Ice Cream Interiors-
“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”
Jane Austen's Emma, 1815
There are some films I will watch purely for the houses and interiors featured within them:
Watching ‘The Holiday’ one cold winter in London, with Kate Winslet’s delightful little cottage tucked up in inches of snow, was the final push in our decision to move out to the country. Eight months later we were in our very own lemon thatched cottage overlooking meadows and a two-hundred year old windmill. And if ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ is on then I’ll always watch it, and not just because I adore Diane Keaton, which I do, but the set design of the Hamptons beach house that features is, to my mind, the real hero of the movie. The living room alone is worth an entire blog to itself. Both these films were written, produced and directed by Nancy Meyers - Now I’d love to see what her home looks like!
When I sat down to watch the latest movie version of Jane Austen’s EMMA, I was simply looking for some gentle entertainment in the midst of lockdown, but instead within minutes I was sat on the edge of my sofa - exclaiming about the set design and trying to take pictures of my TV whilst simultaneously googling locations and finding out who was responsible for such a divine palate of sorbet colours?
It was even more interesting to me, because at the very same time of watching the movie our bedroom was being repainted in the beautiful pink colour of Little Greene’s Confetti and I was debating on curtain material and cushions – I had picked out green and white stripes but was worried about the mix when suddenly I had my entire moodboard before me! [I’ll talk about our bedroom scheme in a later blog once it is finished.]
Just look at that delightful scene at the top of this blog. That peppermint green and the white with the ombre, the flash of orange and the soft pinks in the rug and the flowers. Even down to the detail of the green and white striped vase on the side table. And you know how I adore my patterned fabrics - just look at the sofas and then the pink detail on the chair covering. It is all utterly, utterly divine.
And don’t even get me started on the colours in the church – I almost want to get married again (still to Mr R of course!) just so we can be in that delightful green and white church. How sumptuous is that green? And that ceiling just looks like icing – you feel you could lick it! (Not recommended by the Church of England I would imagine!)
Apparently the director Autumn De Wilde felt that the pastel colours were an essential part of the production and costume design, both to depict Emma’s cool and breezy attitude but also by making the set look like a doll’s house it conveys how Emma treats everyone around her like her puppets. If you want to read more about the set design, there is a fascinating article in Architectural Digest here
I love the magic of film where you could never even conceive all those millions of tiny details which go on in the background to make you respond in a certain way. My father worked in the film industry and I remember once being on a James Bond set (casually drop that one in) and one of the villains was wearing a contact lens to make his left eye look darker than the other so on screen he would look shifty. I just love that attention to detail! And when you watch the film you’d never know all this, you just feel that this guy is the baddie! Anyway I digress . . .
I have always loved ice cream palettes but I usually think of them in terms of packaging rather than interiors.
There’s a fascinating article here which shows pictures of Firle Place, the stately home that stood in for Emma’s home in the film, both as it usually appears and how it appears within the movie, and it’s fascinating. My favourites are the Great Hall and the Little Hall & Staircase – oh staircase of dreams! Have a look. I mean, who doesn’t love a before and after anyway, but interestingly the owners didn’t keep any of the set design which is such a shame because it’s so beautiful and goes to show how being bold with paint can just transform a room!