An incredible Victorian flat in Glasgow’s West End has officially been crowned Scotland’s Home of the Year.
Interior designer and gilder Hugh Berry’s stunning Park Terrace flat was named the winner in the finale of the popular BBC Scotland series, filmed at Glasgow’s iconic House For An Art Lover.
Hugh painstakingly renovated his home back to its former glory, captivating the show’s judges – renowned interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones, architect Michael Angus and lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers – who had been searching all over the country for the home that would be awarded the prestigious title.
The 1850s property – which was built by celebrated Scottish architect Charles Wilson and once owned by famous ship-builder William Pearce – beat off stiff competition from eight other finalists from locations across Scotland including Kelso, Angus, Orkney, Perthshire, Sutherland, Edinburgh, Seamill and Stornoway.
The apartment boasts two bedrooms, an ornate rotunda with a glass roof and stunning sitting room with hand-gilded cornicing.
Judge Anna was moved to tears when she first stepped inside.
She said: “It’s not often I’m lost for words but the magical, fragrant beauty of Park Terrace knocked me for six. We wanted to recognise the generosity to not only create a beautiful home for yourself, for your friends or for your family, but also to contribute to the future of that building and the Park area.
“As you move through Hugh’s home it gradually reveals such sophisticated layers of detail – continually rewarding you after that first ‘Oh My Goodness’ moment. I’m so delighted that this life enhancing home, so full of heart, is our wonderful winner.”
Michael added: “All homes are embellished, even the most minimal. Regardless, all exhibit investment by the people who reside within. If the building fabric of a home is already blessed as being well designed and constructed, any worthy embellishment can only add to the whole. Such is the case here, in this townhouse on Park Terrace.
“The building itself is a quality example of architecture unquestionably refined, but now an echo only of a bygone era. The building has however been rejuvenated by a level of investment rarely seen – an unforgettable, magical exercise in embellishment, derived solely from the expansive heart and tenacious hands of the homeowner.”
Anna, Michael and Kate’s search for Scotland’s Home of the Year took them to 27 homes, from a three-storey townhouse to a three-room cottage, stunning new build properties to period conversions and rural homes to city dwellings.
Hugh was thrilled his unique Park Terrace home made a lasting impression on the judges.
He said: “I was absolutely blown away to win and was not expecting to be crowned the winner of this year’s ‘Scotland’s Home of the Year’. This is a great memory that will be with me for a very long time.
“I’ve been doing interiors for over 32 years and, to date this has been the biggest award. It’s like winning an Academy Award after being a struggling actor all your life!”
Hugh’s desire to restore his home is a life-long obsession with a bygone era.
“I first came to Park Terrace and the surrounding area around 45 years ago and remember, as a young kid, being in awe at the interiors,” he explained.
“This stuck with me, and sure the experience took me down the road of being fascinated with interiors and design.
“When I moved into my home it was in very desperate need of refurbishment. Once I started, I uncovered its hidden secrets like the original wall friezes, together with small details of original gold leaf works.
“I wanted to give back to this building much of its lost style from yesteryear so that I – and all who come after me – can appreciate this style. It was important to me to preserve a small part of our amazing design heritage that sadly seems to be disappearing all too fast and once gone, it’s gone forever.
He restored his Park Terrace home over two years, having moved back to Glasgow four years ago after living in London. The Park Terrace area in Glasgow has always had a unique appeal to Hugh.
“The size and scale of the houses on Park Terrace, and the Park area, are imposing but at the same time do not intimidate – they give me a lovely feeling of connection and inspiration. I also love the fact that its mostly preserved from when they were originally built in 1850.
“The area has a very calming feel. Even on a cold, wet and windy day the sandstone houses always have that warmth, which never fails to lift my mood and spirit.”
A third series of the popular property show, made by IWC Media (a Banijay Group company), has been announced for 2021.
Scotland’s Home of the Year, the full ten-part series, made by IWC Media (a Banijay Group company) for BBC Scotland, is available to view on BBC iPlayer.