When in the Scottish Highlands...

It's all about being comfortable and practical without sacrificing gorgeousness.

Let me introduce you to my old friend ANTA- who I fell in love with during my post college Scotland preservation field school.

A product of the husband & wife team Lachland and Annie Stewart, two designers (he- architecture, her - interior & fashion design) who deeply love everything unique about their country.  Everything, from their gorgeously simple corsets, to amazing pottery to the ANTA house, is completely influenced by Scotland and its history.  

There is no shortage of Tartan's

or St. Andrew's crosses 

All of their products are designed and made in Scotland, hitting home TRUE sustainable design and the preservation of trades such as wool-working and furniture making.

And the stewarts not only talk the talk, they truly walk the walk... enter  Ballone Castle.  Ballone Castle is a 3-story, late 16th century, Z-plan tower house castle that is right on the edge of Moray Firth in Tarbet Ness in the highlands of Scotland.  It fell into ruin and by the 1990s looked like this:
this photo of Ballone dates from the 1980s
Lachie and Annie Stewart would picnic next the ruins and in the 1990s, decided to buy the property and restore it fully.  After a long battle with Historic Scotland (their preservation philosophy is "if its falling apart, just don't let it fall apart any more."  The Stewart philosophy: "a building isn't any good unless it's being used."  I find myself siding with the Stewarts on this argument.  This the renovation of Ballone began and when i visited in 2005 it looked like this:
Ballone castle when I visited in 2005.  Thats me in the lower
left side of the pic in a purple shirt.
The drive up to Ballone is absolutely breathtaking.   
My much adored professor, who was our guide during the trip (and lives part of the year in Scotland) is friends with the Stewarts and was able to get us access to the house.  No pictures were allowed, since it is a private residence, but I can tell you that it really was spectacular - simple, cozy and classic.  The Stewarts have 3 children, so there were skateboards and hockey sticks strewn across the hall ways, with each child living in their own "tower" of the house.  It breathed life into what one would think would be a cold, drafty and archaic building.  Annie Stewart told us a story about how her son was on a trip with a number of international students when one child from France was bragging to the others about how he lived in a Chateau outside Paris,  to which the young Stewart replied "I live in Castle, so what?"

So please enjoy the eye candy that ANTA has to offer.  I was able to snatch up a latte mug during my visit.  It suffered a chip on the shipment back to the states and since they don't ship to the states, it's my lone ANTA piece.  However, some day......

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...