Scotland’s Home of the Year

BBC Scotland



MICHAEL loves a well located mirror, Anna is a fan of “stuff”, and Kate becomes delightfully girly around a chair suspended from the ceiling.

Scotland’s Home of the Year returned last night, with judges Michael Angus, Anna Campbell-Jones, and Kate Spiers back as the three amigos with a pash for Amtico, big windaes, and that all important but hard to define “good taste”.

First stop in the third series was the Borders. Before we started, the judges set out what they were looking for. Man in black Michael, architect/lecturer/the world’s worst Johnny Cash impersonator, said he wanted a home that was “exceptional in its ability to embrace, to entertain, and to exalt”.

Exalt is it? And there was you, quite happy if the central heating started working again after the summer lull.

READ MORE: Susan Swarbrick takes a peek at the contenders

“The Wave” was a new build near Peebles. The name came from the way the curved roof went up and down, like the tops of the distant hills. Beautiful, spotlessly clean like all the homes featured, but Kate the blogger thought it was a touch too impersonal. “It’s almost a bit holiday home rather than a house people live in.” Interior designer Anna agreed the place needed “stuff”.

Next for the once-over was Spottes Mill, near Castle Douglas.

The owners liked black, and parking their motorbikes, including a very cool Harley Davidson, inside the house. Inside, correct.

Fortunately the design, featuring a poured concrete floor, could accommodate their wishes.

“Wouldn’t work with a carpet, would it?” said Michael, reminding us once more why he gets paid the big bucks.

Kate made a beeline for the bubble chair suspended from the ceiling, but regretted the move once it started to creak alarmingly. Michael, ever the gentleman, helped her out of it. These three have taken a while to gel, but they are now in the happy position of being comfy with each other; the viewers, in turn, have grown fond of their quirks.

Spottes was spectacular, all moody lighting and a rock chick mural on one wall. “I see some neon,” said Kate. “It was only a matter of time.”

All three judges admired the owners’ determination to do what pleased them, and to heck with what anyone else thought. Spottes duly won a place in the final.

Memo to makers IWC Media (who also produce Location, Location, Location): we could do with more info on the owners in general, such as what they do to earn a crust, how much they spent on the project, and what the home is worth now. We are already snooping through their home so might as well go the whole nosy hog and truffle out other details.

READ MORE: Anna Campbell-Jones on why SHOTY is must-watch TV

Finally we arrived at The Blue House, a converted village hall near Biggar, now home to Nic and Andy and their two dogs, Muffin and Crumpet. Andy spoke for many a Scottish couple when he said, “Nic’s the interior design guru, I just shift stuff.”

Michael, approaching the house, was briefly excited on spying a cupola. “Every home should have one.” But the owners had not made a feature of it in the interior, so brownie points were knocked off for that.

In the master bedroom stood a roll top bath. Perhaps you did not know this, but baths in bedrooms are apparently the interior design equivalent of Brexit or Scottish independence: the mere mention of them can start a fight in an empty house.

“Some people think it is their absolute life goal [to have one],” said Anna. “Other people think it’s bonkers.”

Michael put a novel spin on the matter, asking: “Would you ever put your bed in a bathroom?” Stick around mate, we’ve only just begun.

Repeated BBC1 Scotland, Monday, 7.30pm/iPlayer