Imagery can take a movie from good to great. We are currently obsessed with these films that showcase a myriad of home decor styles that are still relevant today. Time to find inspiration for your own decorating style in one of the 12 iconic movie sets below.
1. Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky (2010)
“You don’t like colour, Mademoiselle Chanel?” “As long as it’s black.”
“Coco Chanel and Igor Stravisnky” tells the story of Coco Chanel’s life and affair with the famous Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, which unfolds at her country home, “Villa Bel Respiro,” in Garches. Set in the early twenties, the villa’s recreation evokes the spirit and style of the time period while celebrating Chanel’s uniquely innovative and individual take on design. Her sprawling country residence, decorated in iconic Coco Chanel modernist style, is a true Art Deco masterpiece. The entire home is furnished in monochromatically striking wall papers, fabrics and motifs. Textured furniture, marble fixtures and geometric metal cut outs adorn the carefully crafted space. The movie set expertly combines structure, playfulness, luxury and glamour. Chanel’s affair with Stravinsky was said to inspire the scent of Chanel No. 5.
2. Down With Love (2003)
“It’s not the New York City of today and it’s not even the New York City of the early ’60s. It’s basically the New York City as seen through a Hollywood movie of that period.” -Peyton Reed, Director
“Down With Love,” a tribute to 1960s comedies, follows the antics of Barbara Novak, a woman skyrocketed to literary notoriety after writing an international bestseller the renounces love and suggests women try chocolate, careers and casual affairs instead. The sets playfully (and outrageously) reimagines the time period’s decor with bright, larger-than-life pops of color, distinct light fixtures, and wacky texture combinations. We especially love how Novak’s over-the-top outfits often match the decor.
3. Gone Girl (2014)
“The spiral staircase isn’t really spiral. It’s curved, and it looks elegant but when you stand there and take it in, you realize there’s something skewed about it.” -Donald Graham Burt, Set Director
“Gone Girl,” a dark and twisted thriller about a wife who goes missing, is anything but cheerful. Beautiful, yet slightly askew interiors add to the tone and tension of the film without distracting from the plot. The Dunne’s home is done with traditional elements, but in a modern style. As explained by set director Donald Graham Burt, the set is a modern construction where they use traditional, classical elements. Recessed lighting in drywall ceilings instead of real plaster, warm gray and cool warm paint colors that evoke an iciness, and a spiral staircase isn’t really spiral are examples of intentional design choices that create make the viewer feel slightly unsettled. Regardless, we can’t get enough of this kitchen.
4. The Help (2011)
“If I had my way, this house would have wall to wall white carpet with gold trim and none of this old stuff.” -Celia
“The Help” is a film that features picturesque 1960’s southern homes. From Antebellum mansions to traditional colonial estates, each home if full of history and tradition, and each tells a unique story of the south. Of the 64 sets created for the movie, Elizabeth’s home was made to look like what was perceived as “modern” for the time period. Set designers based the put-together but uneventful style on “Better Homes and Gardens” magazines from the era. Production designer Mark Ricker describes Hilly’s home as “prim, perfect, pastel and icy,” just like the character who lives in it. Her home is featured as the first phase of the new south, and features busy wall papers, structured furniture, and a pink bathroom. Celia’s plantation is a piece of the old south. It’s full of history and dated furniture that make the character wish she could fill it wall-to-wall with white carpet and gold trim. Ironically, it is the most forward-thinking woman who lives in the house that cannot let go of an ugly past. It is the carefully created interiors that allow this story to come to life.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
“I think we had something like 150 locations. Dealing with the volume of it was the difficult thing about this movie.” – Bob Shaw, Production Designer
The 90’s style is brought to life in “The Wolf of Wall street” retelling of Jordan Belfort’s iconic rise to the top of his own New York firm. The 90’s saw the rise of the McMansion and the height of postmodernism. Deep contrasts are made between Belfort’s sprawling home, New York City office, and opulent yacht. All interiors exude money and glamour in different ways. We particularly love Belfort’s home, which was designed to exude old money and an English landed-gentry look. From the master bedroom to the nursery, it’s a dream-come-true for fans of the traditional style.
6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
“It may be normal, darling; but I’d rather be natural.” -Holly Golightly
Holly Golightly’s town house in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” may be sparse on furniture, but it’s full of eclectic pieces that catch the eye and tell a story. We love her use of space and “anything goes” mentality. A half bathtub for a sofa? Works for us! A South American-inspired home makeover? Okay! Holly is uniquely her own person in the film set in the sixties, and her style encapsulates her free spirit. Paul’s townhouse contrasts with an opulent desk space and rich wall papers.
7. Sex and The City 2 (2010)
“I’ve been cheating on fashion with furniture.” -Carrie Bradshaw
The iconic “Sex and The City” narrator Carrie Bradshaw applies her unique fashion sense to home decor in the second movie installation of the series. Bradshaw’s new apartment blends masculine elements, such as linear midcentury furnishings and dark woods, with feminine accessories, including whimsical rugs and cheerful botanical-themed fabrics. The set decorator, Lydia Marks, said they took their inspiration for the apartment’s architectural style of from old movies, including Alfred Hitchcock films. Marks said they “wanted it to feel very, very real to New York City.”
8. The Great Gatsby (2013)
“You won’t find him. This house and everything in it are part of an elaborate disguise.” -A line from the film
The glamorous 1920’s are brilliantly reimagined in Baz Luhrman’s “The Great Gatsby.” Although the interiors may be opulent and grandiose, they still capture the essence of the time period. Gatsby’s castle-like mansion in West Egg reflects new money. No expense is too much for Jay Gatsby, who filled his walls with grand artwork and held out-of-control parties in open spaces with high vaulted ceilings. Gatsby’s bedroom showcases an art deco style that has become synonymous with the novel and movie. Contrasting Gatsby’s new money, Tom and Daisy’s red brick estate in East Egg is meant to reflect old money and prestige. Handed down to Tom Buchanan, the home is full of contrasts- Daisy’s light and airy sitting room parallels Tom’s royal blue, rich trophy room. Other notable home decor spaces are Nick’s charming cottage, and Tom’s secret New York City apartment.
9. Eat Pray Love (2010)
“I want to go someplace where I can marvel.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
Liz Gilbert’s journey around the world in “Eat Pray Love” inspires major decorating envy and wanderlust. We love her decor choices that are significant to the places she has travelled. The film was set on location at four different unique destinations that came to represent earth, air, fire, and water. According to production designer Bill Groom, Bali brought a sense of water, New York City brought at earthy bohemian vibe, breezy Italy came to represent air, and India was a metaphor for fire with smoldering reds and oranges. Teams of local designers, artists and set decorators worked on each space so that they accurately showcased the region through curated home decor and spaces.
10. Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
“…an elegant house, where I would like to live, with the feeling of ocean everywhere.” -Nancy Myers, Director
Erica Barry’s Hamptons beach house in “Something’s Gotta Give” is downright inspiring. The Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton classic has become downright iconic due to the home’s universally coveted home decor. The home’s classic nautical design started major trends in 2003, including soapstone countertops and oversized statement rugs. This house decor was so dream-worthy, its production design was nominated for an Oscar. Every detail of the home was thought through, including custom mixed paint colors that translated well with studio lighting.
One to watch: Jackie (2016)
Following the assassination of her husband, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy. “Jackie” debuts December 2nd, and is sure to include some of JBKO’s legendary interior redesign of the white house. We can’t wait for this one.
Whether your style is modern, retro, southern chic or shabby, we hope you’ll view these films in a new way. The next time you watch a good film, look for stylistic home decor choices to influence your own.