Name: Claire and Marcus Mackay
Location: Dennistoun; Glasgow, Scotland
Size: Approx 2000 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; Owned
After that, it was occupied by the first female graduate of Glasgow University, an eccentric lady who was known for riding her horse around this urban neighborhood right into the 1970’s. Though Marcus and Claire are delighted with the rich history embedded in their family home and have embraced it with open arms, they have drawn the line at a horse.
Whilst opening up the downstairs into a more usable family space, Claire and Marcus have been careful to celebrate the original character of the building, leaving the wood paneling untouched and opening up the magnificent fireplace. Filling it hasn’t been too much bother as Claire, a self-confessed vintage hoarder (something she has since founded her business on), now has the perfect backdrop for her many finds. As a result, the house is full of reclaimed furniture, hand-me-downs, and items made by friends and family. This, combined with a few clean, modern pieces to freshen everything up, Marcus’ impressive collection of music, and little Rubin’s inevitable (not so little) stamp on the place, makes this home the perfect expression of those who live there.
Conveniently, the house is continually adapting over time to accommodate their changing circumstances and growing family. Besides having another baby on the way, Claire and Marcus now both work in the space too, with the porch becoming the bulging storehouse for Butler and Taylor and an old coach house at the bottom of the garden home to The Diving Bell Lounge, Marcus’ recording studio – a place that most certainly warrants a tour all of its own. Hold the phone on that one.
This is a relaxing and calm space full of warmth and creativity. Not a bad deal for the cats, Pokey and Genki, either.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic, Relaxed, Refurbished Found Pieces.
Inspiration: Like any home, our house is a story of where we’ve been, where we’d like to go, what we do for a living, and functionality. All of these are always at the heart of everything. With Marcus as a record producer (The Diving Bell Lounge) and me running a vintage event hire business (Butler & Taylor )– our home has a happy mix of electic found items, music related ephemera, and various vintage or old pieces. This said, with my immersion in all things vintage for my business, I crave some more modernist, clean cut styling in newer purchases. But hopefully never too much of one thing.
Favorite Element: This is a tricky one. I’m going to give two: 1) The Old Shop Counter in our upstairs lounge – proudly bartered for at The famous Barras Market, and 2) Our Kitchen Table, handmade by my brother whilst working at the incredible Brick Lane Shop, 'Unto this Last'.
Biggest Challenge: Dare I say it, with such a big house and so many options for what each room does — just getting the flow and feeling right in each space is a constant challenge. Our house started its life as a lodgers' haven, moved to a business at home space to a now family home.
What Friends Say: Wow, that ceiling, those stairs, that fireplace! It doesn’t feel like you’re in the city.
Biggest Embarrassment: The two beautiful houses with massive potential either side of us lying empty, save the pack of squealing foxes in their grounds.
Proudest DIY: A couple are worth a mention — hand building the shed in February 2012 and reviving the old coach house in the back garden from empty brick house into to Marcus’ recording studio.
Biggest Indulgence: 25 Tonnes of trees delivered to our back lane for stocking our fire over winter. It's taken over 6 months to chop it up! This winter better be a cold one!
Best Advice: Second hand is your best friend — be it new items in or old items out. Don’t acquire new items before assessing the relevance of your current possessions. Finish one thing before starting another. Make a place for everything, however small.
Dream Sources: Unto this Last, Rye Markets in West Sussex, Copenhagen and Manhatten Loft Apartments mixed with some Country Living Classics.
Resources of Note:
Sofa – Parents first sofa reupholstered by 1st class Upholstery, Shawlands GlasgowVelour Maroon Chair – HabitatMatching Lamps Bases– Hand made by Marcus’s DadMatching Lamp Shades- B&QLarge Base Arced Lamp – DwellVinyl storage and Music Station – Hand made by Marcus’ DadKitchen Table – Unto this LastFridge Freezer – SMEGKitchen Doors – HowdensLeather Swivel Chair – Love Salvage, GovanKitchen Dresser Unit – EbayArtwork (gun to nose, stairs collage and dog beach) – Michael LaceyArtwork (beach in winter) – New 2 You Retro, Rye SussexArtwork (Moroccon screen prints) – Essouira Port Market, MoroccoLarge Carpet – Barras Antique Market
Desk and Storage – IkeaFiling Cabinet – Barnardo’s, Great Western RoadArtwork (screen print field scene) – “Yorkshire Autumn” by Jill Hodge in Amber Arts, EdinburghDesk Chair – IkeaSmall Print – Rejkavik Art Museum, artist unknownSmall Print (cylinders) - Linus Kraemer from SMUG on Camden Passage, LondonSinger Sewing Machine – Salvation Army, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow
UPSTAIRS LIVING ROOM
Sofa – HabitatArtwork – Michael LaceyLarge Orange Mirror – IKEAShelving, TV unit – Unto this LastWee Sewing Desk – Second Hand Furniture shop outside Partick StationArt Deco Shop Counter Unit – Barrowlands Antique MarketGentlemans Closet – Salvation Army, Dumbarton RoadArtwork (framed objects) – Claires ownTrunk – Second hand from newspaper classified adsBlack Lamp – TK MaxxRed Swivel Chair – IKEA
Bed and Side Tables – IKEAOttoman – Second hand upcycled by ClaireCupboards – ebay
Cot – My original (found in skip in the 80s!)Chests of Drawers and Gentlemens Closet – All second hand, free“American Rocker” Rocking Chair – In house when we bought, reupholstered by Claire’s MumPlates on wall - Gift/Design Shop in Rye (sorry forgotten name)Blinds – Made bespoke in Mandors, Glasgow
All original with Farrow and Ball paint jobPrints – Urban OutfittersMirror – BarrowlandsAll unlisted items were either found in the street and polished up or given to us from friends and family or already in the house.
Thanks, Claire, Marcus and Rubin!
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