Harry Potter – The Magic of Shell Cottage

The real Shell Cottage, County Kildaire, Dublin - image from gohemiantravellers.wordpress.com

Like so many people, I beat the heat this week by one last indulgence in one of my favorite design-aside guilty pleasures – the epic conclusion of The Harry Potter series, The Deathly Hallows Part 2. I love the series and have enjoyed it, as I do most great stories, and along-side my children felt the gravity that draws nostalgia from nearly all who came at bidding farewell to both characters and actors who my kids have grown up with.

Shell Cottage set from Deathly Hollows 2 - image from Wikipedia, copyright Warner Bros Studio

As a design junky, the set design has always taken the front seat beside the storyline for me. The movies like good designers, took a great deal of license to avoid the monotony of literal book translations. The magical world that has visually emerged, contiguous with the story line has supported the canon developed by J.K. Rowling, by creating a visual feast that has provided a seamless believability.

Christmas trees, covered ornate with gilded finery suspended beneath a canopy of burning tapers, and dwelling and shops alike devoid of technology displaying teetering Gothic architecture resonate the magical world parallel, yet remote from our own.

I felt certain that the inspiration  for the set of Shell Cottage must have been the real shell cottage, in the beautiful countryside of County Kildaire (evening saying that makes me feel like Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man ) located on the grounds of Carton House – a posh home, hotel amd spa near Dublin.

Shellcottage - Chemin des Muguets

The literal translation might be a bit time consuming – most of us have neither the time nor inclination to bedazzle our homes with thousands of shells – but this is what makes movies magic, and design a flattering version of imitation. A design nod to shell cottage that works in your muggle home might incorporate a few signatures of the shell cottage style:

1. Shells (I know you knew this)

2. Mirrors or salvaged windows used as accents.

3. weathered wood surfaces. Mixing up the look of rustic and contemporary works on many levels both green salvage practices with great style.

4, Reclaimed or painted floors.

Great weathered wood cabinet and floors available at MyHomeFaceLift.com by Design Legacy

5. Lighting (particularly candle-lit lanterns) is arguably the best mechanism for getting that shell vibe:

seashell lighting by Currey at www.MyHomeFaceLift.com

This dazzling aged mirrored sconce gives the shell cottage look without burning the house down! Available at www.MyHomeFaceLift.com

Take the same inspiration from a magical habitat that inspired movie-makers and eons of visitors to shell cottage, and create some magic to keep you cool and stylish with the sea shel insignia of summer!

An amazing sea-shell inspired mirror by Currey available at www.MyHomeFacelift.com

The Real Shell Cottage - image is a detail from CountryLife.com