Cozy Up in a Nordic-Inspired Retreat Reborn From Ruins

Cozy Up in a Nordic-Inspired Retreat Reborn From Ruins

By Lucy Wang
Perched at the southern tip of the Kyle of Tongue, this exquisitely renovated holiday home mixes traditional Scottish architecture with modern interior design.

Previously in ruins, an old Scottish cottage has been transformed into the Kyle House, a luxurious getaway for two that boasts dramatic views of the wild and windswept Caledonian landscape.

According to the owners, this two-story stone building is the only inhabited house to enjoy uninterrupted views along the length of the sea loch to the North.

The faithful restoration is the work of UK–based Groves-Raines Architects, who has applied traditional materials—such as stone, lime render, lead, and slate—to the two-story exterior, while also inserting a Nordic-inspired aesthetic to the interiors dressed by Ruth Kramer.

The remote getaway sits in a wild and diverse landscape in the far north of Scotland.

New openings have been cut into the gables and the rear elevation to frame picturesque views and bring more natural light indoors.

Weaving bespoke craftsmanship together with landscape history, the renovation also pays homage to the belief that the house was built from the stone remains of the 2,000-year-old Dun Mhaigh Broch, an iron-age building which still sits on a hill to the west of the cottage.

The bedroom is the most pared-back room in the house with just a handful of furnishings including a custom-designed bed.

Although the building’s simple and classic structure was retained, the architects have treated the interior to a complete renovation, simplifying the plan to "an almost monastic simplicity."

The fireplace is supplied with sustainably sourced timber from the estate.

"Contained within the stone and lime plaster outer shell, the interior is conceived as a series of finely detailed oak boxes, defining spaces within and around them," explain the Danish owners. "Doors are discretely hidden in pockets, allowing the building to be experienced as a series of seamlessly connected spaces."

The free-standing bath is set next to a large window, framing views of Ben Loyal, an isolated mountain in Sutherland.

A close up detail of the bath faucet.

By paring back the design to only the most essential objects and elements inside, focus is given over to the landscape framed through windows, commanding dramatic and distinct views to the east, north, and west.

A variety of surface materials give a tactile feel to the holiday home; natural timbers and plush seating creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

The interiors are dressed to reflect nature as well with carefully curated materials and elements, from locally sourced wool coverings to handmade towels and linens. 

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A muted and natural material palette of stone, timber, metal, and glass define the interiors. The floors are locally-mined Caithness stone, installed with radiant underfloor heating.

The kitchen has been custom-crafted from Danish oak, a material used throughout the home. A narrow ribbon-window provides panoramic views.

Carefully curated furnishings combine Scottish craftsmanship with Nordic design.

This north-facing window with a deep-set window-seat frames uninterrupted views down the Kyle of Tongue.

The bathroom, generously sized relative to the rest of the home, includes a rain shower.

A beautiful getaway for two, you can read more about the Kyle House here, and book your own stay through the website of the B&B.

Project Credits:

Architecture: Groves-Raines Architects

Interior Design: Ruth Kramer


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