In 2013 Jill McNair and her husband Neal purchased a field on the edge of Loch Tay in Perthshire. A loch is a long, dark strip of water between the Ben Lowers Mountains. The area had made a lasting impression on the couple nearly a decade ago when McNair’s father led them on a cycling expedition that bypassed the south side of the lake. “The beauty of the landscape hit us both,” recalls McNair.
A few years later, I am married with two children and live in London. A young family was vacationing on the Isle of Mull when Neil saw an advertisement for a field with a planning permit. “We weren’t really thinking about something like this,” says McNair. On my drive home, I took a detour and went to see it. ”
McNair was acquired outside Glasgow. “My dad loves Scotland,” she explains. “He always loved walking and climbing Munross, so from an early age I was well exposed to what was beyond the suburbs.” London, where she lived and worked for 20 years, , was beginning to “add more meaning” to the broader sense of Scotland. “I think she wanted to create a permanent connection to Scotland for her children,” she says. “And this field was the way to do it.”
After studying interior architecture, McNair moved into design journalism. She has written for interior magazines for her 14 years and in 2009 co-founded her successful interiors blog My Friend’s House, which ran for over a decade. However, the Loch Tay field caused a turn. “I realized that she actually just wanted to get back into design,” she explains. “In many ways, the Scottish home became a massive learning exercise for that.”
Permission was granted to plan an impressive home in a remote area ten minutes’ drive from the nearest village, but McNair had an idea of his own. She reached out to her childhood friend Kirsty Leeds. She recently founded a local architecture firm with her partner David McMillan. “It was a no-brainer,” she says of her decision to work with her friend. “I will always appreciate Kirsty’s sense of style.”
So a long-distance conversation began between the two friends.The gradually emerging design deliberately references Scottish longhouses. This is a solid one-story structure built to withstand the elements. Leeds designed a sturdy, see-through structure, as “large-scale views” were fundamental to McNair. His ground floor, covered in zinc, appears to float above the ground made of stone. “As you approach the house, you have this amazing view through the building and down to the lake,” McNair explains.
Inside, floor-to-ceiling glass gives the feeling of ‘living in the landscape’. Materials such as terrazzo, concrete and handcrafted tiles also match what is happening outside. “It’s kind of like the outdoors here,” says McNair. “It means you can walk in with your boots on, but it also means it can be a very brutal and desolate landscape. I did.”
The ground floor consists of an open-plan kitchen, dining area, and sunken living room, with a central joinery that acts as both room divider and storage space. One side is a hallway bench where you can wear boots, and the other side is kitchen storage. The library wall leads to another area that functions as a perfect family for the mezzanine study area. Upstairs he has three bedrooms and a family bathroom, all with views beyond.
Produce warmth with a careful color combination. “I carried fabric samples in my pocket for a long time,” says McNair. The bedroom’s sunken sofas and patchwork curtains are carefully constructed to match the hues of the Scottish landscape.
Naturally, there are some classic designs here. Muller Van Severen hanging lamps extend to the top of the ceiling in the cozy space. Martino Gamper’s Arnold Circus stools are in the breakfast nook and master bedroom vanity. In the children’s room, Giandomenico Bellotti’s spaghetti his chair sits under the desk. “Italian design has a big influence on me,” McNair admits. “And I like to mix things that are a bit flashy with more realistic items. I guess that’s the Scotsman in me. Loving something isn’t enough. It works well in that space.” Have to.”
The overall result is a calm and welcoming space that makes you feel good just being there. “We do that here, but at home, it’s the best when the four of us are together. It’s really the best place to relax.”