A new zero carbon house has started being built on Glasgow’s Broomielaw ahead of the November COP26 Summit.
The timber frame COP26 House showcases zero carbon, circular solutions in building, and living, using standard materials and skills available today.
The house has been developed by Beyond Zero Homes, a collaborative group created and led by Peter Smith, Architect and Passivhaus Designer from Roderick James Architects. The group is made up of more than 20 organisations from across the home building sector, and the members are joined together by a single, mutual goal that goes beyond zero carbon: to demonstrate how beautiful, affordable, healthy and comfortable homes can be developed with minimal impact on the environment, throughout their lifecycle.
Every detail in the design of the COP26 House has been considered in terms of environmental and social impact, the performance in use, capacity for re-use of materials at end of life and – importantly - affordability.
After COP26, the house will be dismantled and transported from Glasgow to its new home near Aviemore as part of a development of 12 affordable homes.
The COP26 House will be open to the public and delegates to the summit from 1-12 November. It’s within a short walk from Glasgow Central Station and the SEC.
This six-bedroom detached villa is located in the small hamlet of Old Polmont near Falkirk. These houses rarely come to market as – not only is it a popular village – but it is a few minutes’ drive from the M9 motorway and Polmont Train Station, providing access to the central belt and beyond.
The house is set over three levels – the second is a mezzanine – and provides generously sized rooms, all finished to a high standard.
The modern kitchen consists of a range of high gloss wall and base units; a large island; integrated Neff appliances and Quartz worktops. The kitchen also benefits from a heated plate drawer, induction hob with hot plate, INTO Evolution boiling water tap, smart lighting and smart underfloor heating. It also has a good-sized office area and the rear garden can be accessed by French doors accessing the garden.
Packed with opportunities for entertaining, the centre of the home is a unique dining area with ample space for a large table and chairs. A few steps up from the dining area, to the mezzanine, is a generous lounge with wood flooring, a large window and a feature fireplace.
Also on this level, are three further rooms, a contemporary family bathroom and a WC. Stairs to the top-level bring you to three further bedrooms, two with en-suites. The master bedroom – also on this floor - boasts a dressing room that leads on to a large modern bathroom with a four-piece suite.
Externally, the house has a substantial front garden with Monoblock driveway – with room for several vehicles – as well as a large detached double garage with skylight windows, electric doors and power.
The garden wraps around the house and there is an area laid to lawn and a south-facing decked section with raised planters. To the rear is a lovely private garden with decking with glass balustrade, lawn and stoned area all surrounded with mature trees and timber fence. A perfect place to relax and socialise.
Locale: The village is well placed for the M9/M876 commuting to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling. It is also well catered for with the railway station and bus routes all within walking distance.
Primary and secondary schools, leisure facilities, swimming pool and recreation grounds are all nearby and there are ample local amenities including a large Tesco. The nearby town of Falkirk is home to the award-winning Helix Project, the celebrated sculptures, The Kelpies and also The Falkirk Wheel, with the World’s first and only rotating boatlift joining the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.
By Mairi Clark
Council Tax Band: F
Energy Efficiency Rating: C
The six-bedroom, four-bathroom property is being marketed by Atrium Estate & Letting Agents for £499,500.
Just in time for the 20th anniversary of the opening of their first Scottish store, BoConcept are preparing to open two new showrooms, in Glasgow Ingram Street and Tillicoultry respectively, in Autumn 2021. This will mean that around 90% of Scotland’s population will now live within a 1 hour drive of a BoConcept showroom.
We spoke to Director of BoConcept Scotland, Adam Davidson, about the truly exciting time for the brand;
What drew you to Ingram Street as a location?
The unit in a newly built retail and office building on Ingram Street, adjacent to Royal Exchange Square and the Gallery of Modern Art, is a great space, with a nice frontage. But perhaps the deciding factor was its proximity to the heart of the city and surrounding high-end neighbourhood.
The completed space will be something really special and will undoubtedly attract the attention of casual browsers and design enthusiasts.
Next in line is Tillicoultry, which is going to be something a little bit different, is that right?
Tillicoultry will be a standalone store but located within the same complex as Sterling Furniture, allowing customers to benefit from the wide range of options available across multiple brands when designing their space. Believe it or not we have been discussing opening a showroom there, in one form or another, since the mid 2000s. Over the years we have considered various options including operating a concession within Sterling, but ultimately the opportunity to run the showroom independently felt like the right thing to do.
To the casual observer, Tillicoultry may not strike you as an obvious location within Scotland to open a showroom, compared to one of the other cities such as Aberdeen or Inverness, however Sterling Furniture in Tillicoultry is actually the biggest furniture shop in the UK and so draws in customers from all over the country. As with Ingram Street, this will enable a new audience to discover BoConcept and will also reduce travel times for existing customers who live north of the central belt.Tillicoultry will also be our biggest unit with a showroom covering over 5,000 square feet.
