Blackie purchased the land in 1902 and after a suggestion from a friend, Mackintosh was appointed to design and build it. Blackie said that it wasn't to be like buildings in the rest of the West of Scotland. Instead, he wanted gray rough cast for the walls, and slate for the roof; and that any architectural effect sought to be secured by the massing of the parts rather than by adventitious ornaments.*
On the outside the house is solid and grey looking, rather masculine. On the inside it has the strong Mackintosh style everywhere and is more smooth and feminine in appearance.
I was told many years later that Mrs Cowan(?) never saw the interier of the other parts of the house until many years later when it had been taken over by the Trust** and even then she had to pay an entrance fee!"
** In 1982 the house was donated to the National Trust for Scotland.