Interiorssneak peeks

A House Finds Its Heart In Color in Edinburgh, Scotland

by Rebekah Carey

Emily Murray, creator of the interiors blog, The Pink House, and her husband Euan Murray live in The Pink House — which, in addition the name of Emily’s blog, is also their real-life Victorian home in Edinburgh, Scotland. Euan (CEO of The Sustainability Consortium, a global nonprofit group based in the U.S.) and Emily share their pink house with their two sons, Oscar, 7, and Zac, 4. We love Emily’s approach to the design of her home, which stemmed from the love of former less-than-kid-friendly haunts. “Since having kids, I haven’t been able to get out so much to the gorgeous bars, hotels etc. that I used to frequent before the small Pink House dwellers came along,” Emily shares. “So when it came to decorating my family home, I did so in a style that is intended to recreate the fabulous places I used to go. It’s a way of living my old, child-free London party life, but in Edinburgh, and while spending half my time picking Cheerios off the floor or emptying potties full of wee. I’m a firm believer that just because you have kids, doesn’t mean your house has to be drab, dull and simply functional — it can still be fabulous.”

The Pink House wasn’t always so fabulous; when Emily came down from England to house-hunt six years ago, the house’s exterior was a dirty white. While Emily was disappointed to be leaving their England home, both her and Euan’s parents lived in Edinburgh and the willing-and-available childcare helped soften the blow of leaving their London lifestyle behind. So much of finding this home had seemed somewhat meant to be. The Pink House was only the third Emily had seen on her very first day of house hunting and the moment she stepped through the door, she knew it was “the one.” While the colors on both the outside and inside were lackluster, and the open-plan kitchen Emily had on her must-have list was nonexistent, she knew she would “do anything” for this house. “I’m no fatalist or spiritualist, but its soul spoke to me in a way that meant all practicalities went out the badly-fitted sash window,” Emily admits. “So we bought it, and began its transformation into a colorful, fabulous family home.”

The renovations and transformation from the dirty-white Arts-And-Crafts style Victorian to the fabulous Pink House that it is today took six years. And naturally, just as it’s completely finished, the family has decided to place The Pink House on the market. The first step in the renovations was creating the open-plan kitchen Emily had dreamed of, which entailed knocking down the wall between the kitchen and living room, creating a big family room. Emily shares, “The rooms run north-south, so as well as gaining the opportunity to keep an eye on the kids (break up fights) while cooking (heating stuff up), the knock-through also means the north-facing kitchen area benefits from the daylight streaming through the south-facing living area windows.” While knocking down walls for the open-plan kitchen sounds like a big makeover, it was actually the bathroom that made the most radical transformation. The bathroom, like the exterior, was uninspired, but Emily saw to gutting it and creating her dream bathroom in its place. The latest project was taking their dingy basement and transforming it into “The Den” — which acts as their space for watching movies, the guest bedroom and home office, and where Emily’s vision — beginning with grasscloth walls — was brought to life by Jessica Buckley Interiors.

One of the most special elements of their home is the “Centenary Scrapbook” they were given when they moved in. When their 15-house street celebrated its 100-year “birthday” (in 1999), the scrapbook was created to share information about why the houses were built, historical information about how they were built, a list of everyone who had lived in each house on the street and even what color their house was originally painted — white. If only every house purchase came with one of these! —Rebekah

Photography by Susie Lowe 


All paint is Farrow & Ball unless otherwise specified 

-external wall color: Cinder Rose, front door color: Railings

Entry Porch
-front porch wallpaper: Farrow & Ball Bumble Bee 555

Ground Floor Hallway
-chest of drawers: vintage
-large square painting: Dale vN Marshall
-ground floor hallway and up the stairwell to the second floor paint color: Pink Ground

-Damson polka dot stair carpet: Alternative Flooring

-brass cabinet handles: Buster + Punch
-hooked over-table lamp: Buster + Punch
-rug: Wendy Morrison Design
-fridge: Smeg
-wallpaper covering boiler cupboard: Woods by Cole & Son
-brass fox handle on Woods-covered door: Anthropologie (this is similar)
-orange radio: Roberts Radio Revival Mini in sunburst orange
-ceiling light: Ikea Maskros
-green tea towel: Quirk & Rescue Rockwell Typography
-green cotton shade: Pooky
-Work Hard Play Hard print: Oliver Bonas
-orange clock: Oliver Bonas
-orange kitchen chairs: Kartell Masters in rust orange
-brass kitchen mixer tap: Barber Wilsons
-handwash: Aesop
-open plan kitchen/living room paint colors: Manor House Gray on walls and White Tie on woodwork
-kitchen cupboards painted using Valtti paint- full details here

