Inside Interior Design: Houst Edinburgh Chat With Decorair

August 15, 2018
October 3, 2022

We love getting to see the diverse, unique interiors of our Hosts’ homes here at Houst Edinburgh! From Opulent Deco designs to Scandi-Chic, traditionally Scottish to Minimalist Modern, we get to see the individual tastes of a plethora of people.

Recently we had the exciting opportunity to be a part of one of these interior journeys! One of our lovely hosts, Mary, had bought a central, one bedroom property and was looking to completely redo the interior before entrusting it to us to manage on her behalf. She got in touch with the wonderful Xanthe and Rachel from Decorair and together they created a lavish property with unique finishing touches and just the right amount of Scottish reference. 

We were lucky enough to see this transformation happen and sat down with Xanthe and Rachel to talk inspiration, favourite trends, insider tips and much more! 

Contrary to popular belief, interior design doesn’t have to be expensive! However, investing a little more upfront can really boost a property, Decorair told us, as “guests have the ability to be more selective with where they want to stay now and like walking into a fresh space”.  Xanthe and Rachel can work with almost any budget - utilising high street and antique finds to add unique touches without a huge price tag. High-street shops, such as H&M and Zara, are really catching up with high end designers and being able to incorporate these finds with pieces you already own is the best way to update an interior. They find that the high-street is a brilliant place for furnishing buy-to-let properties as the items are of good quality, easily replaceable and reasonably priced. 

As their focus is most often on buy-to-let properties, that may have multiple guests, they have a few things that are always important to consider. Both agreed that, first and foremost, it must feel like a place that they would both want to stay in. As well as this were some more practical points; enough mirrors and a safe place to use straighteners, floors that won't immediately show dirt and robust kitchen units. Research into good sofa beds is also something they both stressed as extremely important, especially for short-term-let properties. Quite often they use the same tried and tested sofa bed from French Connection across a variety of the homes as it is “sturdy and roomy"! 

We were curious about whether the homeowners Xanthe and Rachel work with have a lot of input in the properties being designed. They agreed that most trust them to do the work and do tend to take a step back, however, theirs is obviously the initial vision and idea. With Mary’s flat - pictured - she wanted a rich, glamorous feel with a Scottish touch, however, she didn’t have a massive budget. I think we can all agree that the stunning property has a luxurious feel to it! Decorair achieved this with jewel coloured, velvet extras, statement light features and a subtle nod to Scotland. They believed that there was no need to overly do the Heritage and a subtle hint is more approachable than full-on tartan! The renovation stayed well within budget as Xanthe and Rachel incorporated a lot of what was there for example, instead of redoing the entire kitchen, they simply replaced the doors. 

Their own inspirations are key to doing the best that they can with a property. Xanthe and Rachel both travel internationally and draw lots of inspiration from shops, hotels and restaurants around the world. Each has also worked in different fields of design through the years - Rachel on ITV and Xanthe with Paul Smith - and this has tuned their knowledge and eye for details. At the moment Rachel is very into a brown palette, “I’m probably the only interior designer to have shied away from greys recently”. Xanthe is loving Luxe Scandinavian looks, favouring the study and craftsmanship of the furnishings, simplicity juxtaposed with glam and the dark flooring of the trend. 

Finally, we asked what their tips for our hosts were. A focus on good lighting fixtures was a must for them, as these can dramatically change a room. Find something that works in the space - especially with Edinburgh’s high ceilings - and it can create a different feel to the room. Sourcing affordable, robust pieces of furniture that, in case of damage, are easy to replace is definitely something to consider as a host. And finally that keeping a room's decor fresh and neutral will allow you to add personality in less expensive ways such as pillows, throws and rugs. 

If you would like any interior design assistance give Decorair a call! You can find them and have a look at some of their other beautiful properties at

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