While there are always exceptions, as a rule houses do not remain exactly as they were originally built or decorated. Trends and tastes change and owners come and go, each bringing with them their design ideas and expectations. The determination to make one's mark, however, can lead to beautiful original features being permanently lost, and 'improvements' often turn out to be anything but.
- See more: World's best homes – our page dedicated to fabulous properties
It is a story that chimes with the owners of this Victorian home set in the Fife countryside. By the time they found the property, the original staircase and cornicing had long been ripped out and the hall floor replaced with cork tiles.
With their hearts set on creating their dream home, the couple decided to buy the house and to turn their hands to renovation and redecoration. Fortunately, to them that meant restoring the building's integrity and honouring its heritage.
The owner want a kitchen that would not date quickly and which would sit easily within this open-plan space. The pendant lights are a nice contemporary contrast to the classic fittings and fixtures.
The striking wall hanging above the sideboard was sourced by the owner and is by Scottish artist Roland Fraser. It is made from pieces of driftwood and reclaimed farm shed doors.
‘I wanted the room to have a traditional feel but not be old-fashioned,’ says the owner, who achieved this balance by teaming the imposing mahogany table and chairs with a pair of curtains in a bold pink pattern.
The redesign of the staircase allowed architect Helen Lucas to insert a large skylight in the roof, which floods the centre of the house with natural daylight.
The owner wanted a clean, sharp look for her bathroom to contrast with the softer, classic style of her bedroom.
The owner indulged in a slightly more feminine palette here, choosing a wallpaper with a small floral motif to soften the impact of the rich mahogany sleigh bed. White bedlinen adds a crisp, smart feel to the space.
Embracing the darkness in this north-facing room, the owner used canary-yellow accessories to punctuate the slate-grey walls. ‘I chose colourful, patterned fabrics for the curtains in all the guest rooms, so they don’t feel unloved,’ she explains.
Photography ⁄ Paul Raeside
Architect ⁄ Helen Lucas
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
Christmas table decor ideas – 39 looks for festive tablescapes and stylish celebrations
Wow your dinner guests with Christmas table decor that helps you celebrate in style
By Rhoda Parry • Published
Christmas bedroom decor ideas – 20 ways to beautifully decorate for yuletide cheer
These delightful Christmas bedroom decor ideas are the festive finishing touch that your home needs
By Lisa Fazzani • Published