Putting her stamp on her own home led to a new career for owner of Hexagon House
THE FIRST thing that strikes you when you walk into Hexagon House is that it feels as though you are inside a painting.
In the generous dining area and kitchen/living space, natural light floods in. In turn, this draws your eye to the stunning setting outside – Bardowie Loch – and an array of paintings of flowers on the walls by its homeowner, Nikky D’Aguilar.
There are even echoes of her paintings in the furnishings. That’s when you realise that Nikky has turned her work into fabric and breathed new life into old lamps, cushions and chairs all around this beautiful family home in East Dunbartonshire.
Nikky and her husband Jonathan first viewed the property in the spring of 2008. In an earlier incarnation, the ‘hexagon’ had been the stables of Bardowie Castle. The previous owner, an architect, had developed the property and given it the name Hexagon House because of the shape at its core.
The couple, who have two daughters, Molly, 17, and 15-year-old Ella, as well as two dogs, Daisy and Dylan, previously lived in a Victorian townhouse in the west end of Glasgow but always wanted a more rural lifestyle. “It’s just 20 minutes’ drive away from Glasgow, but it feels very remote.”
It took a year of living there to work out what changes to make. The couple then worked with local builder Mark Murray, of Balmore Construction, and laid down plans to change a galley kitchen into an open-plan living area that looked over the loch, as well as reconfiguring the bedrooms.
“We chose a minimalist, modern kitchen with white cabinetry from Cameron Interiors and sourced recycled French oak floorboards,” Nikky says.
When it came to the interior design of the house, both Nikky and Jonathan had a similar approach. “We both love markets and second-hand shops, and the house is a mix of very old and more modern additions,” says Nikky.
The centrepiece is the dramatic hexagon-shaped family drawing room, with its huge fireplace and seven windows. “We felt it could take a very strong colour on the walls so we chose Fired Earth Meadow Green,” explains Nikky.
Up a winding staircase from the drawing room is the master bedroom, which has a feature wall hanging above the dark wood sleigh bed, which Nikky made by framing fabric bought in a market in South Africa.
The en-suite bathroom features a roll-top bath bought on Gumtree and a double sink unit with marble top made from a reclaimed kitchen dresser, which the couple found in a Glasgow salvage yard.
The mixing and matching theme continues in the dining area. The oak table is complemented by a mix of dining chairs, all upholstered using Nikky’s own fabric design.
In the sitting area of the kitchen, you can look out to the water or watch as the family’s three hens, Sheila, Winnie and Flo, tap on the glass doors. To the right of the woodpile, set in to the wall, is an old crocodile – a family heirloom – climbing towards the roof.
The coffee table is an old Victorian deckchair laid flat with a glass covering, while all the seating in here, including a retro hanging basket chair, has been reupholstered and recovered in Nikky’s designs. The Chesterfield and armchairs in the kitchen were all bargain buys in antique shops.
The house has proved an inspiration in many ways for Nikky. “Because I was looking at ways to put my stamp on the interior here, I started experimenting with printing my paintings on to linen and produced a range of different cushions for different parts of the house.
“I also started making lampshades and framed textiles, and the reaction from friends and family was so positive that I’ve now started my own online business selling my designs.
“As an artist, I’ve found living here a real source of inspiration,” she adds. “My paintings are large oils mainly inspired by the light and colour, and the vibrancy of the garden. I paint to create an impression and capture the energy.
“I wanted to bring this into the interior not just through paintings, but also soft furnishings and accessories and I love the way it’s all come together.” k
For more information about Nikky’s designs, see www.nikkydaguilar.com
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