We always knew in snowy February that planning our summer holiday at Braenedin in the Cairngorms was a tad ambitious.
So it was no surprise that we ended up renting a self-catering cottage at nearby Stranruuie. The builders are doing a grand job overcoming a few surprises and dealing with our rather belated requests (even more book shelves, steps up to the decking please – yes we know it’s the windy side but it’s where the most stunning view is, you will want to sit out there, honestly.) No one rolled their eyes . . . in front of us. The house is looking fantastic and we’re really excited about the way it’s shaping up.
We have started on decision making for the decoration which feels like a big leap forward. The walls are going to be white throughout as there will be plenty of colour elsewhere and we don’t want to detract from the wonderful views outside the new windows.
We have picked the floors. Bedrooms at one end of the house are going to have beige carpet and the ones at the other end will be grey. The shower room lino is black and white (it is a bit retro, but I like it! The bathroom floor is plainer.) The living room, kitchen and hallway will be wooden floored and the utility room a kind of slate effect.
Next: curtains. A designer from Culloden braved it to the wilds of the Abernethy forest and found us without too much trouble. She measured up and left us with a load of sample books. There are twenty three windows. This isn’t going to be cheap. I’ve found the threshold of my husband’s tolerance for looking at curtain books though. The next day we went up to her shop (via a promised visit to the Inverness swimming pool, flumes and all, it’s brilliant).Another couple of hours of material viewing but it appears we’re not ready to agree on these yet. I like the orange ones . . . he’s not so sure. I think I like the orange ones. He’s not so sure. Maybe the orange ones are a bit much. Oh, I am rubbish at this. Check out the Pinterest board to see the different ideas.
We didn’t make the kids spend the whole of their summer holidays looking at housey stuff. We also went kayaking at Loch Insh, cycled in the Anagach woods near Grantown on Spey – with the fun mountain biking skills area, barbequed with friends, footballed and fish and chipped in Nethy Bridge. Shooed bullocks out of the garden and made friends with some of the neighbours.
We left the Cairngorms for a while to go camping on the coast at Sandend (great campsite), stayed with friends in Elgin on the way back and then popped in to Braenedin on the road down. It really feels as though we’re almost there. We zipped in to see Adam at Coire Creative and he patiently took us through the website. I love the logo he’s created for us. Over the next few weeks we’ll be ordering up linen and bedding, some more white goods and furniture for the living room. Oh and making a ‘to be orange or not to be orange’ decision... wish us luck and not to come to blows please!