A New Yorker in Scotland: New Baby, New City, New Home

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Name: Liz
Location: Stockbridge — Edinburgh, Scotland

I’m a New Yorker, living in Edinburgh, married to a Scotsman with a chatty baby boy. I regularly daydream about art, design, interiors, Mid-century modern furniture, wallpaper, the color yellow, and all things brand while navigating being a new mama.

Why Edinburgh? My lovely Scottish husband told me “It was every Scotsman’s duty to make someone fall in love with Scotland”. It worked. We were in the big fog of London, working insane hours, and wanting a family. I quit my job in branding as Head of Consulting and we moved. Simple as that. Not really.

Knowing absolutely nothing about Edinburgh, how did we pick Stockbridge? Now that was simple – I searched for areas with gourmet stores, cheese mongers, wine shops, bakeries, cafes and yoga studios. We instantly fell in love with the vibe of the high street which is jam packed full of these things, plus the picturesque Water of Leith’s bike path runs right through the center of Stockbridge. I was sold, head over heels.

After many failed attempts at buying a flat, we finally found our dream – a Victorian ground floor flat that opened onto a shared garden. At just over 1,100 square feet, we’d have our own front door, period features, good sized rooms, sky high ceilings, a kitchen-dinning room, and two bathrooms. I was in love. YES! It just needed some TLC (hmm a lot of TLC) and a clear vision of how to make best use of the space.

I immediately got to sketching new layouts, rearranging bathroom fixtures, shifting the kitchen to an adjacent room, and removing walls to enlarge the third bedroom. A huge shout out to our builders – Thistle Trade Group – who embraced our ideas and made those dreams a reality.

An absolute must was letting the period features shine but in a more modern way. I’m not afraid of mixing colors, patterns, textures and styles together – I think it adds character. I also find the mash up of period features with urban industrial accents interesting. So we’ve done just that in the kitchen, living room and bathroom.

My favorite room is definitely the kitchen-dinning area with a larger than life baroque mirror from NYC that I used graffiti spray paint to transform from traditional gold to a trendy dark ink blue. It sits alongside subway tile, industrial lights, and narrow cabinets with a prep sink. The builder thought I was nuts when I showed him this sketch.

My other favorite is the living room where an industrial sputnik 9-globe chandelier takes center stage against ornate cornicing, period paneling, and a traditional fireplace. The room is packed full of character with original artwork from my NYC days, some Mid-century modern pieces, textures galore and I hope the right balance of color. It’s warm, cozy and inviting.

Having moved in three days before Christmas, the decorating and styling continues. My husband laughs every time he sees a new wallpaper sample taped to the wall!

Thanks, Liz!

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