Like all kinds of fashion, trends in building change wildly over time and what may have been cutting edge in the 1970s can often seem dated and tired today. With every generation comes different requirements, styles and priorities and in some cases designs can come full circle, such as the current desire for woodburning stoves. Historic buildings have their obvious attractions, as do contemporary renovations but there is something really special about somewhere brand spanking new. Here are a few suggestions for your next holiday; new builds with 21st century flair, cutting edge style and contemporary luxury.
Comriach near Kinloch Rannoch was completed in 2018 to an exceptionally high standard. It has an open plan staircase which makes great use of space and all the modern appliances and gadgets you would expect, such as air source heating and a full Sky package. In addition, the owner has, from the very beginning of the design, attempted to make best use of the location and come up with something that really caters for dog owners and hillwalkers. One of the most unique but extremely useful features is the dedicated dog shower in the utility room. You can really feel that the house has been specifically designed from the beginning with the outdoor enthusiast in mind, rather than just adapted afterwards. The reason for this is obvious when you arrive as you are surrounded by hills, bike trails and outdoor opportunities. There are views of trees, lochs and forests from nearly every window to pull you outdoors but, with a big kitchen to prepare hearty meals and a patio to take in the landscape in the evening, this warm and comfortable house will also welcome you home after a long day outside.
Taigh Gorm was only completed in early 2019, initially its overall appearance reminds one of a traditional croft house but closer inspection reveals that nothing could be further from reality. The blue painted timbers, which gives the house its name, allows it to blend in seamlessly with the endless Hebridean skies, machair and moor. You really do feel like a part of the landscape when you stay here, as if you have just stepped into an epic watercolour painting. The house is compact but has every amenity including a cosy contemporary peat fire, the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. The interior features are styled with ANTA and Laura Ashley furnishings, the end result a showcase for just what you can achieve when you start with a completely blank canvas as the owners have done here.
Aodann is a future design classic, wedge shaped to seamlessly blend into the Poolewe landscape it was specifically constructed to maximise the sensational views. Huge glass windows ensure you have a sea view from almost every room while also providing maximum solar gain. The idea behind the design was for it to be like the front of a ship, being up on the bridge where you can see the whole of the loch in front of you pulling you out to the Atlantic. Internally the stand out feature is the use of Caithness stone for the flooring. Beautiful and practical it also has the benefit of there being no thresholds on the ground floor so it’s perfect for anyone with mobility issues. The open plan living experience makes for a very sociable place to spend a week but a clever little chill out zone incorporated into the mid-level landing provides a perfect wee spot for quiet contemplation of the landscape or just losing yourself in a book.
The first thing you notice as you step inside Strath Brora View is the feeling of space. The main living and dining area is all open plan with double height ceilings but clever design means it still maintains an intimate cosy feel. While adults will gravitate towards the wood burning stove in the evenings, children can retreat to the separate tv room on the mezzanine floor. The huge decking area outside has been cleverly sheltered to make outdoor dining a real attraction while still maintaining impressive views of the surrounding crofting community. It’s an immersive location for sure. With such an effort made on the exterior then it’s no surprise to see that no expense has been spared on furnishings and kitchen equipment, everything has been thought of from wine coolers to a bread maker to make your stay here as relaxing as possible.