Designers, artists, novelists, poets, musicians, dancers, and all other creative types have sought inspiration through travel for as long as travel has been possible. My love for the East Coast of the USA and for Philadelphia, has greatly influenced the trajectory and the aesthetic of Tallulah & Bird Interior Design. My wanderlust has given me a far richer design vocabulary and a broader understanding of possibilities. Culture, history, color, terrain, horticulture, architecture, dining, interior design, farming, homesteads, hospitality; Each of these things are approached and executed very differently across our spectacular planet. The gleaning of these ideas, the ones that attract an individual, then edited, paraphrased and personalized can be the spring board for new, spectacular designs. Travel and design just simply go together. Eyes wide open. Camera ready. Composition. Sketch book in hand. Discerning and evaluating. It never stops. I can not make it! Hence, Global Gleaning – Inspiration Through Travel; Scotland.
We recently traveled to Scotland to bring our beloved daughter Talia to University. Her passion for history and archaeology drew her, and then luckily us, to this very magical place. She is surrounded by ancient books on orders of Knighthood, Kings and Queens, and she is living amongst the fairy’s and the poets and the dreamers. Dig deep into what has always been here and you may find what you have been looking for. The design inspiration is literally everywhere. The natural beauty is awe inspiring and you can not be in Scotland without feeling closer to something spiritual. Just Breathe. Just Breathe.
There are sheep everywhere. Lovely, roaming, fluffy sheep. The Highland Cattle are spectacular. Look in their eyes. There is so much to see. The horses are friendly and keep their coats a bit thick. The brisk weather makes this a requirement. Run your fingers through their fur – they love it. I love it too. The hens are really free, and happy and lay the most decadent dark yellow yolked, fresh eggs. The only way an egg should EVER be eaten. From a happy chicken. No happy chicken – no egg. The gardens are surprising, given the limited sunlight. The wildflowers beckoned me, and I gathered bouquets of them, made nosegays, and carried them with me everywhere I went. My patient husband and daughter amused, but not surprised. I was a character in a fairy tale while visiting Skye. I was a fairy with wings, a princess, a farmer. Our Skye cottage, so charming and welcoming with cows right outside my window. I do not usually take photos of food (this is an art in of itself) but I had to include the photos of my meal at The Three Chimneys, in Skye. We were late for our reservation because there were several traffic jams in the form of herds of sheep. This delighted us completely! The restaurant is chic, and world class. And expensive. But worth it!
The heart of Scotland will alway live in my HEART. Indescribable. Mother nature distributed a lot of beauty here. She took away some sunlight. But it is worth the trade. The weather made the experience more ethereal. We danced in the rain and saw more rainbows than we have seen in a lifetime. We rented a car and drove everywhere. This gave us so much freedom to take it all in, to linger where we wanted, to wander in to abandoned churches and have tea in tiny villages. I really recommend seeing Scotland this way. Kudos to Jeff. He immediately adjusted to driving on the opposite side of the road, a skill I am not sure I would even attempt to master.
The architecture is cohesive. So much granite and local stone. Very simple structures, with all the right materials. I have always known that you can take almost any box and make it work with the right ingredients; wood, stone, cedar, slate, brick; the same box adorned with vinyl and asphalt – an entirely different outcome. There is of course, like in all European Countries a confluence of other styles; a French Chateau or two, Gothic Cathedrals, and Classic Roman Pediments. There is beauty in the most glorious castles but also in the simplest, primitive farm houses and barns. The tiny cottages evoke such recollection of storybook charm. Most of the interiors are very, very traditional. In the major cities; Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, Interior Design is beginning to become more cosmopolitan. We stayed in Castles, Manor homes, a tiny, lovely cottage, two chic hotels and then finally, the splurge, the Prestonfield House.
The Prestonfield House is fabulous, the restaurant sublime, the grounds meticulous and each evening a bottle of champagne and fresh baked cookies are bedside! We met a Scottish couple celebrating their wedding anniversary. They had married at The Prestonfield House 50 years ago! They invited us to join them for a whiskey (never call whiskey scotch while in Scotland!). My trip did not change my lack of taste for Scotch or Whiskey – but we had a wonderful time with Martin (pronounced Maaaaartin) and Heather, and Jeff felt like a perfect gentleman sipping with our new friends.
The people of Scotland are gracious and kind and funny and we were embraced by all!
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