Hot property: Highland home is top-notch

Hot property: Highland home is top-notch
Hot property: Highland home is top-notch

WHAT: Modern five-bedroom home

WHERE: Inverness

PRICE: Offers over £795,000

CONTACT: Strutt and Parker on 01463 719171

AS the creative designer and milliner behind some of Britain’s most beautiful hats, Mimi Theobald’s eye for shape and colour is also evident in the styling of her home.

"But my mum is much better at it than I am," she admits with a laugh. "When it comes to interior design, she helps me a lot, making curtains and picking up bits and pieces for me, but I do love being
hands-on too."

Mimi’s stunning five-bedroomed home, Woodside House in Inverness, is this week’s Hot Property, as she plans to expand her business and move closer to clients.

"I need somewhere to display my hats as I like to meet my customers face to face – designing a hat is a very individual thing," she says. "I can take inspiration from nature and architecture, but it’s all about the person who will be wearing it – their style and personality, what they will be wearing, where they will be wearing it."

Mimi is an award-winning milliner, whose spectacular hats and headpieces are worn by mothers-of-the-bride, elegant race-goers and celebrities across the country.

Originally from Ross-shire, Mimi was an army nurse before moving to Australia, where her daughter Kitty was born.

Looking for something new to do, she enrolled on a one-day hatmaking course and was instantly hooked.

Training under the Australian celebrity designer Neil Grigg, Mimi quickly established an impressive following and since returning to Scotland to set up her own business, Hats by Mimi, she has won a string of awards.

"I learned a lot in Australia, where hatmaking is very contemporary, and much more informal than here in Britain," she says. "In Scotland, we consider it polite to be dressed properly when we go to weddings or formal events, so hats are very different here.

"It has worked very well for me, having experience of both styles."

Mimi also worked as a fashion writer for a newspaper group in the Highlands, exploring a range of topics from corsetry to Fifties style.

"That was fantastic, because fashion is a real passion for me," she says. "Hatmaking isn’t just about the hat, of course, it’s about everything that goes along with it. It’s the icing on the cake – but you have to get the cake right first."

Mimi’s hats were thrust spectacularly into the spotlight when controversial comedian Russell Brand asked her to design a West Ham-themed headpiece for him.

"He posed undressed with the hat on, and tweeted it to all his followers," laughs Mimi. "I think more people saw that photograph than there are living in Scotland. It was quite amazing."

At home, Mimi likes to relax with Kitty, who is now nine.

"The lovely thing about this house is that it’s large and spacious, but it doesn’t feel too big – it’s cosy and homely," says Mimi.

"My favourite spot is the family room, with its wood burning stove – it’s so warm and relaxing, we spend a lot of time there.

"It has been great for Kitty too, as there are several families with young children close by. The location is fantastic, being so close to Inverness and yet it feels like you are in the countryside.

"When we came back from Sydney, we were leaving a huge city to come to a much smaller one and we didn’t know what that would be like.

"But Inverness is a great place to live – handy for good schools and shops, but surrounded by such beautiful scenery and countryside."

Woodside House is set in around an acre of well-maintained gardens, with colourful flower beds and sheltered seating areas. This contemporary home, completed in 2006, boasts beautiful views of the Moray Firth, the Black Isle and beyond.

The ground floor includes a bay-windowed sitting room and elegant formal dining room, which make the most of the lovely views, and a comfortable sitting room with French doors leading into the gardens.

The modern dining kitchen leads into a cosy family room, complete with free-standing wood-burning stove, and the ground floor also includes a cloakroom, utility room, boot room and double bedroom with en-suite shower room.

The staircase leads to a bright, airy and spacious landing which has magnificent views and a feature fireplace – the perfect place to relax and unwind, and admire the views over the Firth.

The first floor accommodation comprises a study overlooking the rear gardens, a bay-windowed master bedroom with its own balcony, walk-in dressing room and luxurious en-suite bathroom, and a further three double bedrooms, all of which have their own balconies, bay windows and large en-suite facilities.

Woodside House is full of character, thanks to clever attention to detail, evident in the timeless bay windows, feature fireplaces and beautiful balconies.

"You can’t beat classic style," agrees Mimi. "This is not a contemporary new build which looks great now but will be out of date in 20 years’ time – it’s a lovely, well-built house with plenty of personality in a great location."

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