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Crafting a coastal haven


Crafting a coastal haven

Inside the design process of a Scottish holiday home with a hand crafted aesthetic

Ask an interior designer to describe their dream project and invariably, certain key elements will emerge: a client with exquisite taste, a project that aligns seamlessly with the designer’s strengths and resonates with their passions, one that is challenging in all the best ways.

Interior designer Tytti Seppi is a creative force. She holds a degree in fashion design and runs lifestyle concept store Hopes & Dreams in Tampere, Finland. She is a textile artist, and has both a clothing collection and a range of bespoke furniture, created with her carpenter husband – with whom she founded an interior design studio. With her passion for craft and the principles of a circular economy, Tytti brings a unique touch to her interior design projects. Today we are very pleased to share with you a wonderful example of this: a holiday home in North Berwick, East Lothian which she designed for a long term client.

Thank you so much for talking to us today Tytti! Tell us a little about the project.

This has to be one of my all-time favourite projects. I had worked with the client previously to redesign their home in Aberdeenshire, and our relationship has developed over the years. They have excellent taste, and we have a great understanding between us.

We had a shared vision for what we wanted to achieve with this project. Like me, my client has an affinity with handmade objects and unique craftsmanship. We wanted the materials used in the redesign of the North Berwick home, including the tiles, to reflect these aesthetic principles.

Let’s start at the beginning: what was the space like before you began?

When my client purchased the home, it was in need of redesign and renovation. The kitchen had a gas cooker and washing machine, but no dishwasher and very little storage space. The only lighting was ceiling spotlights, and the dining table was situated in the middle of the open plan kitchen-living area. We replaced that with a kitchen island to create flow and increase space for the living area.

How did you go about creating the overall look?

My client wished for a practical yet aesthetically pleasing kitchen that was easy to use and had plenty of storage space – and importantly, which also had adequate space for her beautifully curated collection of decorative objects and artworks. My focus was on using high quality materials to create a home with a cosy, artisanal feel.

The property is compact in size, but I wanted to create a spacious feel for my client, to maximise a feeling of ease and make the time they spend in the holiday home as relaxing as possible. It was important that the space was effortlessly practical, but also that it looked and felt luxurious.

TYTTI Artboard 1 80

How did you choose the colour palette? Did you have a specific idea in mind?

I presented my client with moodboards and samples to demonstrate a few different design schemes, which we discussed in detail before making final decisions.

The property is situated by the sea, so we settled on a palette of calm, muted blue shades with sandy greige tones. A curated selection of pendant lights, brass details and wooden objects all take inspiration from the ocean. The bathroom features elegant ship themed wallpaper, and some of the furniture pieces have subtle rope details. Rather than an overload of all things sea, the scheme gives a gentle nod towards it.

TYTTI Artboard 2 80

How did you come across Marlborough Tiles? Why did you choose them for this project?

I had admired Marlborough Tiles for a while and had been looking forward to an interior design project where I could use them. Manton Hollow small brick tiles from the Savernake collection were perfect for the kitchen at North Berwick! The artisanal, handmade qualities of the tiles resonated with my client, and their depth of colour and shimmering crackle glaze beautifully reflected the water and sea theme. We knew from the start that the popular standard metro tile look was not what we wanted – the tiles we chose are small in size which are proportionate with the countertop and I chose a dark grey grout to create a much softer overall look. The basket weave pattern in which they are arranged brings out the tiles’ best features.

Do you have any tips for our readers who might be embarking on similar projects?

Absolutely. First of all, you may have many ideas and things you would love to include into your design, but too many special details mean that one ends up seeing little of any of them. Take your time, curate carefully, and leave space for the things you love.

Secondly, it's also a whole lot easier to start from a point such as the perfect tile and then move on to choose the wall colour, than to work the other way around. This is particularly true when designing with hand crafted tiles – because they are literally one of a kind. There are thousands of colours available, from hundreds of paint companies... so it just makes sense to fall in love with a tile first. Find the tile and let the paint follow.

On that note, know that grout has a forever mystical power to transform the overall look of the tiled area. It's such an important factor. The effects of a bright white grout and a more neutral coloured one are just light years away from each other. You can make the space look more precise or more expansive through grout colour, so sample different options carefully before making a decision.

Finally, add storage space anywhere you can so that you can maintain an easy on the eye, restful look.

Which other artisans did you work with as part of this project?

The shelves in the kitchen were sourced from Maze, and the pendant lights are from Anglepoise. Our paint came from Farrow & Ball and the crockery is from Denby Pottery. Also in the kitchen are pieces from the artist Katie Tunn and the sculptor Jane Crisp.


Enormous thanks to Tytti for sharing this project with us.

We love nothing more than seeing your completed interior design projects. If you would like to see your home featured here, simply tag @MarlboroughTiles in your project photographs on Instagram.


As featured in…

House & Garden
The Telegraph
Homes & Gardens
English Home
Elle Decor
Country Homes
Period Living
Country Life
Country and Town House
Architectural Digest
Marlborough Made