Living Room (open plan to kitchen)
-open plan kitchen/living room paint colors: Manor House Gray on walls and White Tie on woodwork
-green sofa: Ikea Stockholm sofa
-black bird cushion: Halsted Design
-bird cage lamp: Graham & Green
-zebra and rhino trophy heads: Anthropologie
-coffee table: Studio One
-orange rug: Jennifer Manners Ikat Circles
-yellow framed watercolor: Dale vN Marshall
-no Cats cushion: Barbara Coupe
-silk grey and white Ikat and zig zag cushions: Jessica Buckley Interiors
-grey cushion with yellow pom poms: Graham & Green
-yellow floor lamp: Jielde
-armchair with tree pattern: Sofa Workshop Little Lady
-rocking chair: Eames
-blue velvet blinds: Harlequin Arkona Velvets Sky 5669
-ceiling light: Ikea Maskros

Dining Room
-wallpaper – Timorous Beasties London Toile
-chandelier: vintage
-baubles: Paperchase
-mirror: vintage
-gold drawers: An Angel At My Table (old)
-rug: Wendy Morrison Design
-candelabra: Villeroy & Boch
-chairs: Philipe Starcke ghost chairs
-blind: Designers Guild Asolo Peony
-tablecloth: Halsted Design Fynbos
-white ceramic desk lamp: The Old Cinema

Basement Hallway
-wallpaper: Prism by Cole & Son
-mirrored console: Graham & Green (old)
-watercolor: Dale vN Marshall
-basement hallway and den woodwork paint: Stone Blue

-design: Jessica Buckley Interiors
-grasscloth: Phillip Jeffries Tantalising Teal juicy jute grasscloth
-2 x snuggler armchairs: Sofas & Stuff
-sofa bed: John Lewis Bizet, covered in Christopher Farr Carnival fabric
-curtains: Christopher Farr Carnival fabric
-“Ain’t Nobody” cushion: Furbish
-zig zag, purple spot, and yellow ikat silk cushions: Jessica Buckley Interiors
-pink Perrier picture: Monika Forsberg
-vintage Beni Ourain rug: Larusi
-glass coffee table: West Elm
-pink neon PLAY sign: made bespoke in Emily’s handwriting by Specialized Signs
-Bridget Riley print: sourced from Vanessa Brodrick Fine Art
-wall lights with green silk shades: Jim Lawrence
-gin in gold leaf drinks cabinet: Pinkster
-green ice bucket: vintage
-white ceramic desk lamp: The Old Cinema
-turquoise filing cabinets: John Lewis
-desk: made bespoke by Christopher Butler
-basement hallway and den woodwork paint color: Stone Blue

Bedroom 1 (Master)
-wallpaper: Timorous Beasties Butterflies
-white metal bed: Marks & Spencer (old)
-pink and yellow bedside lamps: Pooky Elsa Table Lamp
-pink velvet chair: Tann Rokka (old)
-pink zig zag silk cushions: Jessica Buckley Interiors
-cross stitch rug: Oliver Bonas (old)
-curtains: Designers Guild Brescia Moss Velvet (they don’t do the Moss colorway anymore)
-bird lamps: John Lewis (old)
-mother of pearl chest of drawers: Graham & Green
-master bedroom paint color: Calamine

-fish wallpaper: Osborne & Little Derwent
-white tiles: Topps Tiles
-wooden fish mirror: handmade; brought back from Malawi
-brass wall light: Balineum
-brass taps and shower head: Barber Wilsons
-sink cupboard mother of pearl handles: Anthropologie
-owl hook on door: Anthropologie
-bathroom cupboards paint color: Down Pipe

Child’s bedroom
-velvet tub chair: Oliver Bonas
-fox cushion: Ferm Living
-badger rug: Graham & Green
-blue chest: Ikea
-curtains: John Lewis
-bedroom paint: Teresa’s Green

