Georgian renovation crowned Scotland’s Home of the Year 2021



A Georgian renovation in rural Killearn has been crowned the winner of 2021’s Scotland’s Home of the Year in the finale of the BBC Scotland series

Scotland’s Home of the Year winner ‘The Moss’ (Photographer Paul Tyagi)

Home to interior stylist Karen Welstead, husband Matt and their daughters Cora and Marnie and son, William, the pink house, which the couple have completely renovated since buying it in 2018, captivated the judges – renowned interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones, lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers and architect Michael Angus. The renovation took a year, beautifully transforming the house, which was in need of an upgrade, into a family home.

Sitting on 26 acres of land, The Moss boasts a quirky and eclectic style while highlighting the original property’s period features. The unique home features a grand kitchen with a pink Aga cooker with French doors leading to a vast garden, a bright and bold games room, stunning dining room, a drawing room, six bedrooms and bathrooms and walk-in changing room.

Homeowner Karen Welstead is thrilled her home won the coveted title: “It has been a surreal experience. Filming took place in one afternoon and then we put it out of our minds until the final was filmed. It was amazing to win but then we all went home and didn’t talk about it for months. Now, watching all of the amazing homes on the show it is actually quite overwhelming!

“In a year of lockdowns and very sad and worrying times it was a really lovely wee highlight for us. Plus, it meant we tidied the house thoroughly which is always a bonus!

“I absolutely love Scotland’s Home of the Year. It is a chance to sneak a look at other real homes but it gives the viewer a sense of the diversity of Scotland: our fellow Scots, the landscape around which we build our homes and what inspires us. All of the homes have been a joy to watch - there is something lovely about seeing the pride, love and humour that goes into creating a home.”

Unanimously named Scotland’s Home of the Year by all the judges, The Moss beat off stiff competition from eight other finalists from locations across Scotland including Castle Douglas, Skye, St Andrews, Ayr, Dunblane, Shetland, Edinburgh and Inverness.

Judge and lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers believes The Moss was the worthy winner of SHOTY3: “From the dreamy pink exterior to the impressive arched window overlooking the staircase, we were completely stunned by the spectacular interiors from the moment we saw The Moss! I think it’s that balance of design and personality working in harmony that makes a home - even though the space was impressive, it still had that essence of family life, as well as a ton of character.”

Interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones agreed: “I loved the boldness and variety in The Moss. It managed to be spectacular at the same time as being a humorous, welcoming family home. The pool room was brilliant. Actually just two simple but bold decisions, the colour of the baize and the exuberant wallpaper, created a uniquely quirky space.”

Architect and lecturer, Michael Angus added: “There were so many exceptional homes in this third series of SHOTY. Many exhibited the same level of decorative invention and individualism as The Moss - yet this property managed to balance that self same care and exuberance reverentially to the house, in a manner that both respected the historical resonance of the building but also brought fresh interpretation, especially to the formal qualities so intrinsic to homes of the period.

“Moreover, and especially, where each room was a tour de force of decor and furnishing, the spaces between, the halls and passageways, were left simple and plain, almost austere, compositionally establishing a delightful counterpoint and allowing the whole to breathe.”

The Moss took over a year to restore and was a passion project for Karen and her family. She said: “Living in the house while we undertook all the work was a challenge - we have three kids and busy lives so there was a bit of upheaval. The temporary kitchen in the utility with a microwave which didn’t work very well and a tiny two-ring hob was not ideal! Also, mice moved into my investment Chloé boots.

For Karen, her inspiration for the project came from various sources: “I am inspired by Scandi designs - my mum is Norwegian - and I always find hotels really inspiring. Art plays an important part in helping me put rooms together - be it working with the colours or providing a contrast. 

“A home should be a reflection of the people who live there. It should keep memories and provide a welcome and comfortable place for a family to live, to grow and to entertain. I also have a thing about how homes should make you feel - they should illicit responses. I want my kitchen to feel organised and invigorating, the dining room to be glamorous and a bit sexy and the bedroom to be calm and inviting. Of course, It’s nice if other people like your home but the bottom line is that it’s for you and your family.”

Anna, Michael and Kate’s search for Scotland’s Home of the Year took them the length and breadth of the country, visiting 27 exceptional homes, including everything from a renovated croft house to a Victorian conversion, stunning new builds to 1970s period homes, and rural homes to city dwellings.

The full ten-part series is available to view on BBC iPlayer.

A fourth series of the show, made by IWC Media, begins filming later this month.