A House Finds Its Heart In Color in Edinburgh, Scotland

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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

  1. Loribeth says:

    Oh my god. My favorite house tour in a while! Excellent job y’all!

  2. hadda says:

    Look like my dreams house

    Thank you it’s like an inspiration for my vision board

  3. Wow. This is a great example of house that knows how to mix colors and patterns. Fantastic!

  4. Emmy says:

    All of the patterns are mixed so tastefully! Such a cheerful home. Love it.

  5. Shannon says:

    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?

  6. Stephanie Betts says:

    Brilliant post – loving the history about the street too…

  7. Kaitlyn says:

    This is so warm and welcome house! Love the vibe!

  8. jane says:

    How gorgeous! Color with character! Great job!

  9. Kiki says:

    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 :)

  10. Laura says:

    This is the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen. Period.

  11. Sara L. says:

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

  12. christine says:

    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.

  13. Alison says:

    I love how ridiculous this house is – ridiculous in the best possible way <3

  14. Francie says:

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

  15. Cara says:

    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…

  16. Lisa says:

    My favorite house tour in a while too! Fantastic!

  17. Lauren says:

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


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