We sat down with one of the stars of the second episode of Scotland’s Home of the Year to find out what it was like when the SHOTY judges paid a visit…
Judges Anna Campbell Jones, Banjo Beale and Michael Angus visit three distinctive properties in the North East and the Northern Isles. And it’s there they discover a Victorian renovation in the village of Old Meldrum, a few miles outside of Aberdeen.
Contenders Kelly Sinclair, her husband Scott and their children Ollie, Lola, Libby and Ritchie, opened the door of their bright, cheerful and nostalgic home to the SHOTY team.
But what’s it like to welcome thousands of viewers to look inside your house?
Kelly said, “The team at Scotland’s Home of the Year were great and made me feel at ease. It’s quite nerve-wracking inviting people in to have a nosey from your home across Scotland!
“But like anyone, I love discovering more about people’s spaces. It was our kids who encouraged us to apply – for me I hadn’t thought to apply as it’s our home and so, it’s hard to see anything special about it.
To me it’s special because it’s ours, but I wasn’t sure if that would be enough for the show.”
Turns out that it was – and it was the touches Kelly and her husband made that helped this lovely house stand out – from upcycling footstools made of old jeans (and a handy pocket for the tv remote – genius!) to a bar-top console patterned with beer tops from their travels, that really set them apart.
“My mum came round with the footstool one day and I had all these old jeans that needed something done with them,” laughs Kelly. “So, I’m glad the judges liked it – it felt good to be able to take an older item of furniture and upcycle it.
We try to do that as much as possible where we can – and it helps both the planet and when you’re on a budget.”
The result? A home that’s full of colour and character – or as judge Michael said “every day in this home would feel like Sunday afternoon”.
“That was so lovely of him to say,” says Kelly. “Who doesn’t want their home to feel welcoming? I think he’s right – we typically do a lot of hosting with friends and family for most occasions (or no occasion!) so it’s nice that someone else sees the space how we do.
“Scott and I are usually doing some sort of project – I always have a few ideas on the go and he’s the muscle to put plans into action. We make a good team.”
Interior designer and judge Banjo Beale loved the property too, but commented that he wished the house was a bit bolder.
“That surprised me,” says Kelly. “I feel like our house is bold but maybe in a way, we’ve inadvertently taken on his advice as the house has changed since the team were here filming last year.
Like I said, we’re always changing something in the house or improving a different part. Maybe now we’re bold enough for him!”
The stone-built detached house is filled with upcycled elements, which nod towards Kelly’s family-run garage business past, including a petrol pump light in the kitchen.
But there are other elements that also hold a nostalgic link to the past.
“Our bar stools were in my family garage for years until I phoned my mum up to see if we could have them,” says Kelly.
“Family is really at the heart of our home, and I’m pleased that it can be felt by others when SHOTY toured our place. It’s the biggest compliment we could get.”
The bar at the bottom of the garden was a pandemic passion project created by Scott, who built the shed from a flat-pack kit in a “a week or less,” says Kelly. “Once we decide we want to do something, it doesn’t take us long to start the plans.”
Kelly transformed the interiors of the shed into a retro space with bold patterned wallpaper and upcycled old cabinets into a glamour bar.
The ceiling gently twinkles thanks to fairy lights wrapped around pieces of tree, giving an ethereal and intimate feeling to the space.
You can picture settling in for a drink or two, with plenty of tipples to choose from alongside some fabulous glassware to sip from.
WHO WON EPISODE 2 OF SCOTLAND’S HOME OF THE YEAR?
As for who won this episode? You’ll just have to tune in and watch. We won’t be giving anything away – just know it’s a tight contest.
You can watch Scotland’s Home of the Year on BBC One Scotland and BBC iPlayer Monday 22nd May at 8.30pm.
Discover more by visiting the BBC website.