In a time when many businesses are moving online, why are BoConcept doing the opposite?
BoConcept showrooms are not just a furniture shop in the traditional sense. Instead of employing salespeople who’s primary focus is to maximise units sold, our showrooms are staffed by experienced design professionals who are on hand to offer advice and guidance on all aspects of interior design. The showrooms are a design hub where sales are secondary to helping people find the right solution for them.
What are you most excited about for the new stores?
Definitely the new store concept. The last full showroom that we opened was Edinburgh in 2016 and things have moved on quite a bit since then. Last year the brand launched a new concept for the stores, the first of which was Tachikawa, Tokyo that opened in May 2020.
The new concept will bring some fundamental changes to how the showrooms will operate, but one of the most immediately obviously updates is the shift in aesthetic. The design really maintains the grandeur of a high-end retail space whilst allowing the individual pieces to be displayed in a manner that enables customers to envisage how they would work in their own home. The look is industrial, but still polished, and something completely new for the brand.
In the UK, there are only two stores showcasing the new concept – York and Cardiff, so Ingram Street is scheduled to be the third, followed closely by Tillicoultry as the fourth.
We can’t wait to visit both new Scottish stores when they open. In the meantime, the latest copy of Decor & Design Scotland is available, for free, from the Glasgow and Edinburgh stores.
And here is a sneak peek of the 2022 collection...
Residents in Glasgow have been taking to social media to discover the meaning behind the robots which mysteriously appeared in the city overnight. The robots, each one handcrafted from wood and standing at around 12” tall, were hidden in and around Glasgow’s city centre for eagle-eyed residents to find. And now the secret is out as the artists behind the robot takeover are revealed. Launching at Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre on Wednesday 14th July, the robots are the work of two artists from The Clydeside Collective.
The Clydeside Collective brings together creatives of every kind who each share a passion to reuse, recycle, reclaim, and resell items that may otherwise have been destined for landfill. In keeping with The Clydeside Collective’s ethos, the artists created a series of 50 robot sculptures – each lovingly reimagined and handcrafted from old wooden fixings – and hid them throughout Glasgow city centre.
Anyone who finds one is being asked to take a photo and tag The Clydeside Collective on social media for a chance to win a prize, in addition to their unique piece of robotic artwork.
The robot takeover is the brainchild of Sara Thomson who began spearheading her campaign for sustainability at The Leith Collective, which opened in Edinburgh’s Ocean Terminal in 2019 and has since earned the title of the UK’s first ever single-use plastic-free shop of its kind. When it comes to the inspiration behind the robots, Sara explained; ‘Our resident artists are unbelievably talented when it comes to envisioning new uses for old items. We hope these reimagined robots capture the attention of Glasgow locals and help to raise awareness of the importance of reprogramming our throwaway mentality’.
The opening hours for The Clydeside Collective at Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre are 10am – 5pm,
seven days a week.
By Ellis Cochrane
We talk to designer Jane Keenan about moving from Dundee to London and then back to launch her own brand in a wee village on the outskirts of Aberdeen and how she even uses her kids’ colouring pens in her designs.
After graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee in 1998, Jane Keenan headed straight to London. With her degree in Printed Textiles and love of interiors, she became a stylist for Habitat, working at the Kings Road store and the head office on Brick Lane. This gave her a constant source of inspiration.
In 2004, Jane and her husband returned to their home city of Aberdeen, where she worked as a commercial manager for Marks & Spencer for five years. But with a growing family of three boys, she left M&S and pursued a freelance career styling various independent shops around Scotland. However, drawing and painting was always her first love and Jane decided that she wanted to get creative again, doing her own work, rather than styling that of others.
Selling her own artwork started slowly. Her first art exhibition was in 2010 in Maud, Aberdeenshire at an art event called North East Open Studios (known as NEOS). This is an art exhibition for artists from Aberdeen and ‘the Shire’.The first piece of work that she sold was at this exhibition, ten minutes after opening! It was a large framed screenprint and she was on cloud nine. To this day, when Jane sells a piece of artwork, she still feels quite overwhelmed that something she has created will hang on the wall of someone's home.Three years ago, Jane and her family converted their barn in New Deer, Aberdeenshire into a studio and exhibition space. Having lots of natural light, it was a great exhibition space. However, they were dealt a blow when, three days before a Christmas exhibition, the entire barn flooded. At this point, Jane thought “I can’t go on” and called the exhibition off. Later that day, she remembers seeing a “For Rent” sign in a beautiful little shop in their neighbouring village. She gave the landlord a call, explained her situation and three days later she had relocated and set up shop in the “Hendersons The Boot Maker" Shop in Maud. The rest is history!
