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Old Town Chambers & Abbey Strand

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The Edinburgh Grand

  • A welcome gift
  • Complimentary premium Wi-Fi
  • Penguin Club for all ages up to 12
  • Chilled bottled water in fridge
  • Late check out subject to availability
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Q&A with Karen Brown, Head of Interiors at The Edinburgh Grand


Karen Brown, Head of Interiors at The Chris Stewart Group, gives us the inside story on  transforming a building of unique historical merit into The Edinburgh Grand, 50 luxurious apartments in the heart of Edinburgh, whilst still maintaining the buildings illustrious heritage. Read on to find our more.

Please tell us more about your roll in the development of The Edinburgh Grand.

I would say from top to toe and everything in between really. Having the interiors team In-house at Chris Stewart Group means our role is very hands on. We work very closely with the design team, our contractor,  all our partners and suppliers and most importantly the team at Lateral City to make sure everything is coordinated and every detail considered. Working with an existing listed building presents its challenges but is also very rewarding for me, it's fantastic to see a building brought back to life. It's not just a job it’s more a passion.

Many of the original features of the building will be retained and restored, how are you combining such historic architecture and design to present a modern and luxurious twist

We are very much taking the building back to its former glory, removing any layers added over the years and restoring and repairing the original features. The considered addition of new bespoke pieces; furniture and fabrics, not necessarily modern but more classic add the needed contrast but at the same time complement the interior.

There will be 50 different apartments ranging from Studios to the three- bedroom penthouse. How do you ensure that each apartment presents the Lateral City home from home proposition, showcases the individual apartment features and still maintains the exceptional quality the Lateral City properties are known for?

We look at each apartment and identify its best bits, what makes it unique and gives it character. It could be original features, a quirky layout or a stunning view of the city.  That combined with hand picked and bespoke fittings and furniture to ensure the guest feels comfortable in their surroundings and creates the home from home feel.


The colour scheme is a palette of olive greens and teal blues. Please tell us more about the rationale behind this the choice of this palette.

We are working on the palettes at the moment to ensure what we select works with the existing finishes. The greens for example are a fabulous complement to the existing timber wall panelling and flooring with its warm Cognac tones. We use the green as the base colour and are layering and contrasting with pattern, texture and detail.

What / where is your favourite feature within the building and why?

There are so many, I love the delicate etched glass windows and double height space of the banking hall, the impressive atrium with its bronze balustrade and marble clad walls, the beautiful timber clad walls of the former board room and luncheon room and the basement level strong rooms with white glazed brick walls and original Chubb vault doors . But if I had to pick just one it would have to be the teak double entrance doors with the carved emblems, they once formed the grand entrance to the bank and will now form the grand entrance to The Edinburgh Grand.

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