Sometimes I watch a movie and forget the plot over the interiors. I’m always fascinated how a set designer puts everything together and pays attention to every last little detail to make the on-screen interiors look authentic and as close to real life as possible. You know the “get the look” pages in magazines? Well, I imagine a set designer’s work to be the exact reverse: look at life and recreate that look. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact that would be counter-productive as real life rarely is, but instead it needs to be authentic. Or at least authentic in a movie way.
Some of my favourites do of course include (images from the top) “Something’s gotta give”, “Friends” (who didn’t like Friends?!), “Eat, Pray, Love”, “The Holiday” and of course Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in “Sex and the City”. All the (pretend) homes in these movies and tv shows looked homely, lived in, a little eclectic, full of personality (depending on the character’s personalities of course) and authentic.
The mix of furniture pieces, the wall colours, the flooring and rugs, the wall decorations and accessories. They have all been expectedly put together to look like they’ve been put together by a non-expert and a normal home owner. Clever, right? Whilst this is not (as mentioned) about “get the look”, there are of course staples which can help a great deal to get somewhat closer to achieving the look of your favourite show.
Take for example the sofa. A sofa is one of the key pieces in any home and other items are often arranged around it due to its size. So, if you’re looking to recreate the look from one of your favourite shows or movies, then this would be a good starting point. The Bari Large Sofa is a perfectly pared back and stylish fit for a Friends style eclectic home as it won’t draw too much attention to itself and can be accessorised beautifully with patterned scatter cushions.
Another thing you will often find is the perfection of the fine art of layering. Layering of textures, patterns and materials is a crucial part of making a home feel lived in. This can be achieved with blankets and cushions, rugs, trinkets piled on top of books or plants placed in front of paintings. Even big stacks of books or magazines add to the layered and casual look because if there’s one thing these interiors are not it’s meticulously ordered.
Compare the images from “Eat, Pray, Love” and “The Holiday” and you’ll see that the above mentioned layering technique has been used in both interiors even if their styles couldn’t be more different! Balinese versus English Cottage. And again, the sofa (or low-down seats) plays a major role. A sweet and traditional piece with beautifully turned legs like this Willow Large Sofa makes the perfect starting point for any cottage interior.
Overall, the art of set designing is rooted in observation as well as an eye for putting interiors together. Observing how people live, who the main characters are, how they would live and what their homes would look like in real life. Many homes look far less designed in real life than what magazines make us believe and I feel that movie interiors are often closer to reality.
I hope you enjoyed this little escapism post.