Glamour, colour and a hint of tongue-in-cheek in an Edinburgh des res

Checks, florals, zigzags and geometrics, in clashing, zesty rainbow shades, somehow come together in stylish harmony in this dramatically decorated Edinburgh apartment

A second-floor flat on one of Edinburgh’s finest Victorian terraces, with views of St Mary’s Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle, is not, perhaps, the first place one would expect to find groovy wallpaper nestling up to crazy geometrics and the odd big floral print. This is a million colourful miles away from the tasteful neutrals of much of the capital’s desirable New Town; instead, interior designer Malcolm Duffin has used just enough Austin Powers magic to make this high-end rental apartment work.
When his clients bought the flat, as a letting property, it had been untouched for thirty-odd years. It was those leftovers from the 1980s that got Duffin thinking in a retro direction. The dated layout (one bedroom, a drawing room, bathroom and kitchen with dining area) had to go, as did the fitted wardrobes, bookcases and fireplaces. A galley kitchen (inspired by his design agency’s many yacht refits) and a second bed­room made a much better use of the space.
It was an eight-week turnkey job, including the internal re­modelling, all the plumbing and heating, a full rewiring and sub­floor­ing, the creation of a new utility room and kitchen, plus an upgraded bathroom. Duffin also supplied all the furniture, fixtures and fittings, right down to the towels, sheets, cups and saucers. Ahead of schedule, and to budget. Phew.
A job of that size involves a cast of thousands. The joinery was done by Brian Sheridan of Sherwood Carpentry & Joinery, while hanging the tricky geometric wallpaper was left in the capable hands of Jim Robertson of Papercut Decoration. Building and structural engineering was handled in-house while Duffin’s latest protégé, designer Lucinda Loxley, added what he calls “exuberant youthful touches”. She also sourced the Slim Aarons prints that he feels are perfect for the property.

This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on pages 224-229, issue 97.

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Words Anna Burnside
Photography Teresa Geissler
Interior design Malcolm Duffin