‘For me, coorie encompasses the Scottish inclination to welcome all.’

As the nights get colder and darker, it’s time to coorie in! Beth Pearson, in The Coorie Home, has some excellent ideas on living in a beautifully-cosy fashion whether you’re in a city tenement or a country cottage. Here she chats with illustrator Alison Soye about front doors.


Extract taken from The Coorie Home: Beautiful Scottish Living
By Beth Pearson
Published by Black and White Publishing


Northern Irish illustrator Alison Soye, who stays in Edinburgh, is known for her fascination with beautiful front doors. As we wandered through a wee back street between Bonnington and Broughton, she explained what intrigues her about them and what she has become aware of through her art and her photography.

What intrigues you about front doors, specifically in Scotland?

How people ‘dress them’ in different ways – painting their doors, adding beautiful door numbers, creating leading lanes and quirky gates. I also love how the doors are often adapted to seasons and events – for example, Christmas and autumn wreaths, Halloween decorations and even balloons for birthdays. I feel that in a lot of areas in Scotland people take pride in their front doors, as it’s their one way to make a leading impression on their home.


What do you think you can learn about a person from to their front door?

I think you can learn a lot about a person’s creative mind by how their front door looks! For instance, they might have a really bright,colourful paint colour on their door if they have a loud personality. A traditional doorway might show a person appreciates the history and heritage of their country. An uncared-for doorway, and peeling paint, might show that a person perhaps cannot afford or doesn’t have the time to maintain it. Or perhaps it is just not a priority! You can sometimes see the opposite of this in the pride lots of retired people take in maintaining immaculate doorways and front gardens.


What have you learned about Edinburgh and Scotland from studying and photographing doors?

I have learned how traditional and historical Edinburgh and Scotland might have looked as many of the doors have been so well preserved. I have also learned how buildings and doorways are very important in establishing a sense of pride in homes, businesses and historical, national buildings.


How do you think someone could at a low cost improve their front door?

Paint. Natural seasonal wreaths – holly, ivy, pine cones for Christmas; red and orange leaves and acorns for autumn; fresh green leaves for spring or summer. Simply keeping the front door clean and clear of bins or debris can also make a big difference!


Photography by Ciara Menzies.


The Coorie Home: Beautiful Scottish Living by Beth Pearson is published by Black and White Publishing, priced £14.99

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