Grand Designs Scottish homes and the stories behind the people who live in them

By Ketsuda Phoutinane

In the 22-year run of Grand Designs, the Channel 4 programme has featured plenty of impressive Scottish homes.

Homeowners have created their dream homes in the face of never-ending building schedules and going over budget.

Much has already been said about the 'curse of Grand Designs' that befalls some unlucky homeowners.

Whether it's incurring a mountain of debt or a tidal wave of problems, some couples on Grand Designs have been bitten by the so-called 'curse'.

But that's isn't the case for everyone - there are homeowners who have brought their dream home to life and made it through to the other side.

Scottish homes continue to be shortlisted for House of the Year, an architecture award that's also covered by Grand Designs.

Here are some happier Grand Designs stories...

The Kinross bothy

The pair transformed the bothy in the walled garden (Channel 4)
The couple added a black modern extension (Channel 4)

Iain and Jenny Shillady moved their young family of four from Edinburgh to the countryside for this ambitious project shown in September 2021.

A 150-year-old bothy and a walled garden at Rumbling Bridge near Kinross had caught their eye.

Built in the late 19th century, their children described it as something out of a Beatrix Potter story, they said to Grand Designs Magazine.

Iain, an architect, and Jenny, a marketing manager, transformed the property by adding a state-of-the-art extension for £400,000, which ended up being £50,000 over budget.

The pair spending £400,000 on the project (Channel 4)

The build was hit by the pandemic that saw progress stall for 10 weeks of their 11 month build.

Through Covid and replacing the bothy's rotten roof, the project was completed and the family moved in in spring 2021.

Although presenter Kevin McCloud was at first worried the new structure would 'destroy the beauty of the garden', he couldn't help but be taken aback by the finished home, and called the house 'exquisite'.

The Shilladys run a home Instagram account @thegardenersbothy.

Newhouse of Auchengree

Mike and Sally Law's stunning North Ayrshire home was featured on the programme in 2017.

The home was shortlisted for a prestigious architectural award given by the Royal Incorporation of British Architects (RIBA) for new build homes in the UK.

Scots architecture firm Ann Nisbet Studio was inspired by local farmsteads when designing the dream home that cost £600,000.

Built as a versatile space for the retired homeowners, the home is actually a cluster of linked buildings purposefully designed to withstand strong winds.

Mike, a retired GP, said: "A phrase our architect once used was, 'Your house will stand like a sculpture in the landscape.' I think that’s pretty true."

The Strathaven air hangar house

Colin MacKinnon and his partner Marta Briongos, from Strathaven in Scotland, first appeared on the show in 2011 (Channel 4)
Colin and Marta's flight of fancy was to build their dream home by the runway (Stuart Vance/ReachPlc)

The home of Colin MacKinnon and Marta Briongos goes down in the books as one for aviation enthusiasts.

A 2011 episode of Grand Designs showed the creation of their airfield home in Strathaven.

Colin, a flight instructor, and Marta, a trapeze enthusiast, wanted to honour the location with the vision of acclaimed Edinburgh-based architect Richard Murphy.

Their South Lanarkshire abode sits on the land Colin and his family owns that encompasses Strathaven Airfield, the oldest continually used airstrip in Scotland.

The quirky house took 10 years to finish, but the end result is an inspiring home that is distinctly theirs.

For Colin and Marta, owning that land is a privilege they are delighted to share.

Colin told the Daily Record in June 2021 that they hope to build even more homes with plans underway for up to five hangar homes on their eight-acre field.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.