In celebration of what would have been Scottish artist, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 150th birthday on June 7, we spoke to the owner of The Lodge@Shirewater whose couples’ Retreat in Embleton was influenced by the works of this leading figure of the Arts and Crafts movement and the European art nouveau.
Anne Galbraith was born in Glasgow, like Mackintosh, and now lives in a 20th century country house in the same grounds as The Lodge. Lovingly refurbished by Anne, the interior of The Lodge pays homage to Mackintosh throughout.
How long have you been the owner of The Lodge?
We bought Shirewater (the main house) in 2007. The Lodge, which is attached, was in need of renovation so with help and advice from Coastal Retreats, a local architect and a great builder we transformed it into a stylish Coastal Retreat.
What do you like about Rennie Mackintosh’s work?
I like his innovative designs and the simple lines he used, both in his furniture and his artwork. I also love the colours he used, particularly greens, purples and pinks, and the inclusion of Celtic art in some of his pieces. His innovation helped the art world move from the 19th to the 20th Century, from art nouveau to modernism.
What influenced you to choose Rennie Mackintosh and the art nouveau style for The Lodge?
One of the reasons it seemed the right thing for The Lodge is that Shirewater was built in the 1920s, when Rennie Mackintosh’s work had become a strong influence in the architectural world well beyond Glasgow. The original parts of the main house, both inside and out, are in the art nouveau style, so choosing Rennie Mackintosh for The Lodge was in keeping with this.
What Rennie Mackintosh pieces do you have at The Lodge?
Quite a few! Firstly, I sketched a design for the fireplace and a carpenter made it for me. The curtains were made from a Mackintosh material I sourced and I also found several lovely mirrors with Mackintosh motifs in the glass. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was an artist as well as an architect, and we have some prints of his flower designs decorating the walls. The ensuite bathroom has some decorative tiles with one of his most well known designs, the Glasgow Rose, and the freestanding bath and other details have been painted to match. The dining chairs are his design too, and finally the bedroom furniture, which creates a connected and restful style. Even the clock and the tea cosy are a Mackintosh design!
How did your Scottish roots influence your choice of design?
Like him, I was born in Glasgow, and as a child visited The Mackintosh House at Glasgow University’s Hunterian Art Gallery, the Willow Tea Rooms, the Glasgow School of Art and Hill House in Helensburgh. Around the time we bought Shirewater, I went back to Glasgow with my sister and re-visited these places, and that trip inspired me to use his designs for The Lodge.
In celebration of Mackintosh’s 150th birthday, we have reduced all dates at The Lodge for a limited time, with savings of up to £230. There are no restrictions on when you can book and the prices your see for The Lodge are the reduced prices.