Designing your living room for the Scottish national in you

Designing your living room for the Scottish national in you

Scotland’s Celtic heritage is proudly celebrated throughout the world, not to mention in the mother country, with many millions of emigrants maintaining a strong link to their Caledonian forebears. The rise of Scottish nationalism has focused the minds of interior designers on theming rooms with that special Celtic flavour, not intrusively, but with subtle touches and hints that evoke that heritage without it becoming a parody.

Initial thoughts about Scottish décor may be of draughty castles adorned with tartan, antlered deer’s heads and gloomy pictures of hunting and grouse moors; that, of course, is the caricature. The reality, when designing a room to draw out the Scottish national ethos, is much more understated, yet combines many of the traditional elements with a new aesthetic that nods to history and patriotism without taking it to extremes.


Developing a colour scheme

The living room, with the exception of the kitchen, is the most frequently used room in any home and its décor should reflect this fact. As a place for rest and relaxation, the living room requires careful thought and planning to create the perfect space.

Scotland is associated with sweeping moorlands and craggy mountains, and the beauty of its natural wonders can be incorporated into a colour scheme for the room. Heathers and bracken offer a palette of pinks, reds, greens and light browns, while the summer skies suggest shades of blue and white. The slate grey appearance of stones may also help to create that understated essence of Scotland and combining these colours will provide the tranquillity the room demands.

Dressing the windows

Light is always at a premium in a living room, so how to cover the windows effectively is a key consideration. Here, of course, there are opportunities to reinforce the Scottish national theme by using curtains with a hint of plaid, in muted colours, but emphasising the sense of place. For those who wish to make a bolder statement, curtains incorporating the national flag, the cross of St Andrew, also known as the saltire, add a definitive touch to the decorative scheme.

Internal window shutters are a popular alternative, they offer flexibility and are designed to fit many different styles and sizes of windows. Shutters, with louvres that may be opened and closed, are used to control light and can be made from a number of different types of wood to suit a specific room’s ambience. They are also available in a variety of colours, so choosing those softer, natural Scottish hues will complement the overall scheme.

Into the comfort zone

Sofas and armchairs should be chosen, not just for comfort, but also to blend in with the room’s decoration. Good quality Scottish fabrics, textiles or leather, echo the national theme and a drinks table featuring one or two classic single malt whiskies will accentuate the sense of good taste. Tartan cushions are an attractive addition, especially if there is a clan tartan available, though it must suit the room colours. Tartans can be vibrant or calm; personal choice will determine which is best suited.