Scotland’s Home of the Year: 3 homes in Edinburgh and Lothians attended by Kate Spiers, Anna Campbell-Jones and Michael Angus

Jean & David Short, whose house in Bellsmanins will feature in Scotland’s Home of the Year. Image: BBC Scotland

A Victorian patio is head-to-head with a New Town flat in Edinburgh, and there’s also competition from a stunning 18th-century cottage in Borthwick

The television trio begins with a visit to Morningside, where Ella Fletcher, her husband Rory and their children Daisy and Arthur have lived for four years.

The traditional townhouse is set over three floors and has five bedrooms, two family bathrooms and a stunning open plan kitchen.

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Bellsmains will be featured in Scotland’s House of the Year on BBC Scotland.

Alongside period features, the family home features a colorful palette and elegant interiors like velvet curtains, bright and bold wallpaper, and modern touches including a newly renovated kitchen.

The next home is also in Edinburgh, this time in the New Town. Mike Horne and his partner James bought the listed Georgian rental home together and have been furnishing the home since they moved in. and adding their own personal touch.

The second-floor apartment is full of period features, including curved walls and doors that have proved difficult to fit, as they are not of a conventional shape or size.

The judges also visit Bellsmains in Midlothian, home of David and Jean Short, their dog Monty and their cat Oscar.

David and Jean have tastefully fitted out and furnished Bellsmains

The property dates from around 1760 and David and Jean have expanded it three times in the 40 years they have lived there.

Set in a rural landscape, Bellsmains blends traditional with contemporary interiors, with the garden view acting as a focal point throughout.

Each of the contestants gets their 15 minutes of fame while showcasing their property, and while it’s a competition, the show never fails to highlight the contestants’ friendly nature.

David Short said: “We’ve followed the series from the beginning and loved to be inspired by other people’s homes. We have lived in our home for over 40 years and raised our family here.

The Fletcher’s home in desirable Morningside.

“We hope it will be seen as a welcoming home for family and friends to relax and spend time together.

“We’re huge fans of the show and enjoy tuning in each week to compare our thoughts with the judges’ ratings.”

Jean added: “Winning would be the icing on the cake. It would also be great credit to all the handymen who helped us with the changes to the home.

Despite struggling to find furniture to match, Mike Horne says he’s “happy” to have found a stunning home in the capital.

Arthur and Ella Fletcher with Arthur and Daisy outside their Victorian house with central patio in Morningside. Image: BBC Scotland

He said: “The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. Seeing them scouting for homes for this series we thought it would be a chance to create some positive memories to look back on.

“The apartment is over 200 years old and while we were really lucky that the previous owners did all the hard work to modernize it, it still has many original features – and rickety floors.;

“It’s our first home together and we wanted it to be a warm and welcoming place to share with our family and entertain our friends. We’re big fans of mid-century furniture, so it was fun scouring antique store pieces together. We’ve also tried to reflect ourselves and our interests – so many Scottish and Irish art, film, music and exhibition posters we’ve collected over the years.”

When asked how they would react if the flat won the overall title, Mike added: “We’d be shocked but delighted! We’ll have a lot of friends watching our episode, so whatever the outcome, we’re going to have a fun night.”

Meanwhile, Ella Fletcher said her biggest concern about appearing on the show was that her pets — and her kids — would have the opportunity to wreak havoc.

She said: “We’ve always loved watching the show and have been inspired by a lot of the amazing things people have done. So we thought it was only fair that after spending the last couple of series snooping around in other people’s homes, we should let them take a look at ours.

A furry member of the Fletcher family is waiting to give visitors a warm welcome to their Morningside home.

“It’s colorful and fun. With two kids, a cat and a dog it’s often very chaotic… we also love to socialize and have people join us so it’s often quite busy.

Ella added: “I’m a potter and I like to take home the colors and styles I use in my work.

“It would be nice and really exciting to win, but we really just did it for fun. We love our home and our neighborhood and that is the most important thing.”

Each week judges mark the shortlisted items from ten, but only one of the Lothians will make it from the nine regions to the grand finale at Glasgow’s Home for Art Lovers.

This episode will also be shown on BBC Scotland channel on Wednesday 11 May at 8pm.

Each of the contestants will be waiting with bated breath, desperate to see if they made it to the finals first and then finding out if their home has impressed enough to clinch the coveted title.

Past winners and their homes are regularly featured in style and property magazines and other television programs and while there’s no pot of gold when it comes to an award, being named Scotland’s Home of the Year is as good as a giant cheque.

Scotland’s House of the Year, Ep6/10: The Lothians. Monday 9 May on BBC One Scotland 8.30pm-9pm

Scotland’s House of the Year is produced by IWC Media (a Banijay UK company) for BBC Scotland.

Mike and James took on the challenge of furnishing a 200 year old apartment in Edinburgh’s New Town.
Many original features from the period remain in the New Town property
Furnishing an apartment in Neustadt with bizarre room shapes is a challenge that has to be faced

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