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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Jane McLeod

Traditional croft house crowned Scotland’s Home of the Year

New Tolsta, owned by Tom Hickman, picked up the accolade

A TRADITIONAL, early 20th-century croft house in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has been crowned the winner of 2022’s Scotland’s Home of the Year in the finale of the BBC Scotland series, filmed at Glasgow’s House For An Art Lover.

A fifth series of the property show, produced by IWC Media, begins filming later this month.

Home to artist Tom Hickman, New Tolsta is a unique home filled with Tom’s artwork and a variety of traditional pieces of furniture. After being uninhabited for 37 years, Tom bought New Tolsta in 2006 and, since then, has restored the croft house to its former glory as well as adding his own distinctive style throughout.

The restored croft house on the north-east coast of the Isle of Lewis, follows a traditional two-up, two-down layout, with a kitchen, living room and bathroom on the ground floor and two bedrooms upstairs.

Unanimously crowned the winner of Scotland’s Home of the Year 2022 in the hour-long finale by all three judges – lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers, interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones and architect and lecturer Michael Angus – New Tolsta reduced Anna and Michael to tears during the final selection in the surroundings of Glasgow’s House For An Art Lover.

Homeowner Tom Hickman said: “Well I have to admit it does bring an unexpected smile – winning is not something I’m used to.

“I’m certainly surprised, but way down deep somewhere there is a little voice saying ‘At last!’ As artists, we are all our own worst critics, so yes, it’s nice to receive praise.

“I was fascinated to firstly see Anna, Michael and Kate’s nicely understated reaction to the exterior, and they did well to not judge the book by its cover. It was strange not being able to welcome them, but now I see I needn’t have worried as my home did that for me.

“I’d like to extend an open invitation to them all, should they wish to take a second look and hear some of the stories behind the objects and

fabric of my home.”

New Tolsta beat off stiff competition from eight other finalists from across Scotland including homes in Fort William, Kippen, Kirkwall, Hawick, Edinburgh, Elsrickle, Helensburgh and Fife.

Judge and interior designer Anna Campbell Jones congratulated New Tolsta on winning the title, saying: “We are always looking for individual homes filled with the expression of the homeowner’s personality and taste – and of course love.

“I don’t think we have ever seen such an exceptional example of a home meeting these criteria.

“The overwhelming sense of the person who lives there communicated via the cornucopia of his incredible creations, from the painted floors, to the embroidery to the artwork on the walls, all by his own hand.”

Anna, Kate and Michael’s search for Scotland’s Home of the Year took them the length and breadth of the country, visiting 27 homes showcasing a vast range of home styles.

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