Q&A with Scotland’s home of the year 2020 finalist

@HomeFunkyHome have completely remodelled their 1930s period home over the last 3 years to include a chic extension, bespoke fixtures & fittings and a mediteranian colour palette thoughout. Finalist for BBCs 'Scotland's home of the year 2020', Arantza answers the questions we're all asking around style, renovation life and whether she'd do it again!


"Try and use original features to guide you"

We have five bedrooms, one of which we are only using as a second spare bedroom very occasionally and daily as an office. I went for mid century in this space as I love that style and it was the only place left to do so. Both of my children’s bedrooms were a dream to work on and I went for dreamy colours and textures to stimulate their minds. No cliches and taking in mind that they grow up fast I didn’t do baby stuff. They’re still quite young but the rooms have been designed to last them for years. 

The guest bedroom and en-suite we upcycled the existing Clive Christian wardrobes and cabinetry and brought them to life so went with darker colours as it’s a South facing room. 

And for our bedroom I wanted it to be calm and restful but still have some interest so the tree wallpaper works well.

What are your top renovation tips?
"Good planning is key!"

Plan, plan and plan some more Before even starting! We planned everything to the millimetre and had lots of endless nights after work and putting the kids in bed talking about unexciting stuff like radiator efficiency, sockets, etc etc which I wasn’t excited about, but the boring stuff is the most important one!

Furniture, artwork and colours are my thing so that was very enjoyable but you do need to do the legwork first. No regrets so far so the hard work has paid off. Even with precision and endless schedules with everything specified we had to have lots of changes because that’s the way a big renovation is: unexpected

What's your favourite room or feature?

We love spending time in the garden room with the fireplace and also opening up the doors to the new cantilever terrace. This space didn’t exist before we built the double storey extension, it was a void under the old conservatory on stilts

But I can’t pick a favourite. Love all spaces the same and we use every room!

How did you manage the budget for your renovation?

Well, we didn’t! It’s a cliché but everyone goes over budget and doesn’t finish it in time. When we started out we had a spreadsheet with costs etc and by the end we kind of gave up as there was no point. Once you’re in the thick of it you just need to pay it to get it finished.

We had a budget with the architect and builders and we made it work but as one encounters problems with the building itself or the suppliers, etc then prices start escalating.

We also went very bespoke with many things and that’s never the cheapest option. We ended up adding additional groundworks as well as more storage and landscaping to the house after we had finished.

I’d 100% recommend setting a budget and trying to stick to it but also to have money saved for eventualities because there’s never any renovation without hiccups!

Do you have the renovation "bug" and would you do it again?

I do have the bug and I would love to do another project: a rental, a holiday home or something like that. Renovating is highly stressful but also highly rewarding and addictive. It didn’t feel like it at the time but deep down I loved every second of it as I love putting my stamp on things. Saying that, the lows when things go wrong are very stressful and thinking of going through that again might be crazy.

I’d do it again in a heartbeat if the house and location was right. Not sure my husband would agree, though!

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