When they converted this former fishing-net shed into a home, the owners' decor choices were guided by its stunning setting on the shore of a loch
This stunning home is built on the site of a fisherman’s net store that had been in the owner’s family for years. ‘My uncle bought it from the local estate, intending to turn it into a house,’ she says. ‘He got as far as clearing and levelling the site when he fell ill and asked me if I’d like to take it on.’
At the time the owner was working as a doctor in New Zealand and had no plans to return to Scotland in the foreseeable future. ‘However, when I realised how unwell my uncle was, I came back for six months to hang out with him,’ she says. ‘I really enjoyed being home, so I decided to relocate to London before coming back here.
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‘I wasn’t sure what form the house was going to take, but I had seen a picture of a house with a glass gable end and thought that might work really well here,’ she says. ‘I drew some sketches with my uncle and hired a local draughtsman, to draw up plans. I applied for planning permission in 2012 and the house was finished by the beginning of 2014. My cousin is a joiner and built the house,’ says the owner.
The owner co-ordinated the project from London and came up every four to six weeks. It didn’t totally go to plan: it’s a very long, narrow site and the original building was constructed against the rock behind it. This had to be broken away to fit the foundations of the new house and added to the cost of the ground works.
Image credit: Douglas Gibb
The location really is everything when it comes to this smart, two-bed self-build on the shores of Loch Beag on the Applecross peninsula, Scotland.
When the woodburning stove is blazing on a winter’s evening there is nowhere better to sit. ‘With the focus on the views, I felt the only backdrop I really needed was white walls and good wood floors,’ says the owner. ‘Where budget allowed, sourcing natural products really pulled the look together.’ The hearth is formed from two pieces of Brazilian slate.
Keen to create a calm, minimalist feel and beat clutter, the couple planned storage to the max. The bespoke kitchen units use every inch of space and the built-ins continue along the passageway to the main bedroom.
‘I wanted a view of the sea when working in the kitchen and for everyone sitting at the dining table,’ the owner says. ‘The calming outlook is ever changing depending on the weather, the light and the season. You never tire of it.’
New homes can lack character and natural texture, so the owner has been careful to add mismatched vintage stools and chairs, offsetting the glossy white kitchen units.
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The owner added cosiness to the main bedroom using heavy wool curtains and covering the headboard herself with traditional tweed from Abraham Moon & Sons.
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While the open-plan living space has a rustic look, the bathroom’s marble surfaces exude luxury. Every room on the ground floor – including this one – has sliding exterior doors. ‘Who needs a hot tub outside when you can just open the bathroom doors?’ says the owner.
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‘The house has changed our lives,’ says the owner. ‘When you’ve grown up here, you don’t realise how special it is, but now I’ve been away, I appreciate it. Moving here prompted us to start a yacht charter business and we’ve just finished renovating a nearby croft. Our first baby’s on the way, so after the birth we’ll move into the croft and rent out this house as a holiday let (the-net-store.com).’