A closer look at our new showhome village in Blackdog: A Q&A with Thomas Fischer Interiors
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A closer look at our new showhome village in Blackdog: A Q&A with Thomas Fischer Interiors

16th Feb, 2023

We’re delighted to have officially launched an incredible new showhome village at our peaceful development in Blackdog - Strabathie Village. This is the first of its kind across all of our developments, as we open the doors to three fantastic showhomes in the same location - the 3+ bedroom detached ‘Birse’, the 3 bedroom detached ‘Potarch’ and the 4 bedroom detached ‘Affric’.

To give you a closer look inside this beautiful trio of showhomes, we recently caught up with the talented Interior Designers who designed and styled all three of our spectacular new showhomes - Jay and Ollie from Thomas Fischer Interiors. In this blog post, they share their considerations and inspiration behind each showhome, alongside their favourite room and products…

What considerations did you have to make when designing ‘a village’ compared to creating one showhome?

Jay: “It gave us a lot more creative freedom. When designing one showhome you’re trying to appeal to a wide customer base but having the opportunity to design three meant we could be more niche with each showhome. We started by looking at each individual housetype and then worked out who the target audience would be for that style of home, allowing us to then carefully tailor the design of each plot.”

What was your process when designing each housetype?

Jay: “We decided to split the housetypes between us depending on a couple of factors, such as who had more capacity at the time and which housetype would allow us to play to our individual strengths. For example, Ollie has a more contemporary design style which would appeal to a family with older children, while I enjoy creating young and funky designs. With slightly more capacity at the time, Ollie took on both ‘The Birse’ and ‘The Affric’ and I took charge of ‘The Potarch’.”

Ollie: “We knew from the start that we wanted each showhome to be unique, but with a similar theme that would run through each home to tie them all together. As Strabathie Village is very close to the beach and coast, we decided to add a subtle nod to the seaside location in each home.”

Are there any small details or hidden treasures in any of the showhomes?

Jay: “We added a surfboard in one of the homes which had ‘Kirkwood’ written on it. That’s certainly a talking point and a reminder to visitors that they are in a Kirkwood showhome. Also, the media unit featured in the lounge of ’The Potarch’ has a subtle tartan pattern on it - a perfect nod to the enviable location here in the north-east of Scotland.”

Ollie: “It's all about attention to detail and we definitely wanted to hone in on this throughout all of our designs. In ‘The Affric’, we included a director's chair in the kid's bedroom that had ‘Kirkwood crew’ on the back - it’s a small touch but it brings a bit of fun and again, highlights the Kirkwood brand.”

Can you briefly describe the different designs in each of the showhomes?

Ollie: “We had a family with older children in mind when designing ‘The Affric’, so it definitely has a sophisticated look and feel to appeal to this type of buyer. There’s a beautiful navy blue colour throughout the home, accompanied by a mix of natural and additional blue shades and gold accents - giving a smart coastal feel.

“In the family/dining area, we positioned two swivel chairs beside the French doors so you can enjoy your morning coffee while overlooking the garden, or easily turn to chat with someone in the kitchen or at the dining table. In the boy's room, we went with a sailing theme, while in the girl's room we chose a bold blue ceiling which is complimented by neutral and cream decor, tying in nicely with the rest of the home.

Jay: “As soon as you walk through the door of ‘The Potarch’, we wanted to capture people's attention with the beautiful monochromatic design. We thought this home would be perfect for a young family and wanted to make sure it was practical yet cosy. In the lounge, we’ve used a large L shaped sofa which zones the room and maximises the space. It also creates a seamless divide from the six-seater dining table at the other end of the room.

“All the artwork is very surfer or beach inspired - and we even included a bespoke gloss surfboard in the kid's room! I can picture this house with a young surfer family living in it, ready to grab their boards after a week at work and head down to the beach for a paddle.”

Ollie: “In ‘The Birse’ we went with the theme of driftwood, including lots of natural elements such as rattan, wicker and cane. We really wanted to mix up the textures and have achieved this by using different types of woods, linens and wool. For example, in the living area, we’ve used a stunning wallpaper which looks like a crackle kind of plaster - adding a sense of rustic charm and country feel to the home.

