Our newest holiday cottage offers the perfect home from home self catering holiday experience. Each item in East Millfield from the furniture to the crockery was hand picked, and often hand made - where possible by local suppliers. We asked Claire Bruce where the interior inspiration came from.
By Claire Bruce
"The renovation of any granite building is no small task. For East Millfield we had many factors to take into consideration such as preserving and prolonging the life of a historic building whilst creating a meaningful holiday cottage which will provide all the home comforts and modern amenities our guests enjoy.
The house was originally two cottages and a section of the old staircase for one cottage has been retained and boxed in. Next time you are in the hallway see if you can spot it! The staircase used now is original. It was previously hidden but we have renovated it with new glass and Glen Tanar oak balustrade. During the renovation process we found many areas that we could make use of such as the spaces where the old external windows were, these are now usable recesses and shelf spaces.
I am passionate about small British designers that produce lovely quality products ideal for a country cottage. In East Millfield each room is individually designed using a different colour palette and reflecting the subtle colours of the highland countryside and natural environment of the Glen.
I took inspiration from the local wildlife such as hares, grouse, garden birds, fish, native trees, flowers and our very own highland cows.
Much of the art in East Millfield is original and echoes the theme of the room. Many of the paintings come from local artists such as Howard Butterworth. Additional art, cushions and decorations were individually chosen to enhance the comfort of the room.
All of the blinds and cushions are handmade and the fabric for the blinds come from small British designers mostly made in the UK: Lewis and Wood, Linwood, and Zoe Glencross. All of the window blinds were made by Alison Miller in Aberdeen. Even the paint comes from Paint and Paper Library - high quality paint designed in the UK. We also used estate tweed to cover a cube in the sitting room. It is important to me to use local suppliers as much as possible. I think that this helps add that personal touch our guests so enjoy.
The furniture in each room is a mixture of hand picked, high quality items from various sources. The beds are from Glencraft in Aberdeen. The sofas and headboards were manufactured in the UK and upholstered to order. The kitchen contains china from Royal Doulton as well as vintage Edinburgh crystal. Also on display are special items from the estate such as vintage pottery that washed up in the banks of the River Dee during Storm Frank, and enamel ware from our own archives.
In the downstairs bathroom you will see some wooden skis on the wall. These belonged to the family and would have been used in the 1930s to ski in Scotland.
East Millfield is an interesting building for many reasons. The buildings adjacent to the cottage once housed the forestry horses that were used to extract timber on the estate and the garden retains a very old apple tree that probably also stood in those times.
Finding the ties between old and new and bringing this cottage into the 21st century using local, handpicked and hand made items made it a joy to renovate. Certainly our guests who have stayed in East Millfield seem to find it a home from home and we look forward to seeing our guests enjoy it even more in the years to come."