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Project of the Week

Highland House by Jill Macnair

Read time 4 minutes

  • Design House: Jill Macnair
  • Project Name: Highland House
  • Location: Scottish Highlands

As a child, Jill Macnair spent family holidays traveling the rich, resplendent countryside of the Scottish Highlands. In her own admission, she didn’t quite appreciate some aspects of these trips at the time - namely the long, tiresome walks and relentless uphill cycles.

But the verdant landscapes and earthy palette left a lasting impression, which established the foundation for designing her holiday home in Loch Tay, Perthshire.

A true and complete showcase of her work as a designer, Jill Macnair spent two years thoughtfully bringing her beautiful holiday home from conception to completion.

Take a quick tour of this project below.

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The interior is about rooting the building in its context – a place of extreme weather and beautiful vistas.

Originally from Glasgow, Jill Macnair has worked in London for nearly 20 years. She and her husband built their home in the Scottish Highlands as a summer escape for themselves and their two children.

Both the exterior and interior were wholly inspired by the surrounding landscape - a nod to both her childhood and the beauty of the country.

“The interior is about rooting the building in its context – a place of extreme weather and beautiful vistas”, said Jill.

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The architect, Kirsty Lees, has been a friend of Jill’s since she was four years old. Similar to Jill, Kirsty understood the nuisances of the land and how to bring it to life in the design of the space. Kirsty and her husband, David McMillan, run a local practice called Tektonika.

Together, they created the framework for the home: simple and long with large windows to maximise the view of the sweeping loch. The base of the home is solid rock and the roof was fabricated from cladding in black zinc.

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Mimicking the same rationale in the interior, Jill used a palette of green, yellow, navy, pink, and brown in the design of the interior, drawing inspiration from the balmy mountains, lush pasture, and as Jill describes, “its breathtaking stillness”.

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