We made an early decision to find an interior designer, as it was obvious that this unique house needed to be considered as a whole. What a great decision that was!
We found Jane Blanchard, who works in Appin, Argyll. She has a wonderful portfolio of projects, and a real empathy for Scotland. Jane had never visited the Hebrides, and became very excited at the prospect.
While the site was a machair field (machair being the astonishingly beautiful mix of grasses and wild flowers on the islands), Jane went to Harris and met our project manager, Jonathan Bridge. She stood on ladders to appreciate the heights and viewpoints, and set about refining the window positions and thinking about the layout of the house, where furniture should go, and overall how the space would flow. She collected sand, shells and sea glass from the beaches to inspire her colour choices. Jonathan and Jane set about tweaking the house design with architect Iain Dawson to create the optimum layout.
Her big theme idea was based on two principles - the house should reflect and be part of the wider environment, and it should be organic to the point that interior walls should mostly curve and the space should open out and invite you to explore.
Starting with these big ideas, the interior design is progressing in layers of increasing detail. Our daughter Lucy researched coastal design concepts from all over the world, and started a Pinterest board to share with Jane, which in turn is inspirational and triggers great creativity. Exciting concepts abound - such as flooring that flows under the bathroom door (like the sea), internal doors that include panels of stained glass to emulate the wonderful island environment, and innovative hidden led lighting that illuminates the vast domed ceilings.