There was always much discussion amongst expat Scots in the South-East as to the best way to travel home. Do the arduous (particularly pre-power steering) drive up the A1; take the overnight sleeper from Euston – fun in the days of breakfast served on a tray of hotel silver, especially with early morning views of breath-taking inland lochs and moors; take the car on the train or to fly. The excitement was as much about the romance of the journey as it was to see family and friends. Not to mention the drama of Scottish architecture and scenery. It still is.
As children, we were used to holidaying in intermittent rain. But when we were lucky to have sun and heatwave, I now appreciate that we were often in some of the most beautiful scenery on earth and have been returning ever since for holidays and when budgets allowed, to style photographic shoots for magazines.
Colourful new Scottish style interior collections
Over the years designers such as Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood and Mulberry have created irresistible ‘Scots Baronial’ style collections with the luxury of Harris Tweed and Scottish tartan.
While some have stuck to more traditional colour palettes, companies such as Anta, Designers Guild, Johnson’s of Elgin x Ben Pentreath and Luke Edward Hall’s new Ribbon Bouquet Lavender fabric for the Rubelli Group have brought a brighter contemporary twist to Scottish designs this Autumn.
These joyful colours perhaps provide just what we need right now. They certainly reflect the high summer hues of Scotland’s coastline and heather clad hills.
Johnstons of Elgin x Ben Pentreath collaboration
First up this Autumn is the new gorgeously evocative Johnstons of Elgin x Ben Pentreath collection of 100% wool fabrics and throws. After the Morris & Co collaborations, this is another covetable collection from leading architect and interior decorator Ben Pentreath, with lovely styling by Marianne Cotterell and photos by James Merrell. So good too to see Ben Pentreath lending his design heft to support this 225-year-old Scottish mill.
The vibrant collection of luxury fabrics was photographed at Ben Pentreath and Charlie McCormick’s pair of bothies in Argyll and at the extraordinarily beautiful location of the Ardkinglas Estate House. The collection consists of 9 checks, 7 houndstooth and 5 stripe designs in 100% wool.
Looking at the company’s historical Standard Dyed Shades book for reference, Ben took inspiration from the 1930s and 40s colour palette. Ben says “The hardest part of the entire process has been limiting our choices to just the weaves that we are presenting here – so infinite were the potential variations and possibilities.”
For interiors and fashion, 100% wool tartans and plaids, with their myriad variety of patterns and colours has a longevity that means you really only need buy once or can buy vintage knowing that the quality of fabric will last the test of time. It also bio-degrades back into the land naturally, adding valuable nutrients.
Weymss Ware is a Scottish Pottery that was first produced in Kirkcaldy, Fife in 1882 by the Fife Pottery. Wemyss Ware has long been a favourite with collectors from the late Queen’s Mother at Balmoral to Ben Pentreath who has a beautiful collection of loving cups in the rose design.
New Luke Edward Hall x Rubelli Group collection
New Anta collections
Why Wool Matters
Why Wool Matters is a 20-minute film that supports the wool industry and comes with some hard-hitting and quite frankly shocking statistics about the textile industry. Featuring HRH King Charles III, made in the Spring when his majesty was The Prince of Wales with narration by Alex James, it is definitely worth a watch.
Just in case you missed them first time around, here are a few more Scottish-inspired interiors blog posts.
Thank you so much for reading at this time of national mourning. What I didn’t realise when I started writing this post, was that I would finish it at the end of the second Elizabethan era and rather poignantly that Her Majesty the Queen would pass away in her beloved Scottish home of Balmoral.
As I sign off, crowds have movingly lined the hedgerows of Aberdeenshire with tractors and horses to the central reservation of the A40 in West London to witness the last return journey south of our dear late Queen Elizabeth II.