Homeowners who make the 'SHOTY' shortlist are asked to place a heart in their favourite spot.

Tina McGeoch didn't hesitate before choosing a sheepskin-covered chair with panoramic views of the sea where she enjoys her morning cuppa.

The location in Flesherin - a small village on the Point peninsula of the Isle of Lewis - is what clinched the sale and a staircase was moved so that the shore is visible from the front door.

Newlands Croft House is now a place that provides great solace for the 61-year-old, who has three grown-up children and one grandchild.

The Herald: The front room with panoramic views of the sea draws gasps from 'SHOTY' judgesThe front room with panoramic views of the sea draws gasps from 'SHOTY' judges (Image: BBC Scotland's Home of the Year)

In July 2021, while they were half-way through the massive renovations project it was discovered that her husband Norman's bowel cancer - successfully treated ten years earlier - had returned.

The couple was told it was terminal and he died a few, short months later in November 2021.

"Unfortunately there wasn't much checking up going on during Covid," says his wife. 'It had metastatised and come back in his liver.

The Herald: Tina with her late husband Norman Tina with her late husband Norman (Image: Tina McGeoch)

"By the time they found that, they said his blood readings were off the scale when they eventually took blood and they basically said that if they tried any chemo he would get liver failure."

"It's a special place for all of us now," says Tina, who went on to finish the renovations herself.

The Herald: Tina shares her spectacular home with three labradors Tina shares her spectacular home with three labradors (Image: BBC Scotland)

"I just wanted us as a family to have a place to come and  'just be' in the place that Norman loved best."

"There is a real feeling of peacefulness here - I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

Judges Anna Campbell Jones, Banjo Beale and Danny Campbell visit three properties in the Highlands and Islands for Monday's third episode of Scotland's Home of the Year.

The property dates back to the early 1900s and is close to house where Norman's mother was born.

The couple, who both worked in the tourism sector, started the renovation project shortly before the pandemic in 2020 with a team of local tradesmen.

The Herald: Newlands Croft during the renovation process Newlands Croft during the renovation process (Image: Scotland's Home of the Year)

"It was very dilapidated, it hadn't been lived in for some time," she says. 'We completely gutted the old house and insulated everything so we could put in an environmentally friendly heating system but we retained as much of the character as we could.

The Herald:

"We had done lots of renovations in the past and had been coming here for ever and decided that we actually wanted to move out here.

"A lot of the houses face the south, to keep the weather out. When this one came up we thought, we can really do something with that and make the most of the view."

The old croft house would have had two bedrooms upstairs and a kitchen and living area downstairs although a previous owner had converted an old loom shed at the rear of the property into a kitchen, bathroom and dining room which the new owners built onto.

The modernised house now includes a large, open-plan kitchen, dining and living room with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the sea.

The Herald:

On the ground floor there is also a bedroom with en-suite, a separate sitting room and shower room with two further bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.

'That view is stunning but it's all about the inside," says Banjo in the episode, admiring the Moroccan tiles, open beams and snug.

"With a view like that you could rest on your laurels, but they haven't," he says. "They have created an interior that almost trumps the view."

"My husband loved auctions and I've picked up various things here and there," says Tina. The dining room chairs once belonged to a local school.

The "mix of contemporary and vintage finds" is commented on by judge, Anna who says it helps to give the spacious home warmth.


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Glasgow-based architect Danny is impressed by the vertical tubes that allow natural light to flood into a shower room.

It's not just the judges who are impressed by the renovation. The croft house was put forward for 'SHOTY' by Hebridean Baker Coinneach MacLeod.

'Someone I know works for Alba and asked if they could use the house for a Christmas advert," explains Tina.

The Herald:

"It was the Hebridean Baker and this little girl and they were making mince pies in the kitchen.

"I didn't think anything of it but then in July I got a phone call asking if I was interested in doing Scotland's Home of the Year."

Before they moved to Lewis, Tina and her husband had previously renovated properties in the Aviemore area, Speyside and Perthshire.

"When I first met Norman in the 1980s he was doing up his mother's home in Lewis, so that's how long he had been renovating properties," she says.

Tina has since renovated an old coal store on the shore where her husband played as a child and turned it into a holiday home named The Bunker.

The Herald:

The judges also visit Earth House, an 18th-century property in Aviemore that has been brought back to life by Salem and Dianne.

 This Highland sanctuary reflects the serenity of its surroundings as well as providing a haven for visiting family. Amongst its many features, Earth House includes a shower turret and a bathroom with a view.

Next up is a modern self-build near Stornoway.

Achnagairn House is home to David and Alison, their daughters Ava Grace and Eva Rose and Mulberry the chihuahua.

The couple designed their dream home with their daughters and family life in mind, creating a symmetrical abode with sustainability at its heart.

Scotland's Home of the Year episode three will be aired on Monday on BBC Scotland at 8pm.