The Challenge #madeonskye #designedonskye

This Spring, instead of styling our sheepskins in established interiors, we opted to take it a stage further and design our own interior. Do a complete seasonal makeover on a more or less blank canvas. It would enable us to show how our skins can be used in different home projects. A colourful snug came to mind.

From the outset, we wanted to source as much of the room design on Skye as possible. And that became the heart of the challenge: can we do an entire room based on Skyemade, designed, produced or bought items? We were in for a treat! 

Our island is home to a fantastic bunch of creative people who use their imagination, artistic touch, flair and skills to bring to life wonderful items for the home, from paint to textiles, from artwork to ceramics and so much more!.

The location

We had to find a room suitable for a revamp and luckily we had one just a stone’s throw away from us: Broad Reach, built by Clive and Lydia Hartwell, is a beautifully designed holiday home with glorious, award-winning views of the peninsula. It had one spare upstairs room which wasn’t open to guests as it was mainly used for storage. With literally a blank canvas, we set about planning the design.

The Design

We paired up with Joanna McKinnon who was featured in one of our Discover Skye blogs last year with her beautifully designed Bealach Uige Bothy to help us come up with a design which would take in darker colours, something which Joanna does very well in her own home. Follow her on Instagram to find out more. We established the basics first: the basic plan of the room, what furniture we would need and what we could upcycle or use from the current room.

We were inspired by the strong colours of the year: dark blues, blush tones and greens, with touches of copper and silver. We wanted lots of textures, from sheepskin and knitted wool to tweed and velour, wicker and wood. This would be a mix of Scandi maxi, boho, luxe and global, the very 2019 trends we talked about in our Interior blog earlier this year, but with enough classic style to last beyond fashion fads. Take a look at our Pinterest board for more information on our inspiration.

Our Skye Providers

We started with colour and approached Isle of Skye Paint Company who gave us a sneak preview of their brand new colour palette. We choose three main complementary colours: for the walls 'Sgurr Alasdair' (deep blue) and 'Pride of Summer' (warm pink), and 'Falaisgear' (mid grey) to use on furniture.

On the textiles front, first stop was Skye Weavers whose products we have featured in the past and who provide tweed for our own slippers and cushions. Their new #SkyeWool tweed and blanket range was perfect for this challenge and they kindly made two tweed cushions for us as well as providing us with two throws, one in pale grey Skye wool and one in dark green wool.

Charlotte from Skye Knits also offered to knit a one-off special commission Fair Isle cushion with colours chosen to perfectly match our scheme, all within a tight deadline. We also chose another long cushion to complement our scheme.

We then looked at furniture. Unfortunately, sofa makers are few and far between on Skye so we had to go off island for our blue velour sofa. But we chose to make best use of the Bergère chair and wooden desk already in the room, as well as scouring local antiques and charity shops for good finds. This was a great opportunity to put our upcycling skills into practice and use our fleeces for upholstery. This included making a new seat pad out of grey shearling fleece for the Bergère, which one of our seamstresses, Amy, produced.

For this design, we used a Jacob fleece for a piano stool cover and a Herdwick fleece for upholstering a desk chair and as a small seat cushion on a wicker chair. We also added a Herdwick on the floor. We put a large Hebridean sheepskin on the floor by the wicker chair, and a small badger fleece on the sofa (available in store, contact us for details). The two sofa sheepskin cushions are Yetis.

For accessories, we chose a whole range of items from Skye Antiques, based in Broadford, including a clock, vintage camera, yo-yos and glass paper weight. We also added vases and mugs from Lenz Ceramics and Edinbane Pottery.

The Herdwick upholstered chair, painted in Isle of Skye Paint grey, complements the green desk and pink of Pride of Summer. And the view!

Lighting is a key element of any room design and Skye has a dedicated lighting store in Kyleakin, Handley & Co, where Lisa, the owner, offered us a great selection of contemporary lighting solutions to fit our scheme, from a silver mesh pendant to a gorgeous glass and leather table lamp base, as well as a desk lamp and a striking floor lamp.

The artwork

No Skye room would be complete without some of our local artists represented and we were lucky to involve five completely different artists in the design:

Sarah Hardman who creates gorgeous prints using botanicals picked on Skye. Sarah also helped with picking antiques and designing the top of the upcycled desk. She kindly lent us her collection of Observer books for staging.

Peter McDermott, who was also our photographer, with his fabulously colourful prints of local landscapes

Lynne Forrester, Waternish-based, who shared some of her newer abstract work as well as three of her evocative cloudscapes

Katie Tunn, with her stunning blue resin pieces

Sarah Bold who shared two drawings for the gallery and a fantastic oil painting, part of a larger installation entitled Peat. The photos don’t quite convey how amazing that painting sure to see her work in person when she exhibits!

And finally...

The room was styled and completed and we are very proud of what we achieved with all these amazing Skye products. We can’t thank everyone enough who took time in turning this into a reality. We hope this challenge will have inspired people to look further into what Skye producers can offer and the wonderful creativity of our island. Hopefully you will also have got a couple of ideas from our room reveal.

This is one of our exotic cowhides on the floor. The beautiful copper tones echo the leather of the small vintage table we made out of a suitcase and hairpin legs and contrast against the green of the plants and of the Skye Weavers throw. Ivory yeti cushions add texture to the velour sofa and tweed cushions. A grey shearling cushion is the finishing touch in the middle.

Competition time

To celebrate the completion of our Spring Design #madeonskye #designedonskye challenge, we would like to offer you the opportunity to win some great prizes. All you need to do is :

On Facebook, comment on our Final Reveal and Competition post published on Thursday 18th April, telling us which is your favourite item or element of the room and why. Please like and share the post.

On Instagram, like and comment on our Final Reveal and Competition status published on Thursday 18th April, telling us which is your favourite item or element of the room and why, and make sure to tag at least one other person/friend in the comment.

Competition opens on Thursday 18th April 2019 and will close on Wednesday 24th April 2019 and is open to anyone 18 or over. The winners will be chosen at random on Friday 26th April from comments on the competition post and announced that weekend. Only one entry per person please.

And our prizes are....

The First Prize will be a week in Broad Reach, the beautiful self-catering holiday home which served as our location for this design challenge.

The prize is for one week maximum and for up to four people, to be taken between October 2019 and March 2020, based on availability.  The house is situated on the Waternish peninsula with stunning sea views.  The accommodation comprises of a large open plan kitchen, dining and living area, a downstairs twin room and bathroom, an upstairs king-size room with ensuite and a snug.  There is also a boot/utility room.

(The house is no smoking and no pets allowed. The location dates will be arranged directly with the owner upon confirming of receipt of the prize. For more information about Broad Reach, please take a look at the website: )h

The second prize will be an end-to-end double sheepskin in either white or brown.

The third prize will be a single sheepskin in either white or brown.

Not bad! Now get playing and good luck all!!