The ‘Bramble Cottages’ Illustration Project


Welcome to the Bramble Cottages illustration project, that I fondly named #‎TheBigHousesProject‬ ❤ I can show you pictures of this fantastic commission now as all the young uns who were involved with helping me have seen everything now… and more importantly given it the thumbs up too!

‘Bramble Cottages’ are the two brand new homes for children and young people who require residential care in Angus. Logan and Rowan have been purpose-built by Angus Council to provide its looked after children the very best in bespoke care. The names were chosen as the site of these houses used to be berry fields. Wanting to hark back to this, names of native Scottish berries were chosen.


The houses include beautifully designed bedrooms with en suite wet rooms and stunning living areas off lovely, spacious, airy kitchens. There are also well through out activity rooms that house homework computer stations, climbing walls. punch bags and well kitted out art areas.

The outside gardens will be no less fantastic for the young folks when they are completed. They will have pretty planted garden areas, patio space, a bog garden, vegetable garden and a bmx track at the back! One of the cottages also has an independent living flat for families and young people who can be easily supported by staff at the cottages.

WhimSicAL LusH Hard Hat I had to wear a hard hat and safety gear to visit the site… so I decided to pretty it up! 

Those behind the design have years of experience of working with children and young people who require residential care and know all about creating a safe and inspiring environment for them to live. So when this project came about really they have left no stone un-turned.

I was commissioned to create bespoke artworks for both cottages that would resemble stained glass windows. These illustrations were to add colour but were also to add intrigue and detail that would capture the imaginations of the children and young people living there. Each illustration also includes elements suggested by the youngsters that were to be moving in when the building work was completed.

WhimSicAL LusH Sleepy RabbitWhimSicAL LusH Logan illustrationWhimSicAL LusH Rowan tree

Portions of the original illustrations before being coloured digitally and vectored.

We added hearts and butterflies, boots and bones for a much missed family dog, caterpillars and creepy crawlies and were really up for me adding in some other characters too.

WhimSicAL LusH Bird House IllustrationWhimSicAL LusH ButterflyWhimSicAL LusH Illustration tree             WhimSicAL LusH Hedgehog and toadstools

Portions of the original illustrations before being coloured digitally and vectored.

The front entrance window panel illustrations are trees. Rowan has a rowan tree and Logan has a tree that has lots of Logan berries growing around it, with hidden added details. I was asked to make it feel like you were entering into an enchanted forest…. so I also included little fairy doors and windows in the tree trunks. The Red door for Rowan and the blue door for Logan.

WhimSicAL LusH tree vinyl on windowWhimSicAL LusH VinylDSC_2168DSC_2166DSC_2167DSC_2184

The Front Door Window panels for Rowan and Logan.

The inner doors are of one tree that has been split in two Logan has one half, Rowan the other. The tree has a fox and a hedgehog snuffling around its roots, in amongst toadstools and plants. Hanging in the branches of one is a magical little bird house for the birds that are high up in the branches. This tree also exists united, as a whole illustration. A large print hangs in the hall way of both cottages, bringing them together through the artwork.

DSC_2181 DSC_2163  DSC_2165DSC_2183Both bedroom corridors sport a sleepy fox and rabbit. An unlikely but wonderful friendship. I designed these panels to be calming and restful but also intriguing too. I wanted the panels to be the same in both cottages so that there was some continuity between the cottages. This would potentially help to soften any transitions for young people between the houses too.

DSC_2160DSC_2159DSC_2161The activity rooms are rooms designed to spark creativity and learning so the panels for those doors had to reflect that. These are the two panels with the most colour and depict adventure scenarios that will hopefully spark imagination and at the very least, lots of smiles. These illustrations are filled with girls floating high in the sky in hot air balloons, rabbits and birds on clouds  and boys climbing rope ladders strung between more clouds. Then there is the owl and the pussy cat in their pea green boat (From Edward Lear’s famous poem) floating on a curiously whimsical ocean filled with WhimBots, fish, sharks, seaweed, old boots and lots of bubbles!

DSC_2158          DSC_2156

DSC_2175WhimSicAL LusH Patterns                  DSC_2173


I have enjoyed every element of this project and was honoured to have been formally shown around at the open day yesterday by the children and young people who will be moving in very soon.

Thanks so much for inviting me along on your exciting adventure guys and an extra big special thanks to Kay, Karen and Steve who thought up the idea in the first place. I think the kids and staff at Bramble Cottages would join in with that too!

DSC_2170    DSC_2177WhimSicAL LusH Hard Hat 1

***Update: July 1st 2015***

The fox and the hedgehog are reunited once more in the form of two big prints for Bramble Cottages (that I have just finished hand embellishing and framing). One for Logan and one for Rowan. Half of this tree lives on the windows of each house at the front door and these prints have been designed to unite the project as a whole. Logan + Rowan = Bramble ^_^

Fox Hedgehog Tree Complete by WhimSicAL LusH


Bramble Cottages Official Opening: 17th December 2015

Angus Council: Bramble Cottages Officially Opens

Courier: Angus and The Mearns: Hopes Bramble Cottages will let young people in Angus achieve ambitions



“Suzanne delivered wonderful artwork to help personalise Bramble Cottages – two houses for children who require residential care in Angus. Her enthusiasm and social skills allowed her to engage with young people and staff with respect to their ideas for the artwork. Her artistic skills ensured that the finished work was unique and much admired contributing to a wonderful environment for all.” 

Steve Urquhart, Area Manager (Children and Family Services), Angus Council

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Iris Symon says:

    A fabulous facility for the young people. Lovely work.

  2. Thank you very much Lesley! It is such a wonderful project to be a part of.

  3. Lesley says:

    Looks amazing , and a fantastic venture- with all the cut backs etc it gives some hope

  4. Anonymous says:

    Looks amazing , and a fantastic venture- with all the cut backs etc it gives some hope

  5. I was shown around last week, I was really impressed but your truly lovely artwork has made each cottage a home…

    1. Barbara, what a lovely thing to say! Means a lot. Thank you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful project to be involved with, congratulations to everyone. The children are sure to enjoy the stay a little more now.

    1. I do hope so! Thank you very much. I’m delighted that you like it!

  7. kay says:

    A fantastic experience from start to finish. Working with you is a joy and you just “get it” . thanks for your patience, professionalism and perseverance in this palegenesis of what we do, for whom we do it x

    1. What wonderful words! Thank you. It was an absolute pleasure! X

  8. sunshinestravels says:

    What amazing work – I am sure your designs will add some brightness to what would be a difficult time for some children and young people.

    1. Thank you so much! I do hope so ^_^

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