A mansion that dates from the 16th century and was used by Sir Walter Scott as a holiday home is in the running to be crowned Scotland's Home of the Year.

Manor House in Peebles was an 11-year "labour of love" for Megan Hush and her partner, who bought the B-listed property in April 2011.

It had been viewed by 100 people but none had been willing to take on such a substantial and costly renovation project that was 11 years in the making and is not yet complete.

"I think it was insanity," says Ms Hush, a doctor, who says it was seven years before they could move into the property.

The Herald:

"You could see the sky through the roof, the handle fell off in the hands of someone else viewing it."

"But it's all about having a vision."

READ MORE: Former 19th-century church manse featured in Scotland's Home of the Year 

The couple were buoyed by the success of a much smaller renovation at their previous home and did not hire any major contractor for the work.

Her partner, who has a background in engineering was heavily involved along with friends and local tradesmen.

The Herald:

"We wanted to do everything as far as possible by traditional methods so that puts delays on things and having traditional materials like limestone flooring

"When we first moved in the water supply was contaminated with E-Coli, we had to get our own water supply bored in. It was disgusting to be honest.

"Even though I'm so glad we did it, I did quite regularly say 'what the hell have we done here.'"

The Herald:

The villa has at least 20 rooms in the part the family live in and is a composite of a series of extensions from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

READ MORE: 'Absolutely perfect' Aberdeenshire cottage takes centre stage on popular BBC show 

"The house is architecturally interesting from that point of view," she says.

"It reminds you that you are just the next person coming in.

The Herald:

"The most recent parts of it were built around 1840," she says. "You can see Victorian features throughout the whole property."

Michael Angus, Anna-Campbell Jones and Banjo Beale, are the team of design experts tasked with whittling down the stylish and one-of-a-kind properties for the fifth series of 'SHOTY', which will culminate in a grand final on June 26.

One home is selected from three located in different regions of Scotland after the judges award points for architectural merit, distinctive design and original style.

The Herald:

The judges are swept away by the grand staircase, which the owner says is a work in progress.

"It is stunningly beautiful," she said. "

"The stone of the staircase is as we found it. We want to strip it back to the original stone but it needs to be hand done.

"We've probably done about three steps in ten years. I'll maybe wait until my children are old enough to do it."

The Herald:

The magnificent children's playroom is also a major draw for the judges, who declare it the best room in the house. 

"It's a beautiful, beautiful room and is probably one of the most striking because it has the curved windows," said Ms Hush who is originally from London and is mum to Caleb,9, and seven-year-old Emilia.

"We didn't have any children when we bought the house but the more we renovated it became obvious that this needed to be some kind of family room.

READ MORE: Glagow-based architect to join Scotland's Home of the Year 

"We didn't want to turn it into some big room that the children weren't allowed in. That's not what the house is about. We don't have any rooms that they aren't allowed in."

"We do make them understand that they are exceptionally fortunate to live here."

She says the family spends most time in the kitchen, the playroom and the front room, which has a grand piano for the children, who are having lessons.

The Herald:

She said the most challenging aspect of the renovation was the sheer scale of the project.

She said: "There are so many shortcuts you can take but when you are trying to do right by the house you don't want to do that.

"You can't source original everything but by really trying to do our best it's taken years.

"It's more about the love for the finer details.

"We spent months and months waiting for the right cornicing to be made."

Perhaps unsurprisingly the couple have frequent guests, who are shown to a room that once welcomed a famous writer.

"We know from the history of the house that it was lived in by Adam Ferguson, who was a philosopher during the Scottish Enlightenment.

"He invited Sir Walter Scott, who lived in Melrose, to come and holiday in the house and he apparently slept in the room where we now have our guests.

"The house has got a lovely history to it and that's why it's even more important to preserve it."

Filming on SHOTY6 starts from the end of June and the filmmakers are looking for homeowners to apply to take part.

Details on how to apply can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/shoty . Applicants should include contact details, a brief description of the home and a few pictures and only primary residents can apply to take part.

The next episode of the current series will be screened on Monday at 8.30pm on BBC Scotland.