Scarlett Mack

A stunning Xmas feature that we shot in Glasgow for Your Home Magazine.

Scarlett and and her husband Gerry bought their cottage for its location, at the end of a leafy lane in an idyllic spot in the West End. They bought it in 2017, knowing they would extend, as the garden is huge, and they are the last house in the terrace. ‘We had no shortage of thinking time, we lived there for three years before tackling it’ Scarlett rues. ‘We were perfectly comfortable, but the living space was tiny and freezing’ she shares. ‘We added a generous wraparound extension in the end, including a family room to the side, and a generous kitchen diner across the back.’ 

Scarlett added interest to the basic kitchen cabinets with beading, wooden dowels and a pattern of semi spheres on the island unit. She cleverly painted both the fridge freezer and the wall mounted boiler black for a more cohesive result.

They did not use an architect, as Scarlett knew exactly what she wanted, and the building contractor was able to provide the drawings and complete all the necessary warrants and permissions. ‘Gerry only wanted his whisky room, which doubles as his office, so it was all up to me’ Scarlett explains, ‘and the builder had just completed an extension for Gerry’s aunt, with no hitches, so we had a personal recommendation which we found very reassuring.’

It all sounds so simple except that work was due to start in April 2020, just as lockdown was announced. Suddenly nothing was simple! ‘We needed to move out for the build period and finding a rental was suddenly impossible’ Scarlett recalls. ‘There was nothing available, we found something eventually in Dunoon, a small town an hour and half away, involving a short ferry trip, so keeping on top of every detail was extremely challenging.’ This was against the backdrop of rising prices due to Brexit as well as Covid, and latterly, the blockage in the Suez Canal. ‘You couldn’t make it up, we were on a budget anyway and prices were spiralling. We would have loved huge, full width bifold doors at the back for instance, but we just had to be careful and use a bit of creativity.’

‘Victorian cottages are famous for damp and sewage pipe issues but actually we were really lucky’ Scarlett shares. They pressed on and once work started, things progressed very quickly actually, thanks to lockdown, there was no traffic, no distractions and the work was completed in record time. When the basic build was complete, Scarlett was determined to put her own stamp on it and not afraid to roll her sleeves up, she started to tackle all sorts of projects to the delight of her growing audience on Instagram. ‘There was no work for actors at the time, so I just had to perform to the latest algorithm’ she quips.

‘I wanted to add character and create a rustic vibe to our home’ Scarlett says. ‘I painted some of the original rooms dark to give them a bit of atmosphere and drama, but kept other rooms light, as I wanted contrasting moods. I also added texture with a couple of exposed brick walls and chose the lighting very carefully’ she explains, ‘I knew the look I was after and wanted to get everything right.’ 

Touches of brass, cast iron and unique vintage finds all add up to the modern rustic interior scape that Scarlett has become well known for. ‘My mum is a keen gardener and very creative, so I have learnt a lot from her’ Scarlett admits ‘she taught me a lot about flowers and encouraged my obsession with making big, seasonal, showstopping fireplace displays with both real, and dried flowers.  They are one of my favourite things to make.’

Upstairs the bedrooms have combed ceilings which require you to be inventive when it comes to storage and décor. ‘They are definitely challenging, I have carved out as much space as I can and used wallpaper murals for a splash of colour, they are a great way to make your home more unique and individual’ Scarlett believes. 

Scarlett has also set up a side-line as a de-clutterer and kitchen re-styler, helping people to re-evaluate how they use their domestic space. ‘As a working mother, I know it is easy to feel overwhelmed sometimes and I noticed that my organisational ability coupled with my design knowledge created an interesting business niche. Being an actor offers a lot of transferable skills: we are naturally open communicators and I find it very satisfying taking clients on a journey, where they start off feeling very disorientated and unsure of themselves and end up feeling calm and confident and ready to face the world (or the kitchen) again!

Find out more and follow Scarlett here on Instagram @lady_muckmack_cottage

Scarlett’s sense of style and fun comes into its own over the festive season, ‘Christmas will definitely be lively, our house is always lively if I am honest, so we try and keep the celebrations very informal as I actually think it is important to relax and have a bit of a rest at this time of year.’

Mince pies were made by me!

If your home really comes to life at Xmas, please get in touch, we would love to see some snaps – if we can do a shot I will bring home made mince pies!

We were sent these beautiful star lights by Lights4Fun for the shoot – so beautiful against a dark wall.

#PRGift

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