My humble ABODE
Beautiful homes from around Scotland
Who: Graham and Rachel Suttle. Graham is the managing director of restaurants, The Finnieston, Lebowskis and Porter & Rye. They live with their two sons and two dogs. What: A converted B listed school. Where: Darvel, Ayrshire. The dream: “We’ve always longed to convert or build our own home. We wanted to create a family home where our friends and family could relax and be entertained. It had to show our personalities and our love of antiques and vintage pieces.”
‘We bought this 1863 school without ever seeing inside’
The exterior was enough for us to fall in love. The interior was still very much a school, with old posters and staples still intact on the walls – it was grim, cold and lifeless.
We started our renovations in January of last year. The first thing we did was to rip up all of the old flooring and to our delight it revealed some beautiful original wooden floor boards, which we had restored. The existing school was made up of four classrooms. We left one as a large open-plan kitchen and dining area, which is most definitely the heart of our home.
Our favourite season in the house is winter, especially Christmas time as it’s such a family hearted home. We always have the fire roaring and at night candles are lit throughout our home, filling the house with cinnamon and clove scents. We love texture, so have fur and tweed throws and cushions scattered around our sofas. It’s become a family tradition to visit Silverbirch Home and Garden Centre, we absolutely love the magical Christmas feeling you get from there and try our hardest to create this in our own home.
Rachel loves the master as it has the bathroom she’s always dreamt off. It has a huge walk-in shower and a beautiful roll top bath. We had another mezzanine built above our master bedroom which gives us a cosy snug where we can escape to relax.
Most of our furniture is from auctions or antique dealers, and some we made ourselves. One of our favourite pieces is our 16ft dining table which our dads made up from original wood from the school and wood left over from building the mezzanine.
We custom-made our light in the family room, from an old steel bin which we hung as a pendant. It gives a really cool industrial look. Our interior style is eclectic, we love antiques and everything vintage, mixed with industrial accents and some Scandi aspects too.
We tried to keep as many original features from the old school, one of Rachel’s favourites is the cast iron radiators, I painted them in pillar box red, they make such a statement in every room. We love the different light and reflection the stained glass window creates all year round. We really have created our dream home.
TOP: The dining table was made from salvaged wood from the school. BOTTOM LEFT: The couple’s son, Felix, has his room decorated for Christmas.