Colours of the country are popular in the modern Scottish style, finds Kirsty McLuckie
From the Victorian age, when tartan became the pattern of choice for carpets, wallpapers and curtains, with a wall full of stag’s heads to accessorise, Scottish interior design has never been difficult to recognise.
But these days the look is more subtle, with inspiration taken from local materials such as Harris Tweed or Caithness slate and combined with the colours of the countryside such as the rich hues of heather and bracken, but there is still a recognisable modern Scottish interior look, which can be spotted all over the world.
Miriam Galt of Country Sofas near Pitlochry says the look is as popular as ever, with customers choosing muted natural elegance whether they are decorating a Highland home in Perthshire or a city flat thousands of miles away.
She says: “Subdued colours are used for the larger furniture items – perhaps with a little tartan in the cushions or a throw.
“It is a very popular style – whether you are looking out of your window at these colours or just want a taste of Scotland where you are in the world.”
Seasonal colours and designs are an enduring influence for fabrics which won’t go out of fashion
She says Perthshire at this time of year is a real inspiration. “Autumn colours – the greens, russets and browns are particularly lovely and it makes sense to match the inside with the outside, particularly in the covering items such as window seats.”
The key point is not to try to match up larger pieces of furniture, according to Galt, who custom makes sofas, chairs, stools and accessories. “I can’t remember when I last sold a three piece suite, they’re just not fashionable now.”
Galt increasingly works with customers to find out how they use their homes which can be a much more important factor than just how they want it to look.
She says: “any kind of ‘show-off’ style is definitely no longer popular, it is a lot more subtle in colours and styling.”
“The look is more organic, with customers choosing key pieces that might be made up of different fabrics, colours and styles, but all drawn together with details such as the piping or the accessories.”
Choose key pieces, different fabrics, colours and styles, but all drawn together with smaller details
It is not just Scottish inspired colours that are popular either.
Galt says: “Traditional Scottish fabrics are increasingly requested, for their comfort and cosiness, and their practicality.
“If you have a country lifestyle, with children and dogs, for instance, wool is a very practical material and will not have to be backed which can make some designer materials stiff.”
“People want to use their homes to relax, rather than as a showpiece, so garish colours are out and tweeds, wools, herringbone are in, but still with a little tartan thrown in, to create a beautiful room.”