The latest luxury showhome within the Kirkwood portfolio has been unveiled at our prestigious Inchmarlo development in Banchory - the stunning 5 bedroom detached ‘Gullane’. Hosting a generous 297m² of internal floor space and an abundance of outstanding features, it’s certainly our largest and grandest showhome to date.
In this blog post, we asked Ollie, Co-owner of the fantastic Thomas-Fischer Interiors, to share his experience of this project, the design process for ‘The Gullane’ and the array of unique features that make this showhome our most luxurious one yet…
How did you develop the design concept for ‘The Gullane’?
“Firstly, we always take our inspiration from the location of any showhome. We wanted to emphasise the beauty of Royal Deeside within this project, and I think it’s evident throughout the showhome. ‘The Gullane’ is surrounded by a backdrop of beautiful forest and countryside landscapes - this really formed the colour palette throughout the home which consists of shades of forest, sage, and khaki greens, as well as a hint of claret. The sheer size and grandeur of this family home, from its high ceilings to its generously sized triple aspect formal lounge, was a predominant factor in curating the interiors for the home. We envisaged a family living here, who love to entertain guests and have a keen interest in a variety of hobbies such as traditional sports and classical music. The design of the home is tailored to how we imagined this family would live.”
Having designed multiple Kirkwood showhomes, could you tell us what stood out to you during the design process of ‘The Gullane’?
“I think just working on a showhome of this size and specification made the project very memorable. It was easy to fall in love with the ‘Gullane’ as there was so much space for us to play with in the design. The ceiling height on the ground floor really took us by surprise, as it’s quite uncommon for modern builds to have such high ceilings.”
How did you design the spacious kitchen and dining area?
“This space is quite clearly the hub of the home, thanks to its vast open-plan style and the amount of natural light it draws in. It’s big and it’s bright, and we really wanted to use this area to add in some unique features such as the grand corner sofa made with tweed and the beautiful, bespoke rug. With these elements we were able to create a cosy, family nook which really brings this space to life.
“We’ve then got a huge bespoke 12-seater dining table which acts as the centrepiece to this grand space. You can just imagine it being used day-to-day by the whole family, but also for special gatherings, such as Christmas time or for big parties. There’s also dual french doors and additional glass panes to really enlighten this space - so we added beautiful voile curtains to help gently defuse and soften this corner of the room.”
What sort of atmosphere were you looking to create with the formal lounge?
“We viewed this as a very formal drawing room, or the more showy space within the house that you’ll want to welcome guests, friends and family into. From the striking chandeliers to all the little touches in between, I think this creates a very appealing atmosphere that you’ll want everyone to enjoy.
“There was a lot of floor space to work with, so we decided to add another grand, bespoke rug which enhances the centre of the room. Accompanying that is two generously sized L-shaped sofas that have been strategically placed opposite each other to sculpt this space into a U-shape, which really oozes class and comfort.
“The furniture consists of neutral and cream shades to create a very bright and relaxing atmosphere, while the pleated wallpaper has a slight metallic sheen which helps present this visual mix of classical and contemporary - a theme we’ve continued throughout the entire home.”
‘The Gullane’ boasts 5 spacious bedrooms. What were some of the important factors to consider when designing these?
“I think there is quite a contrast between the two floors of the home, as the ground floor feels very grand and almost imposing, whereas the upstairs is very cosy and homely. The bedrooms feel very snug and warm despite their sheer size.
“We were particularly struck by the grandeur of the master bedroom, as it consists of an enormous walk-in-wardrobe which can be used as a dressing room, a pristine en-suite with a separate bath and shower as well as his and hers sinks, and a spacious sleeping area. The aim with this space was really to maintain that classical look and feel, which can be seen in the eye-catching chandeliers and the large cream headboard we installed to stand out in front of the claret red wallpaper. However, visitors will also find some modern twists in this bedroom, such as the chaise lounge which really fits with the taupe grey textured wallpaper that covers the rest of the room.
“One of the guest bedrooms has a predominantly masculine aesthetic which is presented by touches of black throughout the room. We’ve included striking textured wallpaper on one wall while keeping the rest fairly neutral, which helps elements of the room stand out, such as the cream armchair and gold reading light.
“For the fifth bedroom, we envisaged this as where the grandparents would stay when they came to visit, which led to us using various leather and oak fabrics. The room has much more subtle, neutral tones throughout compared to the bold master bedroom and children’s bedrooms that are a bit more expressive.
“One of the children’s bedrooms matches the style of an outgoing, sport-enthused teenage boy, which is shown through vintage sports pieces that are placed throughout the room, such as classic footballs and artwork. This space has moodier tones compared to the other bedrooms, without losing its pristine and preppy look and feel.
“The highlight of the other child’s room has to be the beautiful, vintage sheet music wallpaper which instantly encapsulates the teenage girl we imagined this room would belong to. A classical music theme is present in every corner of this spacious room, as visitors can see with the prominent white cello and the golden trumpet lighting used above the chest of drawers.”
What was your favourite room to design?
“For me it has to be the living room, largely due to the wonderful proportions and scale. The options for styling this room are just endless so it was really fun to try and make the most of this space.”
How would you describe the accessories and finishing touches found throughout the showhome?
“I’d say the finishes are quite classic, as we’ve used a lot of natural elements such as leathers and wools and an almost regal colour palette of the rich greens and claret. For the natural elements, we added minimalist accessories such as the wicker placemats and napkin holders that had a horn finish, while we also made use of premium leathers, feathers, and wool in various aspects of the home.
“We didn’t want to take away from the grandeur and sophistication of the home by filling it with unnecessary, glitzy ornaments and touches - the accessories we used had to equate the atmosphere and scale of the rooms.”
Are there any small design details people should look out for when visiting ‘The Gullane’?
“Dog lovers will appreciate the utility room, which has a printed fabric blind featuring black labradors. This is actually carried through into the dining area where we’ve placed a wicker dog bed and added scatter cushions that match the ones used on the sofa - so we've created a small, special place for this imaginary dog. You’ll also find that we’ve hung a line art drawing of the black lab in the kitchen and added the name ‘Marlo’ to it as a subtle nod to the Inchmarlo development. It’s those little details that really help to bring a showhome to life and capture the imagination of those viewing it.”