Emily and Hal Salvesen Have given THE dra­matic in­te­rior of a High­lands farm­house and Steading a Care­ful up­date with Cosy Colours

Country Homes & Interiors - - THE HOME OF MODERN COUNTRY -

Its me­dieval Flem­ish style makes this coun­try es­cape per­fect for a shoot­ing lodge

Emily and Hal salvesen had been look­ing for a prop­erty near their fam­ily home that was suit­able for host­ing large shoot­ing par­ties. They came across an idyl­lic farm­house and build­ings set in beau­ti­ful gar­dens on the edge of din­net es­tate, nes­tled in a bu­colic val­ley in the Cairn­gorms na­tional Park, and fell in love with it.

The pre­vi­ous own­ers had taken in­spi­ra­tion from a Bel­gian in­te­rior de­signer and an­ti­quar­ian, axel Ver­vo­ordt, well known for his serene in­ter­pre­ta­tions of his­toric build­ings and had re­stored the in­te­rior of the cot­tage in the style of a me­dieval Flem­ish lodge house.

When emily and Hal bought the prop­erty, they con­tin­ued with the theme and ex­tended the farm build­ings in the same style, in­spired by the amaz­ing, his­tor­i­cal ex­act­ness of the ren­o­va­tions. They used a Bel­gian com­pany called rik storms from an­twerp to source the wood and many other an­tique build­ing ma­te­ri­als.

‘The ex­ist­ing struc­ture al­ready had the dra­matic dou­ble height space, as well as cosy snugs and gal­leried ar­eas,’ says emily. Work­ing with lo­cal ar­chi­tect, gerry robb in aboyne, an ex­pert in pe­riod ren­o­va­tions, the project was a fan­tas­tic learn­ing process for the salvesens, who be­came ab­sorbed in ev­ery de­tail. ‘ev­ery­one took an in­ter­est and we made de­ci­sions to­gether,’ says emily. ‘The op­por­tu­nity to thor­oughly in­su­late the house was very wel­come and the house is so cosy now.’

The im­me­di­ate scenery is sur­pris­ingly gen­tle. ‘We must be in a bit of a mi­cro cli­mate; this par­tic­u­lar val­ley is def­i­nitely not as rugged as the rest of the Cairn­gorms, so the un­usual style of the in­te­rior feels right,’ says emily. Tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from alpine ski lodges as well as their me­dieval Flem­ish start­ing point, the house has ended up as a de­light­ful con­coc­tion of eu­ro­pean his­tory.

‘no-one felt bound by High­land tra­di­tion, and we have ended up with a clas­sic re­sult that feels homely and wel­com­ing to guests, but still ab­so­lutely right for the dra­matic sur­round­ings,’ says emily. The house makes the per­fect base for their pop­u­lar shoot­ing par­ties.

While re­dec­o­rat­ing through­out, the salvesens en­gaged a spe­cial­ist pain­ter and dec­o­ra­tor who was able to recre­ate the tra­di­tional tech­niques used by axel Ver­vo­ordt. He mixed the colours him­self to achieve the rough tex­tured walls, typ­i­cal of me­dieval Flem­ish prop­er­ties. a mix of strong, tra­di­tional colours have been cho­sen for the in­te­rior, in­clud­ing ter­ra­cot­tas, or­anges and blues. The re­sults are dra­matic but very sooth­ing, while lots of soft tex­tures en­sure a homely feel, and sal­vaged wood has been left raw to com­plete the au­then­tic re­sult they longed for.

‘i was brought up in dorset but my mum is aus­tralian, so my in­te­rior in­spi­ra­tion has jour­neyed from my child­hood english coun­try home to a High­land shoot­ing lodge, through many in­ter­na­tional twists along on the way,’ says emily. ‘Hal and i lived in sin­ga­pore for three years be­fore we had chil­dren and we both love to travel, so warm mediter­ranean colours and hints of ski chalet styling felt like very nat­u­ral ad­di­tions to this oth­er­wise very scot­tish home from home.’

Ex­te­rior The con­verted farm build­ing and farm­house is set in beau­ti­ful coun­try­side.

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