Hebridean Island style

The colours and textures of Scottish Hebridean beaches have a way of getting under your skin. Perhaps you already know how Caribbean white the sand is and how turquoise the sea. And maybe appreciate the breathtaking backdrop of the ever-changing moody hues of landscape and weather. But, if you have never been, and are like many of us thwarted from travelling there any time soon, here is just a little Hebridean Island inspiration.  

Isle of Skye Paint Company

I was excited to discover Isle of Skye Paint Company whose colour palette inspiration comes from the environment around the island. I got in touch and tested some of their paints for future interiors projects and can attest how accurate the paint shades are to the landscape. For those of us longing for those Hebridean seascapes, this is a very good thing!

Organic seaweed ingredient

The paints are water-based and each one infused with a special ingredient of organic seaweed. They are available in a range of 45 interior and exterior shades (tested to withstand the extreme weather conditions of a Scottish winter). My paint test revealed good coverage too.

Skye paint names

Named after various places, weather conditions and people connected to the island, Fairy Pools, Sgurr Alasdair and Skye Smirr were my test pots. I just need to get my hands on Snizort Seathrift, just the sort of dusky, grey pale pink I have set my eyes on right now …

Coral beach, just passed Dunvegan on the North West of the Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides in February 2020. Photo: Alexandra Cox
Paint swatches of Isle of Skye Paint Company paints. £28.50/2.5L Matt. Photo and styling: Charis White
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Beach on North Uist, Outer Hebrides. Photo: Hamish Macmillan Adam
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Testing Isle of Skye Paint Company paints. Styling and Photo: Charis White
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Beach on North Uist, Outer Hebrides. Photo: Hamish Macmillan Adam

Soothing colour palettes

I am sure many things are going to change post-Covid. For one thing, online estate agents are reporting seeing a rise in numbers of people searching for country and out of town properties. The subject of whether the pandemic will influence how we decorate our homes is also a topic under discussion in the interiors world. 

In the most recent episode of The Connected Series, hosted by Country & Town House magazine, interior designer Susie Atkinson says she is drawn to timeless, calm pastels and says she has seen a renewed interest in pale blues, particularly what she calls a ‘Swedish blue’. Patrick O’Donnell, brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball, is reporting sales of softer neutrals in warmer hues as well as a continued swell of interest in the darker duskier inky tones such as Inchyra and Hague Blue.

The theme of soothing colours is one that journalist Katrina Burroughs picked up on in last week’s Sunday Times with her piece, A Hue and Sky where she featured organic blues and greens.

Shell Chic

Decorating and renovating shell grottos is once again on the style agenda from grand country houses to smart London bars and homes. Whether using shells as decoration round a fireplace such as here at Annabel Astor’s (co-owner of OKA) Hebridean house on Jura or as light decoration on walls, round architraves and as borders, shells are experiencing a decorating revival. 

Shell motifs are translating onto textiles and wallpapers to accessories too.  

Shell decorated fireplace and mirror by Sue Jones in Annabel Astor’s house on Jura, Inner Hebrides. Photo: House & Garden/Pinterest
Truro cabinet finished with natural shells, Nicholas Haslam
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Martinique wallpaper (rather wonderfully dramatic outsized shells with a repeat of 86.1 cm) Elizabeth Ockford
Shell Grotto 005 fabric, Fermoie
Love the patterns in this renovated Victorian Grotto in Falmouth. Photo: Charis White
Outdoor bar edged with shells at The White House in Reading. Styling and Photo: Charis White
Box canvas painted a few years ago with left over Charleston Gray, Farrow & Ball matt emulsion with shells stuck on with glue from various favourite beaches. Completed in a sort of natural history museum presentation with beach names where the shells came from typed underneath. Styling and Photo: Charis White

Shell artists

My meagre but nonetheless mindful shell efforts pale into insignificance when compared to some really talented shell artists. I have had my eye on a few who work to commission on projects ranging from renovations of Victorian grottos to high-quality interior design work and accessories. They are:

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Part of the stunning interior of the Shell House at the 18th Century Pitshill House, West Sussex recently renovated by Katherine Lloyd.

Blog rewind

If you haven’t read it already, you might also be interested in this previous post:

Thank you

Thank you so much for reading! If you have enjoyed this and would like to receive email alerts for future posts, then please just press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post.

With best wishes, Charis x 

Charis Headshot
Charis White, Interior stylist/writer. Photo: Fiona McLean Photogaphy



11 thoughts on “Hebridean Island style

  1. Lovely lovely, Charis. Really makes me long for a trip up to Wales and long lazy days by the waterfalls in complete seclusion! I loved Katrina Burroughs article in the ST, her opening 3 words were such a relief! 😀


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