The Gorings' Bright, Inspiring Home & Secret Garden Studio

The Gorings' Bright, Inspiring Home & Secret Garden Studio

Lizzie Ford
Jun 25, 2013

Name: Ebba, Andy and Euan Goring
Location: Kinross, Scotland
Size: 3 Bedroom Maisonette
Years lived in: 3 years; Owned

Ebba and Andrew, newly wed and expecting their first child, found their diamond in the rough in the form of a two story maisonnette in bonny Kinross. The building itself is over a hundred years old, and was converted in the 1960's. Filled with excitement at the purchase of their first home, they gutted the place, demolishing any trace of the 'mint-choc-chip' theme adopted throughout, and replacing it with crisp white walls and grey floorboards — a pretty, clean backdrop to their beautiful collection of craft objects, sculptures and paintings, predominantly by Scottish artists and friends.

Not content with merely refurbishing an entire home whilst pregnant, Ebba used her maternity leave to take on the (not at all) small task of building a studio in the back garden for her jewellery design business. The shed, bought secondhand, is now a haven of creativity, flooded with light and filled to the rafters with interesting and inspiring bits and bobs. Included amongst these is the beginning of a collection of Cathrineholm enamelware, courtesy of many trips to Sweden to see Ebba's father, scouring junk shops there. 

For Ebba, making things for and in the home is a huge source of inspiration for her own work. She's inspired by things like crochet, lace making and embroidery — skills that are passed on from generation to generation. Her most treasured possessions are textile pieces, like the quilt made for them by Andy's aunt for their wedding or the lace shawl her mother knitted for the birth of their son.

The combination of Ebba's eye for design and Andrew's love of art (he works at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art) makes for a bright and interesting space with plenty to look at. The addition of little Euan (now twenty months old and full of personality), along with Lurcher Nessa (clearly an inherently stylish creature – a fine advertisement for the glamour of dog ownership) proves this pretty house to be a brilliantly adaptable family home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Bold colourful prints, classic retro furniture, folk art, handmade objects and Scandinavian Design.

Inspiration: From the art and objects we display. 

Favorite Element: Our living room was the first room we finished, and it's still my favorite. The Diebenkorn poster I bought many years ago in San Francisco set the colour choices for the room, pale greys and whites with accents of green, purple and a tiny pop of ochre. I love our Ercol dining table and chairs in there too. 

Biggest Challenge: The house was in a real state when we bought it, brown latte colour walls and green carpet. Taking up the dirty carpet and the thick plywood underlay was one of the biggest challenges (it had been nail gunned down). It was back breaking work, and unfortunately the floorboards underneath were a bit of a mess. It took ages to fill, fix and paint them. 

What Friends Say: For a relatively small house above a shop, they are often surprised at how spacious it feels. They also like looking at our recent gumtree/ salvage finds. 

Biggest Embarrassment: We still aren't finished; we haven't really done much to the kitchen since we moved in, or the bathroom. They were in good condition, just not to our taste, when we bought the house. Really looking forward to finally getting rid of the beige! 

Proudest DIY: A few months back our toilet seat broke, as the hinge had sheared and the seat fell off. The whole toilet was sealed in and we couldn't fathom how on earth to fit a new one. The plumber quoted us over £100 to take out the whole bathroom unit and toilet to fit the new seat, but I managed to fit it myself with the help of toggle screws and a drill. I was very pleased with myself. I often think of DIY jobs just as big jewellery making; larger scale filing, sawing, drilling, looking at the composition and design, working out what order to do things. 

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the Osborne and Little curtains in Euan's bedroom. I found the fabric in John Lewis when I was pregnant. It's from Quentin Blake's 'All Join In' collection — I loved his illustrations in Roald Dahl's books as a child. I especially liked this print as it featured children and their mums playing instruments and having fun. My husband and I met at music collage and although we now work in the art world, music is still very important in our lives. Euan, now two, loves playing daddy's drum kit. Luckily it's electric so the neighbors don't mind. 

Best Advice:  Scour the salvage yards and second hand shops for bargains and use the money saved to invest in key pieces that you will love and cherish and that mean something to you. I love buying handmade items from local designers or having a go at making something myself, as I think these objects give your house some soul — that homely feel. 

Dream Sources: Swedish junk shops to find furniture, lighting and Catherinholm enamelware, Anthropologie, British Designers such as Donna Wilson, Bluebell Grey, Lush Designs, Heals, Vintage warehouses and salvage yards. 

Resources of Note:


  • White walls and grey floors throughout with the exception of Euan room which is pained in Farrow and Ball's Hound Lemon with a Duck Egg Blue from Laura Ashley on the ceiling (I plan on paining in some clouds soon)
  • The painting and prints we have are mainly by Scottish artists and the majority have been purchased at Frames Gallery in Perth. 


  • Red Shoe Rack and large dandelion pendant light from Ikea
  • Prints by Kittie Jones
  • Calder style Mobile hung on the wall (no room to have it hanging suspended, but really like it in this space)


  • Orange chair from Habitat

  • School desk from Dundee recycling centre
  • Purple telephone from John Lewis
  • Helen Kemp Sculpture of couple under an apple tree
  • Junk shop chair with seat covered in Annabel Grey floral Oil Cloth.


  • Green rug, TV unit and book shelves from Ikea
  • Floral cushion by Bluebell Grey, Biscuit cushion by Nikki McWilliams 
  • Ercol Dining Table and Chairs
  • Print Tray from antique shop and the colourful animals displayed inside it are form a market in India. 
  • The press has a variety of junk shop finds displayed and Dog in the Wind Sculpture by Stephanie Cunningham. 
  • Lampshade by Lush Designs


  • Persian Rug and wall hanging
  • Rob Ryan plate set
  • Futon Company sofa bed
  • Ercol Coffee Table
  • Indian wall hanging and a bag from Chile


  • Kittie Jones print 
  • Ikea fabric blind
  • Catherinholm Teapot


  • Ikea bed frame and Chest of Drawers
  • Golden Garland light and bedside tables from Habitat
  • Print above bed by Chad McCail
  • Quilt made by Andy's Aunt Suzanne as a wedding present.
  • Cushions by Marimekko, Laura Slater (abstract blue print on linen) and Lindsey Gardiner (illustrated dog)
  • Orange glass jar from junk shop in Sweden. 
  • Ferm Living Bed Linen
  • Antique Persian rug

  • Osborne and Little Curtains
  • Crochet bunting and blue shelf made by me
  • Furniture from Ikea
  • Waxwings watercolor by Claire Harkess
  • Ceramic mother and baby by Hilke MacIntyre 
  • Wall sticker from Cox and Cox
  • Toy basket made from willow by me at a workshop
  • Ercol chair and Robin and Mould Cushion 
  • More dog cushions and bag by Lindsey Gardiner
  • Large cut out animals are Jungle Friends by Junzo Terada

  • Filled with all my making things, inspiration, jewellery tools and supplies.
  • Cake stands and decanters are used as bead trays, containers and tool holders.
  • Outer walls painted in borrowed light by Farrow and Ball
  • Pale blue sideboard was found in a skip and given a lick of duck egg blue paint by me when I was a student in Edinburgh.  
  • Sofa also found on street and then re-covered in Ikea Stockholm fabric.
  • A collection of retro teapots bought from local charity shops holding my paintbrushes and other bits and bobs.
  • Jewellers bench customized with lace stencil.

    Thanks, Ebba and Andy!

    (Images: Lizzie Ford)

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