NoChintz We are a creative studio
Focused on interior design and branding

The Inn at John O’Groats


The Inn at John O’Groats

NoChintz has recently completed our latest project for Natural Retreats; The Inn at John O’Groats.

Formerly the iconic John O’Groats Hotel, the building is part of Natural Retreats’ multi-million pound regeneration of this stunningly picturesque natural wilderness in Caithness in the North of Scotland, which also features a collection of 23 Residences, plus a brand new Outfitters activity and retail centre and co-operative Storehouse.

The Inn at John O’Groats has been designed with the same ethos as the Residences; an all British designed and manufactured offering with a special focus on Scottish makers.

Our stable collective remains with the likes of award winning names Naughtone, Another Country, Pottinger & Cole, &Then Design and Anorak. However, new talent has been included featuring designers James UK, Design by Alex and Ellen Thomas.

We have worked with leading British designers Naughtone to modify and re-create a collection of sofas for The Inn, utilising little details such as Anta buttons as well as a number of bespoke made Octagon stools for the Harbour Library.

A number of NoChintz bespoke creations have also been introduced including a specially made bed for the penthouse, which was upholstered entirely in Harris Tweed.

All the lighting at The Inn has been designed by NoChintz, in collaboration with a British lighting manufacturer. A 5-metre chandelier fashioned entirely from locally made Creels (Lobster pots) take centre stage in reception. Other features include a chandelier made from ‘found’ Scottish antlers and rope lights, knotted by a local fisherman for us on site.

All the framed artwork has been commissioned for The Inn by NoChintz, designed to reflect the structure and colour-ways of the building with each piece being hand numbered and screen printed by UK designers in Nottingham.

Keeping up the Natural Retreats standard the mattresses are all British made with 1400 springs, ensuring an amazing nights sleep!

We have also been responsible for the wayfinding throughout The Inn. Taking inspiration from traditional sign-painting found in the coastal area, we commissioned two artists to hand-paint the signage directly onto the walls and the individual room doors, designing a new typeface ‘Whale Tail’, created especially for the space.

With so much history associated with The Inn and being so uniquely placed in the landscape, we wanted to show guests all that the area has to offer throughout their stay. Design details included text etched into custom made brass arrowheads which pointed to key window views that guests would look through to see everything from the neighbouring Orkney Islands, the abundance of wildlife living nearby, to the wonder of the Northern Lights. We also sought to create some fun facts aimed at the younger visitors by designing a series of porthole magnifying glasses which were dotted throughout the communal spaces at children’s eye level, each one telling a unique story and giving a sense of discovery along the way.

A model of the The Inn was crafted by a joiner and acted as a physical prompt on guest arrival to assist in navigating them to their rooms. Hand etched key-rings with sailor knots accompanied the guests on their way.

Photography by Pip Rustage (c)