Alison, Paul & Ru’s Home of Colorful Collections

published Jun 3, 2013
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Name: Alison and Paul Macleod
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Size: 2 bedroom flat
Years lived in: 6 years; Owned

Alison Macleod approaches both her beautiful jewellery craft and her eclectic home with the same quirky enthusiasm. She tells me there is a side of her personality that is obsessed with the art of collecting things and fascinated not only by the aesthetic significance of a collection of items, but by the collector themselves. She loves the relationship between a person and an object, the story that collected things can tell, and so she fills her home with such things — items that have their own story and that have become a part of hers. 

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

As far as Alison’s concerned, it is this fondness that someone has had for something that gives it its value, not what it might be worth in monetary terms. She told me of her grandfather who collected everything, from tea caddies to old bricks. Her Grandmother, exasperated by the piles of oddments all over their house, was always delighted to let Alison take things away with her that she took an interest in.

The flat itself is in a traditional, Victorian tenement building with the characterful tall ceilings, cornicing and sash windows typical of the period. The previous owners, however, hadn’t made the most of these original features, and Alison and Paul, able to see the potential of the space above and beyond its ‘space themed’ silver kitchen, transformed the interior when they moved in six years ago.

Many of the beautiful things in this playful home were once Alison’s Grandfather’s, and it is these connections and relationships between the space and the family that live in it that make it personal, vibrant and full of life. 

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: The love of beautiful objects old and new.   

Inspiration: Some of my favorite historical collectors, including Pitt Rivers, an English Victorian collector, and the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who had a great eye for displaying his finds.

Favorite Element: The big airy rooms which give space for all our treasure.

Biggest Challenge: We transformed the kitchen from the dark ‘outer space’ themed mess which we inherited into the bright, airy room it is now. We spent 6 months cooking in the hall while we slowly worked on it. I became a master of the one pot wonder.

What Friends Say: I think they are intrigued by all of our bits and bobs. 

Biggest Embarrassment: The state we lived in for years as we were fixing up the flat.

Proudest DIY: The window seat in the kitchen which I made when I was seven months pregnant. I had major nesting syndrome, but in a power tools kind of a way.

Biggest Indulgence: For me, it’s my ever growing collection of contemporary craft and antique treasures. For Paul its definitely his massive record collection.

Best Advice: Mixing objects in with pictures makes for far more interesting walls.

Dream Sources: Junk shops, flea markets, charity shops and architectural salvage yards for a good rummage

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


  • all white







  • mirrors: some were given to us by friends, some were bought at car boot sales
  • shower curtain: ebay

  • white and turquoise beakers: Lara Scobie
  • Tiles: Fired Earth
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Alison!

(Images: Lizzie Ford )

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