The Pink House Edinburgh Street View On Design*Sponge
The Pink House, view from the street, in Edinburgh. Photo by Square Foot Media.
Emily And Euan's 1896 Victorian Style Edinburgh Home Sneak Peek On Design*Sponge
"The front porch has original encaustic tiles, and it’s wallpapered with Farrow & Ball’s Bumblebee which feels in-keeping with the period, while the turquoise background matches the tiles and the gold goes with the brass hardware. The front door is painted in Farrow & Ball Railings and has the original brass lock and knocker – I love all these historical details," Emily shares.
Emily Murray Of
Emily standing in front of her home, "The Pink House" (for which she named her blog). Their other home was named "The Big Smoke."
Emily And Euan's Edinburgh Living Room Is Relaxed And Fun In Their Design*Sponge Home Tour
"I painted the walls in Farrow & Ball Manor House Gray (I carried this color through to the open-plan kitchen), picking out the skirting, shutters and mantelpiece with White Tie," Emily explains. "It was a revelation to see how the grey allowed the emerald green of the IKEA Stockholm sofa (best buy ever) to shine out. I went for orange and yellow accents with the bespoke Jennifer Manners Ikat circles rug, and yellow six-arm Jielde floor lamp, a birthday present - after I banged on about it for a year - from the ever-patient Pink House Husband."
Original Architectural Details Can Be Found All Over This Edinburgh Home On Design*Sponge
"The James Hawkins mountain painting above the fireplace inspired the mainly blue-and-green color scheme for the living room. James is an old family friend who lives in Ullapool in the Highlands and uses a kaleidoscope of colors to render the stunning natural landscape that surrounds him," Emily shares.
A Peek Into The Open-Plan Kitchen From The Living Room Of This Edinburgh Home On Design*Sponge
"I’m a sucker for a funky cushion – this one is from Halsted Design," Emily notes. "I also love a trophy head – this zebra is from Anthropologie. The watercolor is by graffiti-turned-fine artist Dale vN Marshall, a contemporary of Banksy’s – the yellow frame helps the vibrant colors sing out."
Sentimental Decor Details From London Make Their Scotland House A Home On Design*Sponge
"I’m very attached to my vintage Rockett St George ‘Archway Station’ bus blind – Archway was the last area of London we lived in before moving to Scotland. That Buster + Punch Hooked pendant lamp over the kitchen table was the start of my obsession with the brand, which has spread to the kitchen handles and light switches in the basement Den," Emily explains.
The Open Plan Kitchen Of Euan And Emily Features Updated Existing Cupboards On Design*Sponge
"When it came to the open-plan kitchen, we painted the existing cheap laminate bottom cabinets dark, and the wall-mounted cupboards light (to match the Farrow & Ball White Tie woodwork throughout the open-plan space), so they didn't feel so heavy. I like how the effect is quite bespoke and living room-y, aided by as many books as I can squeeze on the remaining shelf space," Emily shares. "The wool rug is from Wendy Morrison Design and adds to the living room feel."
A Mix Of Brass Handles Complete Emily's Cupboard Update In Her Edinburgh Home On Design*Sponge
"I love my brass kitchen cupboard handles, all from rock-chic Buster + Punch but in a variety of designs, depending on where they are used: T-Bar handles on the lower cabinets, fitted vertically; Furniture Knobs on the upper cabinets; and the T-Bar/Plate on the drawers, fitted horizontally," Emily explains.
A Wallpapered Cupboard Door Hides The Boiler In This Edinburgh Home On Design*Sponge
"A boiler cupboard by the window, concealed by Cole & Son’s Woods wallpaper, with a brass fox knob from Anthropologie. I like the Narnia-esque magical feel it gives to such a prosaic item as a boiler cupboard. Finding the magic in the everyday is important to me," Emily shares.
A Cheeky Wallpaper Dresses Up The Family Room On Design*Sponge
Emily explains, "Shortly after arriving in Edinburgh, as I mourned for London and my former, relatively glamorous life, I fell in love with Timorous Beasties’ London Toile wallpaper. This stunning wall covering, with its depictions of people being mugged, smoking the reefer and getting smashed on park benches, was clearly ideal for a family dining room..."
The Warm Hallway In Emily Of The Pink House Blog On Design*Sponge
"This is a painting by artist Dale vN Marshall, which deals with the subject of mental health. It’s a very powerful work."
A Handwritten Note Turned Neon Sign Shines In This Edinburgh Home On Design*Sponge
"I knew I wanted a pink neon sign in this room and it’s turned out even better than I’d hoped - this PLAY sign was made bespoke in my own handwriting and looks gorgeous against the teal grasscloth walls."
Classic Styles Are Made Fresh With Colors And Patterns On Design*Sponge
"The vintage Beni Ourain is unusually wide - I love its dashes of blue. The Christopher Farr Carnival fabric on the sofa bed and curtains clashes/matches the Sofas & Stuff blue velvet leopard print velvet snugglers beautifully," Emily explains.
An Illuminated Bar Literally Shines In Emily And Euan's Edinburgh Home On Design*Sponge
Emily explains, "The bar is one of my favorite elements of this room. I went for an imitation gold leaf in the end –- much cheaper than real gold leaf and looks just as gorgeous when lacquered. The hidden LED light strip makes the cabinet seem to glow from within. I keep the bar stocked with Pinkster gin – it’s pink because of the raspberries used to infuse it and it’s delicious and it looks like a pink Chanel bottle."
This Edinburgh Basement Hallway Is Anything But Dreary On Design*Sponge
"The Cole & Son multicolored Prism wallpaper in the basement hallway is one of my very favorite things in the house –- I’m so glad I was brave enough to go for it! But my mum doesn’t like it, she says it makes her labyrinthitis flare up," Emily teases.
A Pink Bedroom For The Pink House On Design*Sponge
"It took a lot of effort, but I finally convinced the Pink House Husband that, along with the house’s exterior, we should paint the bedroom pink... I suggested it might make the bedroom feel a bit sexier if we chose a nice, warm paint shade, such as Farrow & Ball’s classy Calamine."
A Pink Plush Chair For The Pink Bedroom In The Pink House On Design*Sponge
"My favorite thing in the master bedroom is that chair. This hot pink tub chair is probably the first piece of furniture I ever fell in love with. I bought it with the Pink House Husband when he was still the Rented Flat Boyfriend and we spent our weekends wandering around Hampstead Heath and getting drunk. It’s from a shop in London’s Primrose Hill called Tann Rokka," Emily shares.
A Favorite Carpet Seen On A Blog Became A Favorite Feature In Emily And Euan's Home On Design*Sponge
"I saw this spotty carpet in Kate from the Mad About The House blog’s beautiful house a few years ago and knew one day I had to have it in my home," Emily shares.
A Sit-Down Shower Solves The Problem Of Sloped Ceilings On Design*Sponge
"One of the Before-Bathroom's practical problems was the lack of shower -- the ceiling slopes, so there's not enough space to stand in the bath. But while planning the new bathroom a thought occurred to me: who says you have to stand up in the shower? So now we have a lovely brass Barber Wilson sit-down shower. And you know what? It's excellent for shaving your legs (sitting = easy leg access) and dyeing your hair pink (just put the plug in to let the water accumulate, sit in the cozy bath for 15 mins while the dye does its thing, turn on the shower to rinse it off)," Emily notes.
A Mirror Brought Back From Vacation And A Light That Is Beautiful And Safe On Design*Sponge
Emily explains, "It’s so hard to find beautiful bathroom lights that are safety-rated for the UK but this one - The Balineum Overton brass wall lamp - is IP64 meaning it can be used in Zone 1 or 2 in the UK - i.e. right by a water source. It’s beautiful. The fish mirror was sourced on holiday in Malawi."
Emily And Euan Say You Don't Have To Shy Away From Velvet In Kids Rooms On Design*Sponge
"This is my youngest son’s room. It might not seem practical to have a velvet tub chair in a young child’s room but he looks after it very well and it’s still in good condition a couple of years later," Emily shares. "I adore the cute Ferm Living cushion."
What I Love Most About My Home On Design*Sponge
"The things I love most about my home are its colour and magic." Emily continues, "This magical street it’s situated on, which is a tiny, hidden cul-de-sac of multicolored Arts & Crafts style houses, each with its own little original stained glass pictorial window – ours is an owl. The houses are only on one side – on the other are horse chestnut trees where actual owls can sometimes be heard to hoot – and at the bottom of our gardens runs a stream – behind that a hill rises. So although we’re only a mile or so from the city center, it feels like we live in the countryside."
Floor Plan Arts And Crafts Style Victorian In Edinburgh, Scotland On Design*Sponge
The Pink House floor plan.

