Great Movie Interiors

Irwin Weiner ASID - When it came to Oscar Night, we cheered for the Art Direction award nominees. This particular Academy Award goes to all the worlds that are built by hand to make a movie come to life, including the beautiful interiors we have grown to love on celluloid.

Movies strongly influence homeowners. The lush interiors of The Bonfire of the Vanities influenced the 1990s be-tassled style of traditional decorating. Down With Love reinforced the popularity and eye-candy pop of 1960s and mid-century modern interiors. Something's Gotta Give gave us a Hampton's beach house to love and emulate for its clean, windswept style.

This year we have another crop of great-looking movies with interiors that help ground their stories as well as influence audiences and home style trends. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Avatar - This movie's lilacs, purples, and blues will be (I predict) the next hot color combo for home decor, wallcoverings, paints, and tabletop.
  • 500 Days of Summer - The 20-something romantic comedy had some beautifully styled scenes with a teriffic roof-top party (lanterns and lights in strings are always a good look) and Summer's quirky apartment (photo below) reinforced her strong personality.

  • The Blind Side - The main character is, of course, an interior designer, and her traditional home will be a big hit with young traditionalists everywhere (photo below).

  • A Single Man - My vote (even though I haven't seen the movie yet) for Best Interiors is solely based on a few tantalizing still photographs showing some lovely interiors (see below). Director and fashion icon Tom Ford will no doubt be bringing his incredible eye for detail, color, and composition into the world of his film. I can't wait to see it!


  • It's Complicated - All the movies from Nancy Meyers are huge hits with audiences and create interior design style waves. Again, I haven't seen this Meryl Street-helmed movie, but look forward to watching it.
  • Julie & Julia - Nora Ephron's movies also play up domesticity and household settings, and this movie contrasted the stylish Parisian apartment of Julia and Paul Child with Julie Powell's starter apartment in Long Island City. There was no comparison, although both had their charms (still, loved the Parisian interiors!).

Go to designer Linda Merrill's fascinating blog Silver Screen Surroundings for her insightful takes on movie interiors and this year's Oscar-nominated films for Best Art Direction.

Jay JohnsonComment