Rémy Mishon, Decoration Stylist at House & Garden and all-round winner of a lady picks her Top Twelve Film Interiors.
When Charlie asked if I fancied doing a round-up of film interiors, I rubbed my hands together. Having become somewhat insufferable to watch anything with. I’m forever screenshotting or asking someone to pause the musical mid tap routine so I can get a quick snap of those bar stools in the background (thank you Singing In The Rain’s Good Morning). MGM might have used and abused their stars but crikey, could they do a set. Rather than doing a round-up
of general interiors though, we thought we’d focus on some specifics. The list could be endless and no doubt in the coming weeks I’ll kick myself for not including this, that and the other, but here we go.
1) The Darjeeling Limited - The Sleeper Cabin
There is rarely a list of film interiors where Wes Anderson doesn’t get a look in, and it would seem controversial to do otherwise. Of course, there’s Margot Tenenbaums Scalamandré Zebra clad bedroom and pretty much every setting in The Grand Budapest Hotel. However, there is something so special about The Darjeeling Limited and the three brothers’ cabin in particular.
The setting of a train already promises unfathomable possibilities and adventure, pop this in the otherworldly setting of India and team it with Mark Friedberg’s mosaic and wood-panelled design for the carriages and you have something extraordinary. No detail is amiss, and everything has its place compactly with forever changing wall art as your window and the beautiful light it casts.
2) Call Me By Your Name - Kitchen
‘Somewhere in Northern Italy’ lies Villa Albergoni- or the fictional holiday home of The Perlman’s. Many of us have lusted after this home, steeped in warmth of a dwelling that has seen many family suppers, late nights and laughter. Though it’s the heart of the house that particularly pulls my heartstrings on this one, everything has its purpose within, with it’s excellent Belfast sink, little under-sink check curtain and cup-pull drawers galore. It’s the type of kitchen you want to spend all day preparing for a dinner party and the wee hours clattering about to find leftovers.
3) I Am Love- The Lobby
Another Guadagnino film that should not get overlooked is the terribly chic I Am Love. If Villa Albergoni is a welcoming hug, then Necchi is a firm but reassuring handshake. It’s Milanese bourgeois at it’s finest. Although there are many impossibly elegant rooms to mention, I think the lobby wins due to its walnut clad walls and sharp bannisters aligning the marble steps which all revolve around a sandpit of monstrous succulents.
4) The Shining - The En Suite, Room 237
A perfect example where 'dated is rated'. Roy Walker’s design for The Overlook Hotel contains some gems- that David Hicks Hexagon hallway carpet for a start. Though it’s the mint bathroom suite with its curves, clever borders and cubby-style bath that really makes you raise one to Kubrick’s vision. Though we’ll take the version without the super babe turn rotting woman, please.
5) Practical Magic - The Conservatory
The 90s wonderful revival of the Witch. The romantic New England Victorian manor still retains it’s magic twenty years on, in particular the conservatory. Pots and plants of different sizes line every wall and surface waiting to be made into potions and lotions alike. Nothing is overly precious as long tendrils snake up the glass panels and dried flowers sit in pails. Backing onto a porch that overlooks the waterfront isn’t a bad sitchu either.
6) The Love Witch- Elaine’s Apartment
One more witch and that’s my lot. A wonderful pastiche of ’60s/70’s sexploitation horror, brings us Love addicted witch Elaine & her technicolour Victorian apartment. Fitted with flocked wallpaper, New Age nudes, tiffany lamps and no lack of red ceremonial candles. Teemed with synthetic fabric, it’s a flammable feast but a whole lot of fun.
7) The Graduate - The Robinsons Bar
Does Mrs Robinson know how to entice or what. Her entertainment area come summer room is just as well turned out and alluring as she, with a curved bar area that leaves our humble bar carts feeling quite bashful. The 60’s sleek black and white scheme of old stone and leather is offset by the glass walls welcoming the generous green of their LA jungle garden. A very nice spot to sink a bourbon. And that striped awning isn’t half bad either.
8) The Personal History of David Copperfield - The Trotwood’s Drawing
Another transportative film with many joyous settings to behold. The Trotwood's eccentric country house is dreamy in the more surreal sense of the word. Their drawing room is a particular favourite due to it’s very happy making colour scheme. Subtly patterned teal wallpaper with windows dressed in mustard screens and lace trimmed blue drapes. Having a cup of tea and admiring my land from a striped green wingback armchair would be no problem at all.
9) Chocolat - The Shop
In my dreams, I cross the quiet square of the rural French village and enter Vianne’s chocolaterie. Trotting across the tiled floor and leaning on the marble inlaid counter, I stare deep into the spinning plate as she tells me what chocolate I need. Inside it’s not fussy, just perfectly... French. The turquoise walls against the dark wood and the line-drawing mural at the back of the great shelves are what puts Vianne’s daring and mystical nature across. The little frilled glass pendants and woodwork waves on the door panels certainly make very pretty touches too.
11) Cabaret - Sally Bowles’ Bedroom
The boudoir on a budget can often make the most charming of bedrooms. Sally Bowles’ is a fine example. A showgirl might not have many possessions, but the ones she does have are sure to tell a story. With panels of sheer embroidered fabric strung up for room dividers and privacy, a brass bed that probably came with the digs and a huge shaggy rug that was likely picked up from a market- it’s nonplussed, yet intimate. Doesn’t that just make it more glam?
12) On A Clear Day You Can See Forever - Daisy’s Bedroom
Daisy’s bedroom teaches us that all we need is two florals when it comes to trying to achieve the ‘matchy-matchy’ look. Driving the message home, there’s barely an inch of non-florafied space, and her nightie even matches her bedlinen. It’s a little matchbox of a room compared to the vast halls of Brighton Pavillion that feature in half the film but with just as much staying power. I know we’re here for the interiors, but a bonus- Cecil Beaton does the costumes.