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In Scotland, A Luxe Nature Retreat from a Danish Billionaire

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In Scotland, A Luxe Nature Retreat from a Danish Billionaire

November 9, 2018

On 4,000 bucolic acres of farmland, fields, streams, and forests in Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland sits the circa-1800 farmhouse and cottages that make up the Killiehuntly estate. First built as a working farm, it later served as a private residence until 2011, when after the death of its last owner, the compound was sold to Anne Storm Pedersen and her husband, Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen (who, according to The Independent, has been busy “collecting Scottish estates” over the past decade, making him one of the largest private landowners in Scotland).

After a dutiful restoration overseen by Pedersen, Killiehuntly is now a luxury vacation lodging surrounded by nature so beautiful that guests may find themselves “rediscovering the meaning of life,” says Pedersen. To make the farmhouse habitable, the owner commissioned architect Nicholas Groves-Raines, a specialist in refurbishing old buildings, to retain the farm building’s original layout while bringing it up to date. For the interiors, the owner envisioned a marriage between masculine Scottish decor and the more refined sensibilities of her native Denmark—an approach she dubbed “Scandi-Scot.” She paired Danish design staples (think Hans Wegner chairs) with built-ins and finishes designed by local craftspeople. The result, she thinks, is “a place of beauty; a subtle but powerful contrast to the raw Scottish nature surrounding us.”

Photography by Martin Kaufmann, courtesy of Killiehuntly.

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Above: Scandinavian safari-style chairs in the living room.

Pedersen used gray and white linen drapes to cover the house’s traditional sash windows, and had each room painted in moody grays, blues, and browns from UK paint purveyor Farrow & Ball.

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Above: A blue velvet sofa in the sitting room.

Killiehuntly Farmhouse and Cottages offers fours guest rooms, plus a cottage, a hayloft, and a “bothy” for rent.

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Above: A work by Danish artist Trine Søndergaard hangs in the foyer. Pedersen cites Danish artists Vilhelm Hammershøj, Carl Holsøe, and Per Ilsted as influences on her approach to interior design.

The prior owner was the enigmatic Mrs. Sandison, whom Pederson calls “a woman with style and a fantastic creativity.” When Sandison died, Pederson used many of her belongings as decorative objects throughout the house.

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Above: Some design elements—like sheepskin throws—nod to both Scandinavian and Scottish design.

Investors in the property include Ruth Kramer and Thomas Schacht, who own Brücke 49 hotel in the Swiss Alps (see our story, A Swiss Chalet Reborn, with Rooms to Rent).

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Above: Dinner is typically served at one of two long, Danish dining tables—one in the kitchen and one in the dining room, shown here.

A stay in the farmhouse includes full board, meaning breakfast, a packed lunch to tote along during daytime adventures, afternoon tea (naturally), and a three-course, seated farmhouse dinner.

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Above: Guests can socialize at the main dining table, or opt for one of several smaller seating areas, should you want to take your dinner in private.

Pedersen transformed the property from a traditional farm into “a place for like-minded people who love design, nature, and solitude.”

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Above: Killiehuntly grows fruits and vegetables in its own organic garden and greenhouse. Fresh produce supplies daily meals in summer and fall, while the kitchen draws from its larder in the winter and early spring.

During your stay, the hotel can arrange for nature-based activities such as hiking, fishing, hunting, and mountain biking.

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Above: All rooms at Killiehuntly have queen-size beds and most have private baths. The Elm room, shown here, has a bed made by a local carpenter with a handmade Swedish mattress and Lithuanian linen atop. Flanking the bed are Rubn table lamps.
a tone on tone shaker peg rail in one of the rooms. to emulate the design eleme 17
Above: A tone-on-tone Shaker peg rail in one of the rooms. To emulate the design elements at home, see Steal This Look: Moody Monochrome in the Scottish Highlands.
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Above: The Alder room is the largest in the farmhouse, and has a four-poster bed with a writing desk, lounge chair, and en suite bathroom.
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Above: The Oak room has a vintage lounge chair reupholstered in pink linen.
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Above: A bathroom sports a freestanding tub, a pedestal sink, and a wall sconce from Bestlite.

For more in Scotland, see:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 8, 2018.

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