homes of the family home of Carl and Emma Morenikeji, owners of wonderful salvaged furniture and homeware company, Scaramanga. What I love about their furniture is that it could work well in so many different styles of homes – vintage obviously always looks good in a period property, but salvaged and one off pieces are also great for adding individuality to modern homes. They are based in Fife and a delight to visit, either in person or virtually…

I just so wish I needed some furniture…!

For me the star pieces from Scaramanga are the distressed, colourful pieces that Carl finds on buying trips to India, but he also stocks mid-century British and all sorts of vintage bits and pieces.

I am loving the this Coca Cola truck for sale at the moment…

Do have a good look, I think it is so important to find storage solutions that are not from Ikea, much as I love anything Swedish, you do not want a whole house full of it!