A Traditional Twist

Buying their traditional period home provided Posy Maitland Carew and her husband Peter, the challenge of turning it around to face the enchanting lochside setting it enjoys

Words: Alison Gibb | Photos: Douglas Gibb | Alison writes about interiors on her blog www.her-indoors.com

Pete and Posy Maitland Carew and their three children Lochie 7, Martha 5 and Geordie 3 live here with Olive the Dachshund and Jaffa the Labrador. Pete works in recruitment and Posy is setting up a Home Design Service.

The house has a wonderful history: a hundred years ago the property had been owned by a botanist, Mrs Boyd, who discovered a rare species of plant in the grounds, she named the plant Sax Haga Boydii, commonly known as the Boyd Faldonside Flower. The gardens are a project that Posy is very much looking forward to tackling now that the house is complete. The surrounding fields are used for livestock.

Tired and dated when they first bought it, ‘it had not been touched for 40 years, cold and damp the first winter, but to us, it felt like home’ Posy explains. ‘I was up for a project, despite being 6 months pregnant with my third child. I love a challenge and enjoy researching. I am addicted to Pinterest now’ she reveals. ‘It was quite obvious to us that what we needed to do was to create a living space from which you could enjoy the stunning view of the Loch at the front of the house. So we designed the extension to create a large family room including a seating area, a dining area and the kitchen, all open plan.’

The kitchen is where a small playroom had been located. Posy has incorporated a useful larder behind it for storage. The original kitchen, at the other end of the house is now the utility room.

Although the extension has floor to ceiling windows and bi-folding doors to maximize the view and the available light, it is not a modernist statement. ‘We wanted it to be homely and in keeping with the rest of the house, so we chose a gentle, orangerie style design’ Posy adds.

Posy updated a number of fireplaces by painting them; all were in good working order as they were the main source of heating for the previous owners. A bio mass boiler has been added and has turned out to be great investment, it was an obvious choice for such a large drafty house, surrounded by it’s own woodland. To complete the renovation, they also installed central heating, renovated several bathrooms and decorated throughout.

A friend, interior designer, Lally Walford, made up and fitted the curtains. Posy has then filled the house with an unexpected mix of vintage treasures and antiques and quirky finds from TK Maxx. ‘The shop is my guilty pleasure’ she laughs, ‘I love it because you just never know what you are going to find next and I enjoy looking for a bargain.’ The eccentric and peculiar objects she has come across mix well with the art nouveau feel of the interior of her home.

The formal dining room at the back of the house was initially three small rooms. ‘It is now a great room for large get-togethers; I love decorating it for dinner parties and Christmas’ Posy admits.

Built as a traditional style farmhouse with lots of rooms, in a circular layout. The house is quite large and has a slightly rabbit warren feel to it. Away from the public spaces, a multitude of staircases and little rooms are to be found, on various levels: full of unexpected turns; you can really lose yourself. Posy’s dramatic and unpredictable décor has added an air of Alice in Wonderland to this topsy-turvy home.

‘For a sense of continuity, I have painted almost all the walls in a single shade, ‘Pointing’ by Farrow & Ball’ Posy comments, ‘which could have been a bit plain, but enlivened by the fabrics and artwork, I think it is fine.’ The results are beautiful actually, but first and foremost, this is a family home and is fit for family life. ‘I like antiques but I do not consider myself a serious collector, my priority is comfort’ Posy asserts. TC

Return to features