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I’ve put a sofa in the master bedroom because I know it’s a lovely place to sit and there’s a table and chairs out on the balcony because it’s a great place to read.
‘Downstairs, I’ve divided the areas into zones but without putting up walls. I’ve positioned the chaise so you either get a view out the window or the fire. The fire functions brilliantly through the space, although sometimes you do have to move the chairs as it gets so hot. And, in the winter, I often forget how cold it is outside. I’ll be hanging around the house in a t-shirt because it’s so warm and then I go outside to get a few more logs and it’s perishing.’
Once the layout was to his satisfaction, Gerard turned his hand to the furnishings, which he has let evolve over time, although they all share a distinct Scottish theme.
‘I’ve found a fantastic lady in Brechin who has been redoing all the sofas and chairs in a beautiful tartan fabric,’ he says, ‘and I’ve deliberately chosen old furniture and then had it reupholstered. The older pieces are just much better quality and built to last.’
About three years ago, Gerard’s job
commitments started to take him away from Angus which meant that Glen Cruick was lying empty for half the year. ‘For a while I would come up for weekends and it was just amazing how much it recharged me,’ he says. ‘The house sits between two burns and once you cross the burns and start walking, you’re into the glen in minutes. At the top of the hill the views are spectacular and at any time of year the amount of people you see is miniscule.
‘However, the accessibility of Glen Cruick is great – you have to drive through a working farm to get to it and I think that adds to the charm. You feel you’re going to end up in the middle of nowhere and then you happen across this beautiful house. My main problem on these short visits was that I would make plans to see friends and sometimes I’d regret it because I just wanted to stay home and enjoy the peace.’
At present, Gerard is lucky to snatch a week here and there at Glen Cruick but he hopes that’s only for a few more years. ‘When I retire this is where I’ll be living and I’m really looking forward to it. It really is the only house for me.’
Above: Downstairs is open-plan, but is divided up through clever interior design. Left: Bright seating area upstairs; views from the balcony.
Above: Gerard outside Glen Cruick. Left: The bathrooms have underfloor heating. Below left: There are touches of tartan throughout.