Her one-week lease turned into a one month lease for Christmas and nearly two years on, she has converted the upstairs into a studio space and knocked down some internal walls on the ground floor to create more retail space.The old building gives it a natural charm. And the smells from her candle range and the eclectic mix of art, gifts and interiors give it a great vibe. People come into her shop and say that they “just feel happy” when they come in!Jane also runs various creative workshops from her studio upstairs. Before lockdown, she was doing screen printing, Frenchic painting classes, candle making and lampshade making workshops. She also hosted workshops that included jewellery making, decoupage, upholstery and bookbinding. The aim of her workshops is for people to try something new, have fun and to forget about everyday life for a wee while and indulge in creating something beautiful. The inspiration for her work stems from the surrounding countryside where she lives. Jane loves the big skies, the colours of the rolling fields and the seasonal changes that the countryside brings. Her work always starts as a sketch, which is then transferred onto silkscreen. She does a lot of experimental screen prints and then simply works each piece using various media, from silver leaf, acrylics and oils, even her kids’ colouring in pens!Once she has finished the work, she often scans it onto her Mac to produce a “repeat pattern”.
This is then printed out onto canvas or linen and turned into lampshades and cushions. When she opened her shop, Jane took the decision to stock Frenchic Paint. She has been a big fan of upcycling furniture for years and has tried pretty much every paint on the market. Frenchic was by far her favourite paint brand to use but it was always tricky to get hold of. The nearest stockist was a 65-mile round trip, so becoming a stockist was an ideal solution to supply her addiction. It’s also allowed her to give good advice to others who are starting out. She has painted everything using it – from her artwork to outdoor furniture; kitchens; sideboards and even her old Birkenstock sandals! If you want to paint something, she can advise you on exactly what you need to do! Lockdown...Jane opened her shop and workshop at the beginning of March and within a month, it was closed for lockdown. The pandemic was a strange time for everyone. She cancelled all of her workshops and instead became a ‘teacher’ for her kids at home, something she is glad is now over!The future… Jane’s aim for her business is just to get her name out there more! As her shop is situated in a quiet village twenty-five miles from Aberdeen, it’s very much a destination shop so word of mouth marketing is very important to her.She wants people to come in, see something that inspires them, that's also affordable and that makes them feel happy. She has so many customers who are now regulars, who tell their friends about her shop and who are now not just customers, but friends. She knows this sounds cheesy but it’s true!
By Ellis Cochrane
Now that the schools have broken up for the summer holidays, you may be wondering how to keep your kids entertained during this time. With trips further afield looking more and more unlikely, this year is all about embracing a Scottish staycation or utilising the activities and places that are available to us here.
As always, given the ever changing nature of restrictions, please make sure to check that activities are going ahead or that travel to and from attractions is permitted, before you set off.
Here are our top picks for keeping kids entertained in Scotland this summer;
Image Credit -Marketing Edinburgh
This will no doubt be a hit with kids of all ages. Scotland’s Storybook Trail celebrates some of the world’s best-loved literary creations. You’ll find The Gruffalo, Peter Rabbit and Friends, DC Thomson legends like Oor Wullie, Peter Pan and even Harry Potter all within the Trail.
IMAGE CREDIT: Julie Howden/Visit Scotland
If your children are fascinated by animals of any kind, why not take them to visit a whole host of incredible wildlife.
Almond Valley Heritage Centre in West Lothian has farm animals, play areas, green spaces and even a museum.
SEA LIFE Loch Lomond allows you and your children to dive into a magical underwater world.
Dalscone Farm Fun in Dumfries offers a fantastic purpose-built indoor play area and farm park for children.
Expect to see over 160 different animal species from around the world at Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder. You’ll be able to get up close to rescued circus bears and lions, wolves and lynx, gibbons, meerkats, monkeys, otters, owls, lemurs and many more.
And Blair Drummond Safari And Adventure Park in Stirlingshire is always a hit with families.
IMAGE CREDIT: Marketing Edinburgh
There are plenty of attractions in Scotland which don’t cost a penny to visit or enjoy. These include The Helix, the Falkirk Wheel, National Museum of Scotland, Calanais Standing Stones, Strathclyde Country Park and much more.
You’ll be surprised at how many are on our doorsteps here in Scotland.
By Ellis Cochrane
Patter, n. A line in conversation; chat intended to amuse or impress; an insider’s language.
Us Scots sure are fans of banter and patter that many outwith Scotland may be stumped by. And Neon Gray have encapsulated that Scottish banter brilliantly in their fun Banter Collection.
We love the combination of nostalgia, great sayings and iconic Scottish photography, all of which is available in a range of different products, from coasters to greetings cards and prints.
Here are some of our favourites:
Banter Coaster Barrowland Ballroom £3.95
https://neongray.co.uk/collections/the-banter-collection/products/banter-greetings-card-highland-cow How many of these phrases or sayings have you been known to use?
By Ellis Cochrane