Imrich Lodge - Highland home to Nicky, Grizz and Molly the terrier - caught our eye on Instagram a while ago. We're scrolling interiors accounts on Instagram on an almost hourly basis for work, and Imrich Lodge is one of those rare jewels that stops you in your tracks and ignites curiosity. What IS this place? We fell in love with this Scottish log cabin's cosy, rustic and handcrafted interiors. Imrich Lodge appeals deeply to our longing for escapism - it almost seems folklorish - but also shows you that you can make your own creative escape within your own four walls.
Edinburgh-born Nicky's warm and chatty updates will transport you instantly to her kitchen table or fireside, and following @imrich_lodge
on Instagram almost feels like a virtual mini break. Its's no wonder Nicky used to run a guest house for ten years - she brings a landlady's warm welcome and generosity to her account. She clearly wants us to enjoy Imrich Lodge, and share some its fairytale magic with her 13,000 followers.
Nicky plants up our CHEO coral and green colour block planters in each of their three sizes. From £16.
Nicky and Grizz have 6 children between them, and they all lived together from when the youngest was 9. At one point they had 6 teenagers in the house (eek). The children have since flown the nest, but Imrich Lodge is still a work in progress with three bedrooms and bathrooms yet to complete. You can't rush a masterpiece, as they say...
Molly warms up by the fire in her new woven dog basket - the only one she has ever really liked!
Grizz was a tree surgeon for many years, and after reading a book on log cabins decided he would learn how to handcraft one the old fashioned way. His dream was to build a log home for the family, so in 2006 Nicky and Grizz sold their guest house, bought a piece of land and did just that. Initially Grizz built a small log cabin for the family of eight to live in while the major build took place. But the family grew to love their little log cabin so much that when Nicky joked one night that maybe they should just move the cabin to the middle of the site and extend it, Grizz decided to try and make it happen. And so after much planning, they picked and moved Imrich Lodge by crane - all 33 tonnes of it - to a new site just 100 metres away. There's a jaw dropping reel of the crane work taking place - check it out!
Image credits all @imrich_lodge unless stated otherwise
Before the build began, the couple visited Norway and Canada where Grizz studied the old log buildings while Nicky focussed on how interiors work in tricky log buildings. She came away with plenty of inspiration from both Canadian and Norwegian styles, but wanted to incorporate her love of French furniture, colour and pattern in their own cabin too. We interviewed Nicky recently, and here's what she had to tell us about creating this very special home...I've learnt that decorating a log home is really quite different from a regular house - the main thing to consider is the obvious - the walls are bumpy downstairs, so picture hanging can be challenging!
"Imrich Lodge is named after a little lochan (a small loch) at the side of the house - it seemed the obvious choice to name it that, although I never thought at the time how difficult it would be for anyone outside Scotland, to pronounce it correctly. (Psst... the correct pronunciation is with a soft ‘ch’ as with ‘loch.)
I've recently painted the side of my bath with yellow roses. My philosophy is 'if it doesn't work out, I can paint over it!'
"Lately I've been concentrating more on decorating the house and planning how I want the next three bedrooms to look like. Grizz is the busy one - both earning and building - sometimes a difficult juggling act! He still does a bit of tree surgery but also landscaping. He can turn his hand to many wide and varied tasks, which is always interesting.
The sit-ooterie is our covered outside space and a place which came into its own at the height of the pandemic when we weren't allowed anyone inside.
"My favourite part of my home changes regularly - I think it's usually the latest room we've finished. Although if I had to choose. It’s probably my ‘sitooterie’! It was a place where we could socialise and keep safe too as it has a good air flow. At some stage we'll mount overhead heaters (not until we've got solar panels up!) for warmth but just now blankets and mugs of hot chocolate do the job!
The sit-ooterie by night - the perfect lockdown meeting place.
"Last Christmas my daughter and her fiancé came to visit and we sat in the sitooterie - we had mince pies and mulled wine and the four of us had sheepskins to sit on and a hot water bottle.
I've been fascinated by Charlton House and the Bloomsbury Group for many years (although have never visited) and just love how they painted in unexpected places. Image credit @louises_perspective
I'm very impulsive and from first looking at a dull space (like the edge of a bookcase in my sitting room) to painting hydrangeas on it was an hour from start to finish.
"In the last few years I've made clocks out of old whisky barrel lids, made wooden butlers, and held chalk paint technique classes at my kitchen table. I tend to buy a lot of things for the house on Etsy as it's nice to support small businesses and to choose things that aren't run of the mill. We love things that are handmade!
Plant pots painted on a corridor wall. Just chalk paints and imagination required!
"For furniture we tend to go to antique shops or charity shops, but having bought a lot on a furniture buying trip to France a few years ago, we haven't needed to buy any for a while.
Handmade is best! GUA open weave market basket, fringed wall hangings and colour block planters
"I've made a few decorating mistakes over the years - buying things which just do not suit a log home. I think if I don't verge away from my 'rustic/handcrafted/natural' mantra I won't make a costly mistake like that again...
Small CHEO coral and green colour block planter £16
"The room I'm most looking forward to decorate is a large bedroom which we refer to as 'the end room' - it's massive and has a huge tree trunk up the middle. It will be a luxurious space, but still rustic. We're planning for it to have a copper bath and a squashy sofa too. The room has its own balcony which overlooks the Loch. I can't wait to start on that!"
MZIMA blue stripe baskets in small and medium, CHEO coral and green colour block planter I medium, CHAMA khaki and white colour block basket in medium, extra fine weave natural planter, unique woven bread basket (holding eggs).
Follow Nicky's endeavours: @imrich_lodge