SUIL NA MARA FOREWORD 


We thought it would be nice to give visitors a little information about Suil Na Mara and its beginnings. The house was completed in 2013 and was five years in the planning and a year or so in the building. We have been coming to Coll for about 10 years now and on only our first visit , we bought and read the John Ogg book, A House  In The Hebrides which describes how John and his family built a home at Port Na Luing  on Coll, having fallen in love with the place as many people do.  We felt the same way about Coll , so  surprisingly, to  our bank managers  amazement,  bought a piece of land with planning permission, with a view to building a home for us to use in the holidays, to rent out and eventually, to retire to. When we started looking for a name for the house it was difficult since we wanted a Gaelic name and we don’t speak Gaelic! 

Having trawled the internet for many hours, we came up with Suil Na Mara – translated as In Sight Of The Sea.  From the bedroom/sitting room upstairs you can see a long way on a clear day and you will see the boat coming and going from Tiree and off back to Oban as well as The Treshnish Isles , the Isle of Mull , other small islands and even sometimes The Nevis Range. We actually live some 500 miles away in Gloucestershire, so logistically; it wasn’t the most convenient place for us to get to in order to furnish the house!  However, with some careful planning and a couple of trips later, its finally done!  We are very creative people , and from the very beginning, had an idea of how the inside of the house should look.  If you look around you will see some of the artwork we cre ated with the house in mind.

Our themes of purple, green and red were based on Coll itself, purple and green for the hills and heather and red for the spectacular sunrises and sunsets which you sometimes see on Coll.  We were also keen on using tartans in red, green and purple to keep the Scottish theme.

I have Scottish ancestry, since my mother is an Anderson (in fact anyone old enough may remember Moira Anderson the singer – who is one of my mums cousins!)   We have always loved Scotland and are delighted with our House in the Hebrides. We have tried to put something here for everyone, and love natural wood  but have  also put lots of colour into the house as a foil for the neutral walls. 

My mum and my mother - in - law have both knitted cushion covers for the house.  There are also some unusual and interesting bits of furniture.  Although a lot of what was brought up to the house is brand new, we were also keen to add some character pieces and there are some that I have re upholstered and repainted.  Both bathrooms are a reflection of the sea around Coll and we will continue to add things – we are terrible beachcombers! We hope you like the style of the house and enjoy your stay here.  Obviously, if there is something glaring that we have missed, let us know, we are constantly learning .  We hope you enjoy the house and Coll as much as we do.

Alison  & Bryan