Tour This Fun Eclectic Family Home in Scotland

Would you like to see a lovely Scottish home to brighten your day today? You'll see why I say, "brighten" in a moment! This is cattledogs columnist, Alison Gibb, reporting in from Scotland today and I am here to share the beautiful space of designer, Donna Caira. She lives in Fife with her husband, Anthony and their two daughters, Julia (20) and Olivia (17). Donna runs a fine art print and interiors business called with a friend, Susan, who lives nearby.

   The chimney wall is painted in ‘Downpipe’ by Farrow & Ball

The chimney wall is painted in ‘Downpipe’ by Farrow & Ball

Donna trained as a lawyer originally, but when she started her family she found she enjoyed staying at home and looked for a career with more flexibility. Interior design was an obvious choice, Donna being both practical and creative in huge doses.

 The framed print on the mantelpiece is a classic image of a Burmese Girl, by sir Gerald Kelly. 

The framed print on the mantelpiece is a classic image of a Burmese Girl, by sir Gerald Kelly. 

In her home, Donna likes to mix things up. Her eclecticism has resulted in a bohemian vibe. Not afraid to experiment, Donna has created unpredictable choices to every room, from the shocking pink paneled wall in the traditional Victorian kitchen to the faded floral sofa and raspberry toned armchairs in the more severely decorated drawing room. The occasional ‘pink moment’ comes as a refreshing surprise in this edgy home. "I think I have a bit of Rock Chic in me", she admits.

   The shocking pink MDF paneling is painted in ‘Flamingo’ by Dulux. The pendant light above the island unit was an investment buy from Best Lite.

The shocking pink MDF paneling is painted in ‘Flamingo’ by Dulux. The pendant light above the island unit was an investment buy from Best Lite.

They bought the house in 1999 and their daughters grew up here. The large Victorian house is located on a beautiful leafy street. The décor, when they bought the house was tasteful, but over coordinated and too chintzy for Donna’s taste. They undertook the transformation slowly, knowing that it takes time to get things right. "A house needs to evolve", Donna believes, "especially if you want the resulting scheme to be really individual".

  Cabinet painted in Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball.

Cabinet painted in Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball.

The large kitchen is Donna’s favorite room, the wall dividing it from the dining room had been removed by the previous owners, but the results were uneven and needed resolving. "We got a quote from a plasterer to smooth the wall but we were shocked at the amount, so we came up with the idea of MDF paneling, surprised at how much cheaper this option was." Once complete, Donna knew that she wanted to paint it bright pink. "It was the perfect contrast to the black Ikea units.

   A selection of prints from We Are Amused are artfully arranged, unframed, held up by white tack, bulldog clips add a functional, decorative note.

A selection of prints from We Are Amused are artfully arranged, unframed, held up by white tack, bulldog clips add a functional, decorative note.

The fun, retro Smeg dishwasher was a much-wanted replacement when the original, integrated model broke down, "unfortunately, it did not fit under the worktop, but we were able to insert it into the original Victorian press, which we then paneled over, giving it a semi-fitted home after all", Donna recalls.

Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland

In the bedrooms, just like the public rooms, occasional luxury purchases are cleverly combined with funky, junk shop finds, bargain buys and homemade solutions. The antlers above the master bed are from Cox & Cox. Anthony’s sister, another creative wing of this talented family, made the bedside lampshades. Donna made the upholstered headboard herself. The luxurious, grey velvet throw is from H&M Home.
 

I never normally buy from interior chains, but I do love a rummage around TK Maxx. Great style does not have to cost a fortune!
— Donna Caira
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
  Two prints sit atop the mantelpiece, one is from We Are Amused, the other is an enlargement of a gorgeous photograph of Donna’s father as a child.

Two prints sit atop the mantelpiece, one is from We Are Amused, the other is an enlargement of a gorgeous photograph of Donna’s father as a child.

Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
Trust your instincts when you are decorating, you will grow in confidence.

— Donna Caira
Tour a Bright Eclectic Family Home in Scotland
   The orange wall is painted in Mustard by Dulux.

The orange wall is painted in Mustard by Dulux.

The whole house is bold, dramatic, moody and fun. Random salvaged pieces of furniture, vintage treasures and bargain buys have formed a happy collective in this characterful home. Not a fan of symmetry, Donna prefers unpredictability and always looks for solutions that are quirky rather safe. Her natural wit and spontaneity ensure the results are always successful. There is an air of Alice In Wonderland in this dwelling - expect the unexpected when you enter!

  MDF painted in ‘Clunch’ by Farrow & Ball.

MDF painted in ‘Clunch’ by Farrow & Ball.

3 Ideas To Steal:

1. Wall paneling in MDF can be done very cheaply – it covers a multitude of sins and can be painted any color you like.

2. Hang artwork simply with bulldog clips or white tack – it does not have to be framed.

3. Breathe new life into old furniture by giving it a lick of paint.

What do you think of this home, any touches that you love? -

(Photography: / Text: for cattledogs)