Emily’s House Escapes: Killiehuntly in the Cairngorms

Scotland is at least one of the best places in the world, if not the best, to experience genuinely wild and remote nature without the burr of cars in the background. This March, brand new holiday hideaway Killiehuntly opens its doors in the heart of the Cairngorms to offer just this sort of escape, with some splendid interior design thrown in. The estate, built in 1603, contains a four bedroom farmhouse, where guests are served breakfast, a packed lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, plus a self-catering two-bed cottage and the one-bedroom Hayloft. All on a backdrop of rugged, mountainous wilderness…

…and we’re proud to say that inside Killiehuntly, you’ll find some of our rugs dotted throughout the beautifully curated interiors. They sit wonderfully alongside traditional Orkney chairs, locally-sourced sheepskins and a host of contemporary Scandi pieces from brands such as Gubi and Rubn. Danish owner Anne Storm Pedersen, along with her husband Anders, worked with designer Ruth Kramer to create a homestay that quietly blends the best of Scandinavian and Scottish design, but puts the local scenery at the heart of everything. Here, Ruth tells us a bit more about how they’ve achieved their particular style of laid-back country living and reveals her client’s unusual inspirations.

What kind of condition was the building in previously?

“The whole farm needed to be rebuilt and nothing had been done to it for decades. The original layout was kept and we worked with architect Nicholas Groves-Raines, who specialises in restoring old houses in the traditional way, but at the same time giving the houses modern standards. We have achieved a great feeling inside.”

A cosy atmosphere is created in the living room at the Farmhouse.

Can you tell us what kind of principles of Scandinavian design you have brought to the house?

“The main inspirations for Anne were the paintings of Hammershøj and modern photos by Trine Søndergaard. They both work with the idea of the ‘room as an object’. Rooms in which the viewer gets an impression of order, beauty and a wonderful colour scheme. We wanted to create a house with a feminine touch with a colour scale that can calm you and make you just want to be in it. The idea is about making you instinctively feel at home. By blending the best of Danish design with the house and more handmade elements from Scotland we felt we could achieve a modern more contemporary Scandi-Scot blend.”

Large flagstones and a traditional console table are teamed with art by Trine Søndergaard.

How about the Scottish elements that you’ve worked with?

“We have used quite a lot of Scottish pieces that blend perfectly with the more contemporary Danish classics – Sheepskin bed throws, handmade stools, Orkney chairs. We have some very good connections in Scotland who we visit every time we are there to find new, old or just special pieces that will work for the house.”

Guests from all of the buildings can gather for breakfast in the Farmhouse. One of our Azilals brings warmth and graphic pattern to the panelled bedroom in the Hayloft.  Red chairs from HAY bring a hot accent colour to the black and natural wood Hayloft.  A hallway made cosy with the help of one of our vintage early 20th century Persian Sofreh rugs.  One of our colourful small Turkish Yastk mats in the simple rustic bathroom.

What is it about this area of Scotland that you think guests will love about it?

“The nature is breathtaking. It’s so large that it gets to you and makes you silent. You feel the beauty in the rough and realise that here enjoyment must be earned – you have to hike up the hills to admire the majestic views and revel in the loneliness of it all. You can take morning walks and see animals up close. You can simply let nature inspire your actions.

We hope guests will enjoy being out in it, then returning in the evening to discuss their experiences with their fellow travellers at the Killiehuntly dinner table, or share experiences over breakfast. And we hope that guests rediscover the meaning of life, doing sweet nothing and the importance of unspoiled nature.”

For full details visit Killiehuntly.

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