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

Lews Castle // Natural Retreats


Lews Castle // Natural Retreats

NoChintz have recently completed the ground floor installation of Lews Castle on the Isle of Lewis, our latest collaboration with returning hospitality client Natural Retreats.  The spectacular venue includes a Whisky Bar, Storehouse Café, Outfitters retail store, and private Family Room for use by guests to the upper floor self catering apartments, due to install later this year.

 Overlooking Stornoway harbour, the impressive gothic-revival style castle was built in the mid 1800’s by Sir James Matheson. Since then this beautiful building has also served as a hospital during WW2, a college, a school and now as an iconic wedding venue and luxurious holiday destination.

 NoChintz have been working closely with the client and architects throughout the restoration process to assist in creating an iconic and breath-taking design. Careful consideration has been taken to reflect the history of the Castle and the local Scottish Heritage, whilst using contemporary furniture pieces with a classic and luxurious feel.

 The brief for the Bar was to create the experience of an old-fashioned whisky bar. NoChintz selected rich materials such as marble, walnut and brass for the bar joinery, used alongside velvet upholstery to give a sense of grandeur to the space. The chosen lighting above the bar reflected the traditional cut glass whisky glasses, and added a sense of drama to the design.

 The Outfitters store required a different design direction to the traditional Natural Retreats Outfitters, which have a rustic style. The Castle called for something more elegant and simplistic in its approach. NoChintz therefore selected a muted grey colour palette, with touches of dark green, again using brass for the main fitted joinery elements. A vintage haberdashery counter was sourced for the till point area, harking back to the age and history of the building. Glass cloches and brass-trimmed display boxes were placed alongside bespoke fabric mannequins in reflection to the historic museum displays on show in the adjoining British Museum space.

 The Storehouse café and servery area needed to be functional but still design-led in its approach. The counter incorporated white washed timber alongside pretty patterned tiles to add interest to the design. Various tables, shelves and tiered displays provide multiple merchandising opportunities and add to the customer journey through the space. A mix of furniture was chosen in muted tones to compliment the exposed brickwork, this provides a multipurpose space for use by independent visitors, event attendees and school parties.

 The Family Room hopes to provide a sense of home for residents staying in the upper floor self catering apartments. NoChintz wanted to create a welcoming environment using an eclectic mix of furniture style and fabrics. This results in a comfortable space, with several different seating clusters, providing a space for guests to relax, read a book or play one of the board games on offer.