Tucked into the cliffside overlooking The Minch strait on the Isle of Skye sits a minimalist vacation home that boasts a unique take on the traditional. Blackhouse homes (or crofter cottages) abound in Scotland. Typically made of stone with thatched roofs, Blackhouses are simple structures with just one or two rooms. Paying homage to this design, Gil Smith and Alan Dickenson of Rural Design Architects created Tinhouse, a simple yet beautiful abode that is full of style.
The sleek exterior look of Tinhouse takes inspiration from local architecture. The shape is the classic, simple form of homes in the area, while the tin corrugated tin cladding is the typical material used for storage sheds. The result is a modern structure that is both beautiful and durable, able to withstand the fierce storms that come from the ocean.
The minimalist style continues on the inside. Carefully placed windows take advantage of the stunning views of The Minch and surrounding cliffs. The open concept living room, dining area, and kitchen are furnished with just the necessities: a built-in sofa and bookshelf, a side chair, a coffee table, a dining table for two, and a small fireplace. Skylights flood the room with natural light, highlighting the nature-inspired color palette.
Moving along into the bedroom, the simple concrete floor and white walls are accented with natural wood accents and a touch of bright green reminiscent of the surrounding grassy fields. A large glass door allows for stunning views of the water from the reclaimed wood platform bed. The bathroom features a large soaking tub that is perfect for relaxing after a day of hiking the nearby paths.
When designing Tinhouse, the architects strived to adhere to the handmade tradition of the area. The majority of the home was built by just Smith and Dickenson. The concrete-topped dining table on saw horses, the pocket doors, the built-in sofa, and the hand-poured concrete patio were all designed and built by the duo. When more help was needed — raising the gable wall or steel support beams — the build was turned into a social event, increasing the sense of community that is a staple of life on the Isle of Skye.
Available as a weekly vacation rental, Tinhouse is a great escape for anyone looking to unplug (cell service here is spotty at best) and unwind. Tinhouse truly encapsulates the minimalist concept; the simplicity of the interior lets you focus on the beauty of the natural surroundings. With no distractions, one can truly be at peace during a stay here.
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