Bay Tree House, a vibrant and imaginative mid-terraced residence located in Edinburgh, has clinched the title of Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year on the BBC Scotland show. The festive victory was achieved in competition with four other holiday-adorned homes situated in Auchterarder, East Renfrewshire, Greenock, and Glasgow. Produced by IWC Media, a Banijay UK company, this special program marked the debut of architect Danny Campbell as a new judge alongside interior designers Anna Campbell Jones and Banjo Beale.
Occupied by Katie and Jamie Morris, along with their six-year-old daughter Beth and feline companion Frida, Bay Tree House in Edinburgh embraces a joyful, handmade, and colourful approach to Christmas. At the core of the homeowners’ Christmas designs lies creativity, with Katie taking pleasure in crafting her own stockings and decorations, often with the assistance of Beth and Jamie.
Noteworthy festive design elements in the house include handcrafted colourful paper chains and stockings, homemade decorations repurposed from wallpaper, fabric, and paint remnants, and an ‘Elf’ breakfast scene inspired by the movie. The ‘Elf’ scene features a miniature train set, spaghetti, waffles, and sweet treats. For this family, Christmas is about creating a vibrant and fun-filled home where lasting memories can be forged.
The judges of Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year—Anna, Banjo, and Danny—unanimously awarded Bay Tree House a perfect score of 30 points, triumphing over competing homes in Auchterarder (Beit Al Milad), East Renfrewshire (White Lion Townhouse), Glasgow (Hops Cottage), and Greenock (1880s Apartment).
Homeowner Katie Morris is delighted Bay Tree House won the coveted Christmas title: “It feels surreal, like a dream and very exciting. All the houses were beautiful and all so different. We are blown away with the result!
“It was lovely meeting the judges. They are so friendly, enthusiastic and kind, making us feel at ease. Banjo made me laugh lots saying “You’ve won baby!” – he is exactly the person you see on TV. I think Danny in particular loved the ‘Elf’ breakfast as he has young children himself. Anna loved our use of fabric, wallpaper and paint scraps and was asking how we’d made our floral arrangements. Banjo even asked if we could adopt him so he could live in our home!
“We’re very proud to have the colourful winning trophy centre stage in our living room on our book shelf – it looks very much at home!”
Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year judge and interior designer, Anna Campbell Jones says: “Bay Tree house is a joyful example of a home decorated not only with masses of individuality but sustainably too, with lots of brilliant homemade ideas to steal. It’s a riot of rainbow colours that works perfectly with the design of the home whilst utterly transforming it for the festive season. I can’t think of a more magical home for a child to wake up in on Christmas Day.”
Interior designer and SCHOTY judge Banjo Beale agrees: “Handmade, home spun and full of fun, Bay Tree House is a perfect little Christmas home and, like the best presents, gives nothing away from the outside. Christmas needn’t cost the earth and this place proves it using remnant fabric and paper as decorations – a pure joy.”
New judge, architect Danny Campbell, adds: “Bay Tree House has a unique Christmas feel, beating the foraged and the flamboyant to the title! It had the architectural whimsy of a basement conversion and a handcrafted continuity throughout the home to make any parent jealous! It was a truly joyful and cleverly designed space with a sprinkling of childishness that really hit the spot!”
The winning trophy now proudly sits in the living room of Bay Tree House, marking a colourful triumph in Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year competition. The show is set to return for its sixth series in 2024 on BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer.
The four other festive houses featured in Scotland’s Christmas Home of the Year 2023 were:
- 1880s Apartment, Greenock
Hannah and partner Gordon’s historic Greenock apartment exudes refinement and tradition. The couple, who love hosting friends and family during Christmas, adorned their home with decorations inspired by its original period features. The grand wooden-panelled lounge features a show-stopping 12ft Christmas tree.
- Beit Al Milad, Auchterarder
Paul and Flo’s modern Perthshire home transforms into a maximalist dream house during Christmas. Flo, originally from Lebanon, has been collecting Christmas ornaments from around the world for over 20 years. The family starts decorating their home into a winter wonderland from midnight on October 31, featuring more than 30 Christmas trees on average.
- Hops Cottage, Glasgow West End
Scarlett and Gerry’s Glasgow West End cottage boasts a Nordic-inspired, sustainable, and foraged Christmas style. Scarlett forages for fresh materials like pine and cedar to create hand-made garlands and centrepieces, ensuring nothing goes to waste. Christmas, for them, is a time for family and creating traditions for their two young sons.
- White Lion Townhouse, East Renfrewshire
Laura and Andrew’s modern townhouse in East Renfrewshire epitomizes extravagance, glitz, and glamour. The couple loves throwing Christmas parties and frequently hosts extended family gatherings. Laura goes to great lengths to ensure the home feels decadent and memorable, featuring neon signs nestled into traditional Christmas trees and opulent table settings.