Honest Beauty

I’ve not written for a while because I’ve been touring the country with my family in a tent! Not my natural habitat and despite my predisposition for travelling light we filled the Galaxy plus a large roof box. The highlight of the trip was the wedding of my fabulous friend, Sam and Alasdair who we met on the day of the wedding. Luckily he was a very suitable – he walked up the aisle with a kilt and bare feet, his hair and beard blowing in the breeze, looking like any minute he would jump up a tree and whittle something marvellous for his new bride – he was basically so manly and gentle even my husband swooned.

So, why am I telling you about their wedding in a blog post about DIY and décor? Well I’m glad you asked. You see they live in a ridiculously remote part of the Inner Hebrides in Scotland and we thought it would be a great idea to camp while we were there. That’s right, get ready for a wedding in a tent! Not just camp on a campsite with facilities, no in a field, with sheep! So my first thought was, where would we you know…do our hair?…brush our teeth?…do our business? To the rescue the lovely Hugh and Miranda in the delightful Ferry Cottage and this is why I’m writing this post.

You would expect it to be a bit awkward, having to go into someone’s house every time you (or your kids) need to loo but the first time I entered the little cottage I was blown away by the welcoming and laid back nature of the owners. Of course being slightly décor obsessed I was also blown away by the fairy-tale interior and they were kind enough to share the story of their cottage and let me take some pictures to share with you.

cottage original
This is a photo of the cottage before it fell into disrepair

When they bought the cottage it consisted of just one room with no roof and they would bring their two children up every weekend with two tents and camp within the walls. One weekend they would work on the house and the following they would enjoy the nature and just have fun. Back then there was no loo and they would go into the woods with a bucket of soil and sawdust.

The cottage now!
The cottage now!

Now, it not only has two bathrooms but can sleep, wait for it, TWELVE people! But there’s no fancy loft extensions or trendy basement conversions, they have utilised the traditional platform beds that can be found in most of the cottages in this area. It has everything a cottage needs…

A beautiful open fire.
Old school cooking facilities
Old school cooking facilities
Butler's sink bought from the council for £5 (they were ripping them out and smashing them! Nooooo!)
Butler’s sink bought from the council for £5 (they were ripping them out and smashing them! Nooooo!)
august 089
amazing views

and wonderful platform sleeping areas!
and a host of wonderful platform sleeping areas!

In every room there are platforms with either bunks or a double beds or two singles to make the most of the space. Pretty much all of this was made by Hugh, Miranda and their family or by talented friends and craftsmen who would come and stay in this remote beauty spot and help.

cottage staircase
The two platforms in the main room used to be accessed by basic ladders. A plank of wood linked them so that the children could run across and jump into bed with their parents in the morning. A builder friend was so appalled by the danger he made them two smart staircases.

At the risk of sounding gushy (remember I was at a wedding) the main thing that exudes from the cottage is love – love of the landscape, love of the building and love of each other. Miranda and Hugh made the partygoers who were camping in their field feel so welcome that you really didn’t mind popping in for a pee and then coming back five minutes later with a seven year old that hadn’t wanted to go five minutes ago. Not many people can make you feel like that.

Every aspect of the cottage has a natural feel about it, every item has a function, nothing in it is showy or affected and there is such an honest beauty in that. I held that thought in my head as I got ready for the wedding, without hair straighteners (whether I achieved any form of ‘honest beauty’ is not for me to say but I did make sure I took a pair of coordinating wellies for my walk home)

Congratulations Mr and Mrs F X
Congratulations Mr and Mrs F, we’ll be back to visit soon X
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