“This is carried into the entrance vestibule too, which has a tongue and groove effect wallpaper and bespoke peg rack that matches the utility room. In terms of the paint colours, there is a lot more taupe in this showhome with accents of natural browns with greys.”

How did you decide on the design concept for each showhome? What was your key consideration and inspiration?

Ollie: “For ‘The Affric’, I looked at past and upcoming colour trends and blue was a really prominent colour for both. The design concept was then based on accents of blue, incorporating different shades throughout each room such as navy and light blue to tie in with current colour trends and the coastal location of the showhome.”

Jay: “I did a lot of research into the local area and one of the first things that came up was Aberdeen surfing school, which I latched onto straight away when designing ‘The Potarch’. I also searched for images of the local area and some of the first pictures to appear were amazing black and white photos of the nearby Blackdog beach. From there, I immediately knew I would run with the black and white theme to create a cool and contemporary look.”

Ollie: “Rattan and wicker is a big trend right now and can be seen on every kind of furniture piece at the moment. In ‘The Birse’ we used this style of furniture and lampshades to create an almost Scandinavian/Nordic vibe - all tying back to this natural and organic beach feel.”

What was your favourite room to design and why?

Ollie: “In ‘The Affric’ it’s got to be the kid's rooms, particularly the boy's room. It has quite an industrial feel to it, featuring a cement effect desk with legs that look like they are made from wrought iron, and roman blinds that are pinstripe wool. All the little touches come together so nicely, including the incredible new Mulberry home fabric with sailboats on it.”

Jay: “It's really hard to choose because I love it all! But in ‘The Potarch’ it would have to be bedroom two or three. In bedroom two we’ve included a wall-to-wall white velvet headboard that is backlit, which contrasts beautifully against the black wall. In the kid's room - bedroom three - we’ve added a custom neon sign above the desk that says ‘surf’s up’ which is a fantastic touch.”

Ollie: “It’s very hard to pick a favourite room in ‘The Birse’ but I’d say the utility room. When it comes to any home, this room is often overlooked but we went with a hiking/walking theme in there, as this is the place where I can picture people walking through after a long walk and dumping their muddy boots. We’ve included details such as a welly rack, shoe shine boxes and artwork related to the outdoors.”

What are some of your favourite products in the showhomes?

Ollie: “For ‘The Affric’ I would say bedroom one’s bed frame as it’s quite unusual, we’ve gone for a bed frame which is upholstered with a metal style framework - a lovely and smart addition to the room.”

Jay: “Mine would be the media unit in ‘The Potarch’. When we first got the call about this showhome project, this range of furniture had only just been launched. It's a black wenge unit with a cream design on the front which is reminiscent of a tartan pattern and is a wonderfully striking piece.”

Ollie: “Definitely the twin boys' bedroom in ‘The Birse’. The room has a playhouse theme to it with both of the single bed headboards resembling the shape of a house, alongside the bookcase too - creating a sense of playfulness. There is also a lovely white vintage toy pedal car in the room which is super cool!”

Which features of each housetype do you think to lend themselves well to the design and creativity?

Jay: “The entrance hall in ‘The Potarch’ is really impressive - I wasn’t imagining it to be so big but it's huge! We’ve added a sculpture plinth in the hall which is about waist height and a large metal vase almost a metre tall which is definitely going to catch the eye of visitors as they walk through the door. The staircase also goes up and round, giving off a stunning spiral effect.”

Ollie: “I would say the optional fourth bedroom in ‘The Birse’, which we have designed as a study. For those working from home, it's really nice to have a dedicated space where you can close off and work in complete privacy. We included a single day bed, acoustic wall panelling, a unique wall leaning desk and a tan leather chair - designing a space which looks effortless but practical.”

Ollie: “I think the lounge in ‘The Affric’ is generous which is pretty unheard of in most new builds nowadays, we incorporated a huge bespoke canvas painting reminiscent of the rolling waves on Blackdog beach. The size of the bedrooms are also really impressive and gave us plenty of space to work with.”

If you’re searching for your dream newbuild home in Aberdeenshire, take a look inside our three beautiful new showhomes at Strabathie Village to see the superior level of quality and spacious internal layouts first hand by arranging a viewing with our Sales Advisor…

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A closer look at our new showhome village in Blackdog: A Q&A with Thomas Fischer Interiors