Kirsty and Pete’s Lovingly Restored Scottish Fishing Captain’s House

Kirsty and Pete’s Lovingly Restored Scottish Fishing Captain’s House

Lizzie Ford
Jun 5, 2013

Name: Kirsty (Lovely Pigeon) and Pete (Uniform) Thomas
Location: Cellardyke, Fife, Scotland
Size: Three story house with attached netloft containing kitchen and studio; 1800+ sq feet
Years lived in: 6 years; Owned

Kirsty and Pete Thomas live and breathe design, so it's no surprise that all that creativity leaks out around their home from time to time. This old house has serious personality. Thought to have been built in the late 1800's by a fishing captain (I'd like to think wearing a white fluffy beard and a thick woolly jumper), it amazingly still has the original steel pulleys used to lift the nets up from the back door into the loft space — now Kirsty's design studio and the home of Lovely Pigeon.

You just can't buy quirks like that. These characterful, original elements, mixed with a hefty helping of good taste and an eye for modern design, create a beautiful and exciting home that leaves a lasting impression.

Situated on the Fife coast of bonnie Scotland, Cellardyke is a little fishing village and a pocket-sized arty hub. It was this creative culture that drew Kirsty and Pete here 6 years ago, along with their children Eva and Jude. Able to see beyond the disastrous mess and woodchip that graced every wall when they first moved in, they have taken their time, carefully breathing fresh life into this place. Here they have created a personal, family home that doesn't compromise on style or substance. Lived in and charming, every corner of the space is celebrated, using simple and bright colorways, vintage and antique finds, and artwork and home wares created by many of their friends. It is a triumph. Even the kids are cool. I want a swing in my room.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A hefty mix of vintage, found, and (a little bit of) modern, craft and period.

Inspiration: Mid-century modern, flea market finds, humour, Charles and Ray Eames.

Favorite Element: I love the dark grey living space and the grey seam that runs through the rest of the house. It's a great backdrop for furniture, prints and homewares in bright colours, white and wood.

Biggest Challenge: 1 – when we first bought the house there was woodchip wallpaper in every room. 2 - now the biggest challenge is keeping it tidy!

What Friends Say: That it is always tidy – it isn't! Everything is just shoved into cupboards.

Biggest Embarrassment: That I stripped the kids' stairwell 6 years ago and haven't done anything to it since.

Proudest DIY: Painting over the hideous brown swirly wallpaper in the hall. It kept creeping back through until I painted the entire space with anti-damp paint! Not very eco, but if needs must!

Also very proud of the table Pete made for the kitchen — it's a lovely piece of upcycled furniture.

Biggest Indulgence: We don't indulge much in interior products — the thrill of finding something cheap or for free is much more exciting… but, by our standards, the carpet in the sitting room was pretty pricey.

Best Advice: Do what makes you happy. Don't be afraid to change things if you get bored or they don't work. Have fun.

Dream Sources: A really huge flea market in a hot country. I've recently started selling my jewellery in Skandium and I would happily buy everything in there! Some original Eames would be nice too.

Resources of Note:


  • living room and grey throughout rest of house – Farrow and Ball, Downpipe and Railings
  • Dining room, kitchen and bedrooms – Dulux, Timeless
  • Hall and bathroom – Dulux – Chiltern White


  • photos of kids – by Pete
  • prints – by artist Chillida, from Contemporary Art Gallery in Majorca


  • sofa – inherited from Pete's parents
  • Ercol wing chairs – charity shop and reupholstered myself
  • Lurashell wing chair – found in a skip
  • Artist planchest – inherited from a friend
  • frames – from grandad's house
  • ceramic dogs – flea markets and Wally Dogs from my Great Grandad.
  • Selection of objects and prints on shelves all by designer makers including Lizzy Stewart (Wolfdream print), Kitty and Dude (bird peg)


  • Arcana Pedestal table – junk shop
  • Tubular Steel chairs – gifted by a friend
  • trunk – inherited from brother
  • postcards on wall- collected wherever we go.
  • printers tray – from antiques centre (and filled with lots of little objects)
  • objects on shelves – from designer makers including Bobblydazzler (stuffed toy)


  • Units – Ikea
  • Flooring - Marmoleum
  • Old office filing cabinet – vintage find
  • Side table – Pete upcycled from a 1950's breakfast table
  • Chairs – from auction and upcycled using a vintage table cloth
  • prints by Dorothy (map), Hilke McIntyre (fish)


  • Bed - ikea
  • Superlambanana – iconic Liverpool sculpture in miniature form
  • Side tables – from recycling centre
  • Circle print by Build
  • Deer head on wall- charity shop
  • Anglepoise lights – vintage finds


  • collection of furniture from auctions and charity shops
  • shelving – for old science lab
  • Prints – "Picasso" by Dorothy

Thanks, Kirsty!

(Images: Lizzie Ford)

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