One of the easiest places to look to for some decorating inspiration is your favourite movie or TV show. A character’s home has to tell you volumes about them at a single glance in order to feel authentic and to meaningfully contribute to the story. Even better, you have the opportunity to watch how that character interacts with the space and really get a feel for why it was designed that way.
Set designers (also known as scenic or production designers) aren’t limited by the fear that something might be too much, rather they get to push the envelope with colours so the characters tastes come through easily. This electric blue bedroom from Sex and the City is an absolute perfect example of the trick designers use, by looking at the clothes you wear as a starting point. Although Carrie Bradshaw’s closet would probably result in a completely new space everyday, the mirrored vanity table beautifully bounces each of those styles back into the room as the outfits change.
If you’re interested in historical design styles, try looking up movies that are set in that period. Set designers are tasked with having to recreate eras down to the button, and will consult with historians and experts to make sure nothing is out of place.
Styling & Details
The beauty of film sets is that you’re seeing a room that has been styled for someone that lives there and is just going about their day, versus a magazine photo that’s been styled to a T. Set designers have to be aware of every single detail on set, and will have placed every single item down to the last sheet of paper.
Most of us can relate to having to work with a small budget for our decorating dreams. Movies and tv shows with small budgets can have some very interesting design details. Whether it’s covering a wall in painted MDF moulding (floor to ceiling) for texture, or mixed open shelving and doors for upper cabinets simply because that was available to their budget through Craigslist. Out-of-the-box thinking can be all the difference between a good design and a blockbuster. Anyone remember the claw-foot tub-couch from Breakfast At Tiffany’s?