Tyninghame House: Tower Wing
Tyninghame House is a magnificent, red sandstone mansion located in East Lothian by the Tyne estuary. The property has a fascinating history which is extensively covered in the book Tyninghame: Landscapes and Lives by author and landscape architect, Judy Riley.
Owned from 1628 onwards by the Earls of Haddington Tyninghame House was extended in 1828 in the Scots baronial style. This included intricate stonework details such as diamond-set chimneys and Jacobean strapwork on the exterior balconies. The house was sold in 1987 to architect, developer and restorer of country houses, Kit Martin, who divided it vertically into apartments, one of which is Tower Wing.
Our brief was to carry out a complete internal and external sympathetic refurbishment on each floor in keeping with the style of the property. This included fixing and repointing the exterior stonework and adding an efficient heating system throughout. Here is the finished result showing some of the restoration work carried out to the exterior along with the complete renovation of the interior from the ground floor up.
The project architect was David Blaikie, the interior design was by Lally Walford, working closely with the client to realise her vision, and all internal and external restoration was carried out by Mackenzie Hughes.
We replaced badly damaged or missing finials and supporting stonework. The finial replacements are not structural, but rather an integral part of the building aesthetics. Once the missing ones had been replaced, the final appearance of the building improved dramatically. The red stone, called Corsehill, was carefully chosen to match the original as closely as possible.
Regarding the extensive chimney restoration, we had to take down and rebuild four existing chimneys and, due to structural defects, remove and replace three existing chimney stacks using a carefully chosen stone called Elswick Grey. The project also included repairs to the base stones and other other fine detail.
The original stair windows consisted of two sash and case frames which restricted the flow of natural light into the staircase and hallway. We therefore replaced the old windows with a new one which is more in keeping with the architectural design of the other windows. The result not only allows more natural light into the hall, but offers a lovely view from the stairs into the courtyard below.
The Tower Wing, as with all the apartments in Tyninghame House, has its own entrance from outside to ensure privacy. Located on the ground floor is the entrance hall, boot room, powder room, kitchen and dining room.
The powder room, with fittings from Boscolo Bathrooms, combines period features and detailing and the wallpaper while the wallpaper design was chosen to reflect the surrounding gardens and landscape.
The beautiful, bespoke hand-crafted kitchen was designed by Louise Delaney from Cameron Interiors. The clever design creates the illusion of depth in the room while drawing the eye to the original vaulted ceiling retained during the restoration. The furniture, hand-painted in situ, provides a wealth of storage yet takes up minimal space. The tall, slim cabinets span across a small recess below the stair which Louise utilised to house a full-height Miele fridge freezer complete with ice maker. The client loved this aspect of the design as she had resigned herself to the fact that there was no space for tall cabinets and appliances.
Solid oak drawers with dovetail joins and oak veneer cabinet interiors add warmth, texture and character while full-stave, oak worktops are partnered with honed finish quartz to provide a balance of material, texture and tones. A quartz sink bowl with copper base is layered with taps in an aged brass ‘living’ finish. Carefully considered details include bespoke oak hanging profiles so our client can have frequently used items close to hand. The Everhot range with induction cooktop provides efficient, flexible cooking while retaining a sense of warmth and tradition. The meticulous attention to detail continues as various aspects of the room are used to their best advantage for example by concealing the extractor fans.
Double doors installed between the kitchen and dining rooms fit perfectly within the thickness of the walls and let you move between rooms with ease. The seamless design allows the kitchen to feel large and spacious while adding practical touches such as a small desk for our client’s Grandson to use and for our client to sit and enjoy a coffee while enjoying the view over the beautiful courtyard. The back ‘stable door’ design allows our client’s much-loved animals to remain safe while letting in light and fresh air.
Further attention to detail was applied to the lighting which is layered. This allows the choice of different combinations at various times of the day while under-cabinet and wall lighting illuminates the work surfaces. The further addition of LED cabinet and picture lighting highlights the beautiful oak veneer cabinet finish along with other features such as our client’s artwork. Small surface mounted ceiling lights work with the original vaulted ceiling, colour matched to almost disappear visually while providing balanced light throughout the entire space.
As with the rest of Tower Wing the dining room has been completely renovated throughout. The light blue colour scheme was chosen to provide a backdrop for the visually striking painting which is the focal point of the entire room. A new fireplace and woodburning stove from Chesneys was installed and underfloor heating was added throughout.
The kitchen is located at one end of the dining room and the stairs to the upper floors are at the other.
Hallway and Stairs
Although the window is new it is sympathetic to the structure of the rest of the building. It rises upwards beyond the first floor, thereby flooding the hallway and stairs with natural light. The neutral colours chosen for the walls along with the sisal stair runner and carpet, from Alternative Flooring, lends an organic feel to the overall design.
At the top of the stairwell, the eye is drawn to the beautiful antique alabaster chandelier which is simply breathtaking. This, along with the restored period banister, contrasts with the more contemporary design of the WC which is located on the first-floor half-landing. The WC fittings are again supplied by Boscolo Bathrooms. The half-landing also leads to the first floor where the main drawing room is located.
First Floor Drawing Room
The extensive renovation of the drawing room includes a refurbished wooden floor and antique chandelier along with hand-painted gilt work around the skirting, cornice and the edges of the walls. The beautiful and original marble fireplace, which is listed, is the central feature of this spectacular room. The teal colour scheme along with the eclectic mix of period furniture, combined with modern soft furnishings, lends a warmth and informality to the overall space.
The room also contains a concealed jib door housing a concealed drinks cupboard.
Master Bedroom & Ensuite
The master bedroom is located on the second floor and faces due south across the river Tyne and beyond to the Lammermuir Hills. The complete re-design includes a woodburning stove and fireplace surround both supplied by Chesneys. The centrepiece of the room is a custom-designed four poster bed with carved finials to complement the hand-painted gothic cornice. The hand-embroidered bed curtains and fabrics from Chelsea Textiles, along with the duck-egg walls, add a luxurious touch.
The ensuite, which was previously part of the bedroom, is spacious, bright and airy. The dark wood flooring adds warmth and modern touches, such as the heated towel rail, are in direct contrast to the period style wallpaper, gilt-edged mirror and roll-top cast iron bath.
The door in the corner of the room leads to what was previously the bathroom but is now a separate WC and walk-in shower room which, with its clean lines and modern fittings, provides a complete contrast to the adjoining ensuite.
The third floor comprises three traditionally refurbished bedrooms with comb ceilings contrasting with the modern design of the shared shower room complete with a newly installed skylight to increase the natural light.
If you have an Edinburgh period property in need of restoration contact us for an informal chat and let’s explore some exciting possibilities together.