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  • Yes! Ditto all of the above! Fabulous!!!! Does anyone else feel that they need an Emily in their life? Or to be more Emily like?

  • Oh my gosh! I’m hyperventilating…. I’m literally shaking with the excitement of this post, the daring, the beauty, the fun, the colours, the ideas, the je-ne-sais-quoi…. I would even give a go-ahead for wall-to-wall carpets if it is about the (19) polka dot beauty!!!
    The only one that doesn’t do it for me and gives me the creeps is no 16 – very psychedelic
    The bathroom however….. oh oh oh – that water-resistent lamp…. pure bliss, that bit of wallpaper, a ‘sitting/sit-in’ shower, why not, the clever use of a pretty restrained space – you clever, clever people you! Clap clap clap….

    I also immediately subscribed to the blog & Instagram (the link in your post isn’t linking to Ig!!)

    A post to bookmark with the blood of my own heart :)

  • This is wonderful, beginning to end. I love a house with a sense of humor! So many things about this made me smile.

  • The wallpaper accents the gorgeous art. The rugs especially the kitchen are breathtaking. It is wonderful to see someone early in their decorating have such a sense of color and art. I don’t like pink but this pink is heavenly.

  • small detail, but Edinburgh is north of England so you go up the road from England, not down!

  • Spectacular! Emily has such an amazing ability to put together colors, patterns, furniture, textiles, etc… Every part is gorgeous, yet it is more than the sum of its parts. I don’t know how she can bear to put it on the market…

  • This was such a great tour– more like this!! Classy but filled with personality. Each picture looked both joyful and relaxing.