Anna Atwal’s spacious Edinburgh house is all about fun on a grand scale

Everyone back to my pad! With its look-at-me artwork and vibrant colour scheme, boutique owner Anna Atwal’s spacious Edinburgh house is all about fun on a grand scale.

‘The living room is on the same floor as our bedroom so we’ve made it into a master suite, connecting the spaces with Crittall doors,’ says Anna. The doors allow natural light to flow through the space. The sofa is by Muuto ( Image: Luke White

Georgian architecture and cobbled streets give Edinburgh’s New Town a village feel, despite being located in Scotland’s capital. As the city continues to be a desirable destination for independent outlets and design-thirsty consumers, Anna saw not only a place where her lifestyle concept store Pad could flourish, but something unique for her home: a townhouse with a garden.

Anna and Haj are drawn to colourful artwork that brings
an optimistic feel to a space. This piece is by Polish artist Michal Lukasiewicz. The couple bought it on a trip to New York. Image: Luke White

‘It was in a sad state as it had been empty for five years, but despite the dust and aged décor, the beauty of the house was intact when we saw it,’ Anna says. ‘It had original fireplaces in almost every room and beautiful cornicing and wood panelling. Luckily the layout of the house was pretty much all there, so it was less about changing structure and more about redecorating and adding personal touches.’

When Anna moved in, much of the flooring was blonde wood, which wasn’t in the best condition. She began stripping it back to reveal these original tiles. Try the reclaimed collection at Bert & May ( for similar. Image: Luke White

This led to creations such as ‘the pink room’, aka the living room, Anna’s favourite and the one she believes is the best expression of her taste: bright, bold and fun. She endeavoured to keep the space light in feel and sanded the original floorboards before painting them – and the walls – white. The chimney breast is a chalky grey to add warmth. ‘The blank canvas meant I could indulge in beautiful burled wood furniture, the giant pink sofa and our most vibrant and fun artwork,’ she says.

Anna wanted a light and airy bathroom. The wallpaper, Palm Jungle by Cole & Son (, brings colour to an otherwise muted room. ‘I love its lush tropical vibe,’ she says. Image: Luke White

Anna’s love of travel, art and design inspired her to create her own range of Indonesian furniture and showcase new brands from all over the world at Pad, where she provides a platform for independent designers alongside more recognised international brands.

Anna tried a few colour schemes in the kitchen before finally deciding on black. ‘It was best for showcasing the marble island and gives more of an industrial feel to the space. I like the contrast it provides with the pink room,’ says Anna. For a similar gilded mirror try Alexander & Pearl ( Image: Luke White

‘It’s all about your “pad”,’ Anna says, ‘ie, your dream home filled with your favourite things – whether that’s textiles, furniture or even the clothes in your wardrobe. Fashion and interiors mirror each other in colour and trends.’

The artwork above the bed holds a special place in Anna’s heart: ‘I bought it with inheritance from my grandad years ago,’ she says. ‘I find it a very peaceful work, staring out to sea, so it made sense to have it in the bedroom.’ The four-poster bed is from Lombok ( Image: Luke White

And her own pad? ‘Not too serious, with touches of glamour. I like to mix lots of different styles and try not to follow conventional design trends. I think your home should be an expression of yourself.’

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Report by Alex Summer