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rennie MACKINTOSH glasgow

Architect and Artist

Charles Rennie Mackintosh 1868 – 1928

Born in Glasgow he has become one of the most celebrated architects of his generation.  He is celebrated for his use of space, light, colour and treating the whole room as a complete work of art by also custom designing the furniture, fixtures, fireplaces for that project.  He often collaborated with his wife, artist Margaret MacDonald, whom he met at the Glasgow School of Art. He was inspired by Scottish tradition,  with Art Nouveau and Japanese simplicity at a time when ornamentation was the popular style.

My Mum is Scottish and all of her family is there.  She grew up near Glasgow and I grew up seeing Mackintosh inspired jewelry and home décor that was both my Mum’s and when I finally made it to Scotland my first time at 21, at my Aunties and Cousins. My cousin took me to see my first Mackintosh property, Hill House, and I have not been able to return since then, over 20 years ago.

My Mum and I have a lovely tradition of having afternoon tea at the Mackintosh designed Willow Tea Rooms when we have been in Scotland together.

My last visit to Scotland in May, I managed to see both the Lighthouse and the Glasgow School of Art as well as the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow (the Mackintosh House).

Glasgow School of Art

The scaffolding is where the devastating May 2014 fire was, destroying the iconic Mackintosh Art Nouveau library, although the rest of the building was saved.

Mackintosh in the details – wrought iron ornamentation.   Willow Tea Rooms – two locations – this was recreated in 1983, 55 years after the original closed.  Replicated precisely to original drawings down to the chairs, it has won awards.  This is the Buchanan Street location.

This is the Sauchiehall Street location, Glasgow’s wonderful shopping district, pedestrian only, a wonderful walking city.

willow tea room

Afternoon tea at the Willow Tea Room.

The Lighthouse.  Mackintosh’s first building, is now home to the Mackintosh Center, outlining his contribution to architecture and design.  Climb the stairs for panoramic views of Glasgow.


The Lighthouse staircase, looking up to the top… if you make the climb you are rewarded with panoramic views of Glasgow.

I still have a few more properties to visit – more reasons to visit Glasgow.

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society is an independent, non-profit charity established in 1973 on behalf of the Mackintosh Heritage.  For more information

My name is Sue Womersley, Interior Decorator on the West Coast of BC.  I enjoy sharing my love of design and travel here with you.

All photos Sue Womersley.


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