Thirty years of makeovers, reconfigurations and overhauls at this house in Bridge of Weir have finally produced the perfect specimen
When the Morrisons first moved into their home in Bridge of Weir, which had been built for them by architect Tom McKay in 1980, it was a Mackintosh-inspired mansion with a feature staircase and split-level interior. With two small children and a baby in tow, the couple quickly set about feathering their nest. But it turned out to be a far bigger job than they had anticipated; the property has been, according to Anne Morrison, a “bit like painting the Forth Bridge” ever since.
For the first seven years, for example, there was no proper kitchen. “We ran out of money,” Anne recalls. So they “borrowed” a sink from the plumber, requisitioned an office desk from the family business to stand in for the table and kept using the fridge from their old house until it fell to bits.
The first real kitchen, when it finally arrived, was, says Anne, right out of The Little House on the Prairie. Eight years later, the Morrisons took the living room out into the garden with a Tom McKay-designed glazed extension.
Another seven years on, when the family realised that the house was once again in need of a change, it was time to bring in the experts. A friend recommended the Glasgow company Designworks, run by mother-and-daughter team Henrietta Simpson and Henrika Ritchie. Their first task: to streamline the kitchen and surrounding space, eradicating any trace of the prairie in the process. At that point, Henrietta recalls, there was a separate pantry and several other different “wee rooms”.
What to put in their place? Anne and her husband Tom had no clear idea of how it could or should be changed, or even what kind of look they wanted. Anne knew she did not want an Aga (as a proud Harrogate girl, famous for her Yorkshire puddings, the oven had to be electric). She did want a generous fridge. To keep Tom sweet, she made room for a large Sub-Zero wine cooler. Other than that, the couple were open to suggestions.
For Henrika and Henrietta, this part of the house was an open-plan kitchen-living room waiting to happen. And, unlike other areas of the property that had dominant architectural features, this would be a blank canvas once the internal walls were taken down.
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 172-180, issue 91.
Designworks, 36-38 Gibson Street, Glasgow, 0141 339 9520
Words Anna Burnside
Photography Neale Smith