Seaview Cottage was originally part of the Bute Estate and was tenanted out to locals. It first became a private home in the 1960's, and for most of the time since then it has been in the same family. Stuart and I grew up on the island and often walked past the cottage, we would comment on how lucky someone must be to live in such a beautiful location - so when the property appeared on the market in 2017 we knew we had to try and buy it.
We had originally only intended to do a few minor repairs to the roof and windows, and some redecoration, basically keeping the house as it was. When we eventually started work in early 2019, it soon became apparent that the property had other ideas as she constantly revealed new 'surprises', all of which have resulted in us practically rebuilding the property.
This old lady may have seemed hale and hearty on the outside, but when we scratched under the surface it soon became apparent that she was in dire need of some major surgery. Rotten roof trusses, rotten floor joists and walls so badly affected by damp that they had to be stripped back to the original stone, repointed and reconstructed. This ever-growing list of renovation work coupled with the arrival of Covid has meant that what should have been a 6 month refit turned into a 3 year marathon!
Even the garden demanded attention. So, it has also been lavished with TLC and hard work, but 3 years on it has rewarded us by providing a truly beautiful space to enjoy all year round.
We sourced local elm from the Bute Sawmill for some interior features, had bespoke chairs made by local upholsterer, Myler Decor, and commissioned a stunning handmade glass panel from Half-a-Moon in Inverness - the artist, Gail, even hand delivered it to site to make sure it arrived safely. These are just a few of the extra details we added to the project.
All in all it has been quite a journey, testing our resolve on many occasions. Often people asked why we didn’t just knock the place down and replace it with a shiny, new build, and although we know that would have been the simplest option, we loved the house and wanted to try and keep it as it was as much as we could.
We think it has all been worth the tears and sleepless nights, and hope that others will be just as enchanted with this old lady as we are.
Alison and Stuart