Laura Thomas Holiday Apartment Feature in the Scotland on Sunday

The season is in full swing in the world of hospitality here in Gullane, East Lothian and the  LT Holiday Apartment is getting quite booked up for the season.  Did you see the Feature in the Scotland on Sunday at the beginning of the month?  I was interviewed by the Scotland on Sunday on my interior style and why the LT holiday Apartment is a unique experience.  Press success!




Here is the article in it entirety:


A former doctor’s surgery now offers a unique try before you buy experience thanks to interior
designer, Laura Thomas.

Ex pat, Laura was living in New Zealand when she launched The Laura Thomas Co in 2012. Borne out
of a desire to find mid-priced, good quality, bed linen, Laura started importing hand embroidered
bed sheets from a commune in Vietnam. “I had been trading for about 18 months but when my
husband and I separated, I moved back to Scotland with the kids and pretty much started again. I
got the business up and running and as I’m into renovating properties, when the old doctor’s surgery
came up for sale in Gullane, I had to have a look.”

First viewing confirmed it was indeed a surgery. “Nothing had been changed. You walked in and
there was a reception area and waiting room, and the building was very long and skinny. However, I
thought it lent itself to being divvied up into a home for myself and the kids with a two-bed holiday
cottage at the back. My idea was that I could blog about the renovating of it and I could showcase
all my products in the holiday home creating a separate business to Laura Thomas Co but which
complemented it.”

And, that’s exactly what happened. “I had to put in a kitchen and a bathroom and we camped. It
was hilarious when we first moved in because there were two toilets and a makeshift kitchen out
the back which is now the kitchen in the holiday apartment, but we had to rely on the neighbours for
a bath. The kids thought it was great.”

As a keen renovator, Laura worked alongside her builder. “He’s fantastic. He put up the stud walls
and put in the bathroom and kitchen, and I did all the plastering and painting and came up with the
interior plan.

The aim was to create a space where people could have something more than a holiday as Laura
explains: “I want my guests to have an experience. To come and relax and really enjoy their time
here – a deep, meaningful and happy holiday is my plan.”

Of course, as an interior designer the décor and finishing touches played a big part in this plan. “The
interiors were really fun to think of. My style has been influenced from living in New Zealand for ten
years and I think the antipodes are very much ahead of us in interiors. For example, the rattan and
bamboo furniture which I used in the sitting area is only beginning to become more popular here. I
found these chairs in TK Maxx and added some sheepskin for a bit of luxury. The builder made the
bench seating and I had the electric blue seat covers made up by a local upholsterer.

“The driftwood coat rack seems to have become a bit of a trademark for me. I have one in my own
house too. “It’s made from bits of driftwood I picked up on Gullane beach. I use it in the bathroom
instead of a towel rail as well and lots of guests comment on it.”

With white floors and walls throughout, Laura has added colour and texture from artwork,
accessories and some built-in fixtures. “I asked the builder to build the headboards in the twin room
which I’m really pleased with. It feels snug and and bunk-like. I’ve left the wood exposed to add a
bit of colour.

“I saw the cooker splashback idea on Instagram. The tiles came from Topps Tiles but there were
only a few left so there was no rhyme nor reason to the design. I let the builder put them up as he
chose and it’s brilliant. It gives the room a slightly retro, pared back look.”
All the art in the apartment is for sale and are by Scottish artists, Alice Boyle, Jerry Balloch and
Stacey Kaarsgard. “On two of the bigger pieces the artists have used plasterboard and then scraped

it to give it texture and then painted on top of that. I think because the walls are so flat and white it
really brings something into the room.”

However, it’s not only the art that’s for sale. Laura’s initial idea to create a complete concept
apartment has come to fruition. “I’ve sold a lot of products from the apartment. It is literally try
before you buy. You sleep in Laura Thomas bedding, use Laura Thomas towels, light my candles and
smell my scent diffusers. Beside the bed is my lavender pillow spray to help you sleep and my
blankets to snuggle up in. It’s a complete package. And whilst other holiday cottage owners leave
shortbread and wine, I leave chocolate and Netflix! The kitchen is also well stocked with nice olive
oil and balsamic vinegar in the cupboard – you don’t want to buy a bottle of olive oil for your salad if
you’re only staying for two nights.”

Coming from a family of surfers, Laura also offers surf boards and paddleboards for guests to
borrow. “I often organise a campfire pack for people to take down to the beach – wood, firelights,
marshmallows, so you can have a good old time on Gullane Beach.”

This “concept apartment” certainly seems to tick all the boxes to offer an experience rather than just
a holiday and as Laura affirms: “I would happily live there in a flash. My own house isn’t finished at
all although we’re not camping anymore but when it comes together it will be a bit different.” If it’s
“different” like the LT apartment it’ll be worth the wait.

The LT Holiday Apartment is available to let through CoolStays, or www.laura-


There is still availability for June, July and August, to check dates and book have a look here:

Love Laura XX

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