Interiorssneak peeks

Rise and Shine to Your Scottish Pastoral Fantasy

by Annie Werbler

The rural setting of this quaint Orkney, Scotland cottage offers views onto the sea from every window. As if that weren’t charming enough, the property has belonged to the family of stay-at-home-mum Fiona Annal since the 1950s, beginning with the time of her great-grandmother. Her grandparents built an extension onto the original house in the late seventies and lived out their days here. The house then stood empty for decades until Annal and her husband Leonard Sinclair, an electrician and avid DIYer, decided to make it their own during the summer of 2003. As their family grew to welcome children Jessica, Ollie, and Oscar, they embarked upon an extensive renovation project that left only the sitting room and part of the kitchen remaining. After two years of living with her parents in the farmhouse next door, the lot were able to move back in permanently starting July 2014. There are still several upstairs areas that need some flooring and decorating love, but the couple will tend to those jobs as and when time allows. The completed project provides a home with almost 3,000 square feet, divided up amongst 13 rooms on two floors.

Annal favors a cozy, vintage vibe in her decorating, and one that establishes a connection to the past. Even though much of the house is now new construction, she achieves a lived-in and homey feeling with wallpaper in most rooms, as well as a large collection of thrifted and heirloom furniture pieces. The couple were even able to repurpose many wooden and glass items from the old structure. The current home pays homeage to its history but with a nod to modern living, most notably through the various framed graphic prints on the walls. And though the stylish finished product makes it hard to believe, practicality is highest on the family’s priority list, which is why any design decisions also had to be completely child-friendly. Those lush, bold patterned wallpapers are lovely, but also cover a multitude of sticky-fingered trails!

Though the kids will soon grow up and out, Annal and Sinclair hope they will always return here to enjoy the enjoy the freedom and security that come from island living, and the slow pace of life that suits the family so well today.Β  β€”Annie

Photography by Fiona Annal

Rise and Shine to Your Scottish Pastoral Fantasy, on Design*Sponge
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The first of several Cath Kidston wallcoverings in the home, this floral pattern sets off green tongue-and-groove paneling that protects walls from knocks and bumps that inevitably occur around the kitchen table. Hanging fisherman's pendant lamp by Garden Trading.
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Stripped beams from the original cottage make for interesting shelves with the knots and the gnarls full of character.
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"I came upon an advert for this dresser in an elderly lady's window while out walking with the buggy," says Annal. She painted the pine surfaces a traditional warm neutral Farrow&Ball color called Pointing, and also replaced the hardware.
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A kitchen chalkboard framed in Farrow&Ball Folly Green woodwork displays words of encouragement and positive thoughts for the week.
Rise and Shine to Your Scottish Pastoral Fantasy, on Design*Sponge
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A dark wood kitchen island is actually the table Annal's grandparents raised their children around, including her dad.
Rise and Shine to Your Scottish Pastoral Fantasy, on Design*Sponge
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A scaffold plank used during the renovation weathered beautifully outside, so the couple decided to turn it into a kitchen mantel.
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Old kitchen cabinetry was repurposed into this nook Annal's mom dubbed the scullery.
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Detail of the scullery pot rail and its considerable storage capacity.
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The sitting room, as yet unfinished, awaits shelving to hold the couple's massive book collection. The bold floral wallpaper is part of the Eglantine range by Sanderson, and the framed print comes from This Modern Life.
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The porch interior window is repurposed from the old sitting room door, cut in half. Trim paint color is Dukes Blue by Crown Paint, and the wallpaper is a Cath Kidston design called Garden Birds.
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Oscar does his thing in the home's main bathroom, which is fitted with Laura Ashley wallpaper.
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The two boys, who have similar Lulu&Nat bedding on their Oliver beds from Feather & Black, love sharing their room with one another.
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A treasured childhood gift from Annal's cousin, the nightlight globe lets the boys drift off to sleep dreaming visits with family members far and wide.
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An Animal Alphabet poster from Hunkydory Home and Cath Kidston racecar wallpaper display the boys' current interests.
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Boards of plywood painted in chalkboard paint make room for helpful reminders of what the kids have going on in a given week.
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In Jessica's room, a Tesco clock hangs above a Belle & Boo framed bunny print.
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A thrifted chair, recovered in a Cath Kidston print, sits before a window looking out onto the sea.
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Annal and Sinclair sometimes awake awoken to the sounds of ducks or cows outside the master bedroom window, which sits at the back of the house facing the farm courtyard.
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The kids are encouraged to be creative and have fun with baking.
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Floorplan.

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