HMS Owl in Tain

February 12, 2019

Flight of Fancy

HMS Owl in TainWhen Justin Hooper and Charlotte Seddon came across a derelict air control tower just outside Tain in the Scottish Highlands, they couldn't resist the temptation to take on this renovation challenge. Years later, their passion and hard work has transformed the brutalist wreck into a quirky home which absolutely nails the vintage industrial look.

The squat, four storey concrete building stands proud in the middle of open fields. its isolated position, with uninterrupted views in every direction, is a legacy of its former life as an air control tower of a second world war aerodrome. These remarkable views are framed by brand new Crittall windows, their black frames matching the matte black external walls. 

The industrial theme continues inside with unadorned concrete ceilings and pillars as well as bare brick walls. The look is softened by extensive use of leather chairs and textured rugs, creating a comfortable yet masculine edge. Vintage inspired details abound, from factory pendants and giant Anglepoise style floor lamps to wooden storage crates and a medicine cabinet repurposed as a whiskey cabinet. Overall, the space feels intriguing and evocative, a masterclass in industrial style design.

HMS Owl is a family residence but the top floor room, with spectacular views of open Scottish countryside, is available to rent via Airbnb.

HMS Owl in TainHMS Owl in TainHMS Owl in TainHMS Owl in TainHMS Owl in TainHMS Owl in Tain


HMS Owl @ Airbnb 


Product Inspiration

Master the contemporary industrial look with the Utility chair from Stellar Works, the Snaregade table from Menu and the Anywhere shelves from Korridor.

Utility Armchair V  Snaregade Table - Round Ø120 cm   Anywhere 2 x 2 (4 Shelves V.1)


The semi-rusted Roest suspension lights from Karven are great for industrial style design schemes, as are the 90 Degrees wall light from Frama and the Factory suspension light from Ghidini 1961.

Roest Vertical 30 Zinc Suspension Light   90 Degrees Wall Light Brass   Factory Suspension Light


The customisable Bordbar trolley is the perfect accessory for this ex-air traffic control tower. The concrete Gray Planet wall panel from Lyon Beton and the Pipework London tube map wall hanger from Nick Fraser would also look great.

Bordbar Trolley - Rivet Rocker (More Designs Available)   The Gray Planet   Pipework London Tube Map - Coat Rack

You may also like:

Under the Tree by Arent & Pyke

June 10, 2019

Under the Tree by Arent & PykeFrom the street this home in the Annandale area of Sydney looks like any other - a traditional black weatherboard-clad cottage sitting discretely behind a neat picket fence. At the back of this house, on the other hand, is a modern extension that is anything but ordinary. 

View full article →

Botanica by Guz Architects

June 03, 2019

Botanica by Guz ArchitectsHow to do justice to a site which overlooks the Botanic Garden in Singapore, the only tropical garden to be honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? The answer, according to Singapore-based Guz Architects, is to design a house with a stunning water feature which brings the outside in.

View full article →

Coexist Collection by Slash Objects

May 24, 2019

Coexist Collection by Slash ObjectsBalance and harmony are the orders of the day with the Coexist collection of furniture, winner of the prestigious top prize at the NYCxDESIGN awards. Brainchild of architect and designer Arielle Assouline-Lichten of Slash Objects, the collection includes products which are all about the juxtaposition of contrasting materials.

View full article →

Sign up to receive emails on the latest sales, new products and more!