This month’s Veranda features interior designer Kathryn M. Ireland’s home in the countryside near Toulouse. The images are the essence of summer. Outdoor dining, colorful linens, and fresh food. Check out Ireland’s tips for easy going entertaining here. In the meantime, imagine being in this French paradise with me.

C’est tres belle…don’t you think?

I’ve love making connections with design. The music connection is one of my favorites. My friend, Holly over at HvH Interiors, recently wrote a post on Music, Mood, & Space. It confirms the notion that the function of  all of our senses contributes to the experience of an environment. The focus of the studies she shares is that music and mood are very linked and can play a role in our interiors. Thanks, Holly, for giving this an intelligent spin.

So, here’s the selection of design by music this week.

The sound:

This Swedish folk duo tugs at my heart strings, both because they’re sisters and they harmonize gorgeously. Johanna and Klara Söderberg’s music has a woodsy sound that is reminiscent of singer-songwriting greats like Fleet Foxes. Select any track and you get guitar melodies that tend to dance with drums, harps, piano- a fullness of sound. This track, “The Lion’s Roar”, is my favorite.

I don’t know about you, but their music makes me feel like I’m in a mountainside or lake cottage, rustic and stylish enveloped in a softening dusk sky.

The look:

  • stone
  • wood floors
  • hand-crafted objects
  • flowers, birds, country scenery items
  • rocking chairs
  • large rectangular dining table
  • baskets
  • candle holders
  • tin lanterns
  • wrought iron chandelier

Rustic & Eclectic Cottages

Cottage style decorating is an extension of American country interior design. There have been some English, French, and Swedish influences added. The idea is for simplicity; a natural look. Yet, rustic cottage homes, while cozy, also have the ability to be quaint and endearing through hand-crafted items and global pieces.

Exposed brick, reclaimed wood, and stone give the natural essence of a cottage space. When white-washed, surfaces offer a fresh look where colors pop more vividly, leading to more contemporary appeal.

Unique decor items can really add to the cottage space. Whether it’s retro diner style tables or classical rugs, one can individualize the country style.

What does this music make you think of? Are there any elements of cottage design you enjoy? Would love to get your feedback.

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Every now and then when watching a movie, I get distracted by the interiors selected for the set. My husband might lean in and comment on the character or plot while I respond with , “I LOVE those chairs” or wall or whatever has captured my designer’s eye.

While commenting on film interiors is not original, I do feel compelled to share my thoughts on a few exceptional ones that continue to haunt me.

#1 Mamma Mia

Lavender walls create a dream-scape of a room. Simple wrought iron furniture and embroidered soft furnishings in red and whites add to it.

A country style settee adorned with striped pastels pops against pale blue-green walls giving character to a simple space.

A rustic kitchen invites light with windows and neutral, golden walls. Cabinets in sky blue reflect the natural outdoor beauty of sea and sky.

#2 Amelie

Eclectic in style, the interiors of this film fuse vintage and country in a way that is fabulously French. The rich intense red tone of this wallpaper is complimented by pillowy bedding and splashes of muted teal.

Yellow and gray checkered laminate flooring offers this bathroom sunniness. The classical sink and clawfoot tub reminisce of French cottage design.

Checkers make an appearance in the kitchen as well with black and white ones bordering the red and white back splash. Apple red cabinets and white appliances give this space a retro feel while the beaded curtains add a sense of casualness.

#3: Eat, Pray, Love

Who didn’t want to have a morning like Julia in this scene? Sitting on a handsome hexagon-stone-tiled floor with an attractive plate of antipasto in feeling-pretty lingerie. Everything from the cascading light to the wooden table to the floral curtains masking the shelves, say Italian country. Bella.

Ah, India…where senses are unabashedly seized. A good aesthetic example is in this scene where colors dance in their brightness. Fabrics on the saris as well as on tables and floors are beautiful and exotic. Mirrors and beads share light and reflect the golden aura of this space and moment.

And then there’s the romantic setting of tropical Bali. Open walls, batik covered furniture, and wood make this space feel like vacation. Bamboo blinds give additional texture and dimension hanging at varying levels from large beams.

#4: The King’s Speech

Every time Colin Firth went to see his speech therapist, one couldn’t help but stare at that distressed fresco-like wall behind him. Layers of old wall paint and wallpaper give it a interesting quality that suits the eccentric style of the room. Lead glass and vaulted ceilings hail Victorian architecture while a worn gilded sofa inspires a Louis XV era.

Here art deco and art nouveau make an appearance in the form of the lamp and wooden credenza. The silver wallpaper with beautiful birds and plants adds glamor and decadence to the space.

Disguising the opulence and grandeur of Buckingham Palace, is the room where George VI gives his wartime speech. Draped in warm tones and patterns, it feels like walking into a home; less intimidating, safe.

So, what is the message here?

The films mentioned transport one from Greece to India to England in varying time periods. Not only do movies envelop you in an interesting reality, they are wonderful inspirations for global design.

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