Although it’s Summer-time, the students and members of the Owl Post are always working to keep you connected. Homes and especially your bedrooms, as everyone knows, are places of sanctuary and privacy, where you can truly express yourself. A person’s home shows how their everyday life goes, and their bedrooms speak volumes about their personalities. So, we’re visiting and showcasing the homes, bedrooms, and even yards of our dear students. Asking for willing parties, our first bedroom that we present to you, belongs to one of our charming Head Boy, Archie Colquhoun.
I really must begin this article by stating that my abode this summer is somewhere that I have never really considered to be much of a home until recently. My family is fortunate enough to afford to own two houses. Our main residence is a beautiful Victorian property, probably old Presbyterian manse, located in rural Perthshire by the peaceful grandeur of a small loch. This is the house where I spent most of my childhood and the place that feels most like home to me. The other house is a grand Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh’s exquisite New Town area, inherited from my great-grandfather on my father’s side. My father stays there on the odd occasion when he needs to hold a business meeting in the city – otherwise it sits empty and alone. Well, Aisling and I took on quite a project this year. This imposing property was a perfect base for our travel plans this summer, so we decided to stay there and try to make it into something of a home. It was daunting but we think we made something of it. Well, I suppose you can now judge that for yourselves.
Although the house has always seemed overwhelming and quite unfriendly, the one thing I’ve always liked about it is its location. It sits at the end of a smaller cul-de-sac with only a few neighbouring houses. Just across the road is a very pretty little park, probably once a private garden for the street’s wealthy residents. With the quiet road and the sight of trees every morning, it’s sometimes hard to remember that you are in the middle of a bustling capital city and the home of the world’s largest Arts festival. The only reminder is the little coffee shop across the road, converted from an old Police Telephone Box, a common eccentricity to Edinburgh. The house has been a challenge but we’ve become quite a home in this tranquil corner of the city at No.3 Queen Charlotte Gardens.
You enter the townhouse by climbing a rather grand set of steps and opening a pair of tall glass-panelled doors. I suppose you then get what most muggle-born students feels when they enter Hogwarts Castle for the first time – you step into another world. Although muggle-built, the house has been in my family since 1913. Its last muggle residents sold it in a rush (we can only guess the reasons!) to the eccentric scholar who would pay well with little formalities and no questions (my great-grandfather) and the rest is history. To our muggle visitors, the house is a living museum of the Edwardian Era, with period furniture, imposing portraits, servants bells, and thick patterned rugs. The main public rooms are the Front Parlour (or Drawing Room if you prefer) and the formal Dining Room. We have actually gotten quite used to the formality of these spaces. Their colourful furniture and large windows make them rather pleasant in the morning, sitting with a cup of tea, a good book, or even a sketching pad. Well, they are now that we’ve cleaned and tidied and brightened everything up. That took quite a while. Much of the furniture was covered up when we moved in and we had to clean away plenty of stains and dust bunnies to make them livable once again. It has been very satisfying to restore the place to its original glory.
The room which needed the most work was the kitchen. It is a wonderful space with plenty of potential. However, my father is not well-known for his culinary skill. His brief visits to the house usually ended up with dinner eaten out with friends and colleagues. The results was that we had to trash, move, and scrub pretty much everything from top to bottom. As a keen cook, I was overjoyed to find that the original stove still worked – although I hope I never have to go through the trial of cleaning it without magic ever again! Now that the kitchen is usable, it has probably become one of our favourite places in the house. Lots of space and light and plenty of room to enjoy some summer cooking. The back door also leads out to a small garden space with a patio and sitting space which has proved a lovely spot to enjoy breakfast or brunch in the summer weather.
As much as we have done to transform this old place into a friendlier home, there’s still plenty left to do. The upper floors have proved to be a big project. The public rooms downstairs have at least been used now and then but the top floor has been totally neglected. It has become a dumping ground for unopened boxes, unhung pictures, and Merlin only knows what else. Nevertheless, the space has so much potential. We managed to temporarily transform the enormous attic room into a delightful space for a summer tea-party. With a little extra work, it could be made into a library, a master bedroom, or even a stunning art studio with the top-floor light flooding its huge windows. Whether the townhouse will actually become our permanent home remains to be seen but, even if it doesn’t, we certainly won’t be neglecting it. We have brought it back from the grave and we’re proud of our work. So please do drop in and keep the place lively – we always have the kettle on the boil and we love giving tours!
Editor’s Note: If YOU would like to showcase your own home or bedroom, please contact Persephone Vitrac (alexis1oreily) by owl to work out the details.