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Where We Would Stay: Killiehuntly Farmhouse and Cottage

Killiehuntly Farmhouse, Scotland

Welcome to Killiehuntly, a rural estate that dates back to 1603 in the Scottish Highlands.  After being purchased by Danish husband and wife, Anders Povlsen and Anne Storm Pedersen in 2011, it has been transformed into a luxurious retreat in the Cairngorms National Park. The lovingly restored Killiehuntly Farmhouse caught my eye with their beautiful, warm and calm interiors. Anne is the design lead, along with her friend, Swiss designer Ruth Kramer. They have coined their style, quite aptly in my view, Scandi-Scot because of the combination of contemporary Danish design and Scottish farmhouse vernacular. This stirred my combined Scottish and Swedish heritage. How could I therefore resist but be taken by this place. 

In a conversation with Ruth, who herself has a background of owning a small, personalised retreat in the Swiss Alps called Brucke 49. She relayed to me that prior to the restoration the whole farm was in need of re-build. They kept the original layout and used an architect who specialised in restoring traditional houses - keeping the character, but modernising the features. The architect was Nicholas Groves-Raines, who has an award-winning architecture firm in Edinburgh and alongside Anne, restored the buildings at Killiehuntly by using local, natural materials and traditional skills.

A photograph by Danish visual artist, Trine Søndergård takes pride in the entrance - and was an inspiration for the interiors.


Living room

Ruth explained that the house was an empty shell waiting for life. She and Anne have been working together as colleagues for many years and shared the same feeling and aesthetics. They wanted to create something more feminine and beautiful in the highlands - and they most certainly did. Said Ruth, "what we wanted to achieve we knew from the beginning but many roads leads to the final result".

Dining Room


The kitchen with the AGA taking centre stage

On the issue of sourcing the collection of items and furniture that have been beautifully curated in each room, Ruth explained that "Anne and myself made a mood-board for each room and we wanted to have something which was made in Scotland (all the beds are) blended with something Scandinavian. Timeless with a lived in feeling. Beautiful but not complicated". Working in an isolated setting did not seem to deter the two resilient designers. "We have the most wonderful team on-site who know the people we can use", explained Ruth. "The only thing we experienced was that some things did not arrive because the destination is far away when sending things from Denmark".


They named the four bedrooms in the farmhouse after the trees that are found on the grounds of Killiehuntly. Ruth is particularly fond of the Birch Room. "I can work so creatively in there with the view over the meadows. I also love the Papa Bear Chair in the Sitting room, the Trine Søndergård pictures in the entrance and the look of the quirky mirror in the dark Lounge."

Anne and Ruth were aiming to appeal to nature and design loving people. According to Ruth, the idea is "to make a home for them where they can relax but also work and get inspired if this is what they need. Down to earth, with an invisible but truly felt luxury."

In my view, Anne and Ruth have met their goals and hit their mark beautifully. A truly stunning piece of design in a dramatic setting.

Photographs by Martin Kaufmann and courtesy of Killiehuntly.


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Contact may be desirable if feasible, but there is no imperative need for it. Under many conditions rifle-fire is more effective at 5, 50, even 100 yards’ distance than in a mêlée. A victory may be crushingly conclusive without recourse to anything in the nature of a hand-to-hand encounter; but if nothing save a hand-to-hand encounter will secure a victory, the rifle provides scores of opportunities of obtaining that encounter where the arme blanche provides but one, if only the mounted riflemen are versed in that elementary part of their trade, which consists in knowing what and how to use, and when and how to discard, the horse. As compared with the steel horsemen, they are almost independent of ground. Instead of perpetually pining for level swards and open “Cavalry ground,” they welcome inequalities and obstacles, for these are the true conditions of surprise. Indeed, they make use of these obstacles, instead of allowing them to baulk their efforts. Steep ascents often aid them, entrenchments and other defences, natural or artificial, at the point of contact,—hopeless barriers, however flimsy in their character, to shock—can be surmounted by them. But supposing the ground is open, level, and smooth, and a mêlée with the enemy obtainable by quadrupeds, suppose, in fact, the only topographical conditions which can render an arme blanche charge possible, is there no r?le open to them analogous to that of the steel horsemen? Can they not charge home? I shall prove by a quantity of facts drawn from experience that they can, and under conditions which would be fatal to an arme blanche charge. Not aiming at physical shock, not therefore presenting the vulnerable target produced by close formation, they do not need the same degree of speed, nor, consequently, that perpetual 32freshness in their mounts which is the chimera of theorists and the despair of practical men. Nor is the size of their horses—an important element in genuine shock—of any account to mounted riflemen. Within rational limits, the smaller they are the better. Finally, in the process of covering on horseback this last intervening space of open, level ground, when the arme blanche, remember, even at the eleventh hour is still idle, need the rifle, too, be idle? Again, I shall bring ample modern testimony, which is fortified by much evidence from the American Civil War, to show that fire from the saddle, even if unaimed, may be used with signal effect, and in the case of the modern rifle, not merely moral effect, but physical effect. It may take the shape of aimed fire, as against horsemen at close quarters in pursuit, or against a Cavalry “mass,” or groups of led horses; while a few casualties, even from unaimed fire, in the defence, however constituted, produce great effect in daunting aim and nerves alike. Here, mark, is the crowning element of superiority in the rifle. Unlike the steel, which is used only from horseback, it can be used both from horseback and on foot. The first-class mounted rifleman—the ideal type we can construct from direct war experience—will be at home in both. He will use saddle-fire mainly in its unaimed