Houses were built entirely from local materials: a stone foundation, timber framing, walls of turf or wattle and daub panelling, and a roof made of turf topped with a thatch made of heather, broom or reeds.
Inside, cobbled sections were divided out where animals were kept, while the entire family lived in a single large room, usually with no windows or chimney. A central peat fire provided warmth and heat for cooking and, if a household could afford it at all, an oil-burning rush lamp would light the room.
Craftsman and labourers lived in two to three rooms, often with box-beds and heather mattresses, while the poorest families usually occupied a single room.
Scotland's land-owning clan chiefs and lairs lived in castles such as Urquhart, Huntly, Kisimul on Barra, Edzell, Kilchurn and Leod. These old-fashioned buildings, however, were being abandoned before 1745 for more spacious, impressive accommodation such as the likes of Duff House, Culloden House (by the Forbeses of Culloden), and Inveraray Castle in Argyll, a seat of Clan Campbell, set in large estate grounds, often with gardens and glass houses.
The affluent society built great country houses, with imposing garden grounds. Robert Adam was the leading architect of the 18th century, renowned for creating a style called Neoclassical, characterised by broad and arresting spaces. The grand clifftop Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Mallerstain House & Gardens in Berwickshire, Robert Adam's masterpiece and one of Scotland's finest stately homes, the stunning Hopetoun House to the west of Edinburgh, and the exquisite Charlotte Square, home to the Georgian House, in Edinburgh's New Town, are all examples.
The wealthy owned comfortable, beautifully upholstered furniture, often veneered or inlaid, the poor, however, had none of these things – their furniture was simple and plain.